questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

reserving seats using the jr pass

Reserving seats using the JR Pass


We will be travelling around Japan between 23 December 2013 - 4th Jan 2014. We will buy the 7 day JR pass for travel between 27th December 2013 - 2nd Jan 2014.

Since we are out of the country (landing into Japan only on 23rd December 2013), we just wanted to check as to how we could reserve seats on the our trains esp the bullet trains (shinshaken's). We understand that the last week of December is peak travel season in Japan and we would really like to book seats for our Nikko-Tokyo-Kyoto-Osaka legs.

Any help will be appreciated.


Hi there!

You can make seat reservations only once you have arrived in Japan. To do so, go to any JR Station with your pass and tell the staff when and where you wish to travel. Trains depart very frequently so I don't think that you will find any trouble reserving your seats on the day of arrival.

JR East does offer a reservation service but this is limited to the Tohoku region (north of Tokyo). You could use this to reserve your seats to Nikko, however this service does not work for travel to Kyoto/Osaka.

I hope this helps!

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