questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

scheduling during obon holiday

Scheduling during Obon holiday

We are arriving in Tokyo on Aug. 13 and are hoping to travel to Hiroshima on Aug. 14.

We understand that trains can get busy during the Obon holiday and reserving seats is advisable 3-4 days or more in advance. Obviously we cannot reserve that far in advance since we will be arriving just the day before.

We are planning on getting Green Passes which will allow us to use the Green Cars which we understand typically has more available seating.

What are the odds that we will be able to reserve Green Car seats for Aug. 14 travel if we exchange our voucher as soon as we arrive on Aug. 13?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kindest Regards.


Hello there,

The biggest scare about Obon is reading about it online. While it is certianly busy - I've never heard of somebody not reaching their intended destination. Trains will be full and you may not be able to book one exact train but there's always place on the next one. So you'll be fine if you book the tickets on your day of arrival, although a bit of flexibility may be required. Also would recommend reserving the rest of the seats for your itinerary during Obon, this just gives you that extra peace of mind, knowing you got seats secured.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Grean car is very comfortable,
if you can have reservation and can afford buy
green car pass. [Green (for superior-class Green cars)]
There is no motors, therefore it's so quiet and it doesn't vibrate,
besides, seats are soft.
Regular green ticket is so expensive ,
we don't rarely choose to buy green ticket.
Only rich buy it.


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