questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

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I will be traveling to Japan for my first time this fall and just want to throw some questions out and check my itinerary.

First of all, if I get the pass, then do I still need to get a ticket for each individual ride or do I just show the pass?

What if I want a reserved seat? (I am familiar with Europe Rail passes, but not Japan's.)

I see that the Green Class offers snacks. What if I want a meal? Or a drink?

So, here is my planned itinerary:

  1. Narita to Nagasaki - 2 days in Nagasaki
  2. Nagasaki to Sapporo - 2 days in Sapporo
  3. Sapporo to Nagano - 2 days in Nagano
  4. Tokyo/Narita

And finally, I know that many people say that you don't need a ticket or a reservation, but I like knowing my plans in advance. How can I build an itinerary?



Hi there,

While the JR Pass covers travel between all these places, I recommend looking at domestic flights instead. I think this is the first time I actually say so but the distances are just too far apart. Nagasaki - Sapporo is over 1,600miles apart and taking a train, even the bullet train simply takes way too long.

You could do it by rail but you would need at least 2-3 weeks.

As for tickets, you can use a non reserved seat at any time by just showing the JR Pass. You may also make a complementary seat reservation in advance. More to be found here.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Arigato, Daniel-san. Perhaps I shall rethink my plans to go as far as Sapporo.


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