questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

jr pass - first class

JR Pass - First Class


I'm going to be traveling to Japan Between August 29 and September 5th and I'm looking into getting a 7-day JR pass. Since this is my first time traveling to Japan, would there be more benefit to get a First Class JR Pass or just a Regular JR Pass? My flight's estimated landing in Narita Airport is at 16:05 on a weekday and it sounds like I would have to deal with rush hour crowding.

I read from other travelers' experience that they had more comfortable ride when they used the First Class JR Pass since the Green Cars are not crowded like the regular cars?

Also, if you have any advice about reserving seats for First Class, please let me know. It would truly help me.

Thank you.


Hello there,

It's certainly more comfortable on a green car - we have a pretty good post about our experiences using the green car here. When I have had the fortune of using it in the past I have always found it virtually empty, with much more luxurious seating and service.

I would say that you'll probably be fine with normal class landing at 16:00 unless you really expect to do lots of travelling on the first day. By the time you are out of customs it will be 17:30, and then you'll arrive into Tokyo central around 18:30-19:00.

If you do intend to use Green Car/First Class, the seat reservation process for JR Pass holders is very easy. When you arrive at the JR station visit the ticket office (also known as the Midori no Madoguchi) and present your JR Pass to receive your free reservation. We also have a good blog post with more on reserving seats for reference.

Hope this helps, but please ask if you have any more questions, or if this is not clear!

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Thank you so much for your reply and explanations about JR Pass First Class. I also read those blog entries and they were informative.

I do intend to use the Green Car (since it may help me relax after a long flight) and I'm going to try and use it to ride the bullet train Tokyo-Kyoto round trip.

I will be attending an event in the Tokyo Ryutsu Center in September. I'm coming from Shinjuku and most likely be taking the JR Saikyo Line to Tennozu Isle Station. Would the JR pass work on the Rinkai line (Osaki Station) and Monorail (Tennozu Isle Station) that goes to Tokyo Ryutsu Center?

Thank you again for your kind help. I look forward to your reply.


Hi there!

The JR Pass is valid on the Tokyo monorail, but not on the Rinkai line so you will have to pay the ticket prices for that part of your trip. If you don't mind another 10mins on your journey, you could do it all on a JR Pass by travelling via Hamamatsucho (sample itinerary - see 'route 2').

Hope this helps!

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