questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

seat reservation during golden week

Seat reservation during Golden Week


We are landing at the Kansai International Airport in the evening on 29th April (at the start of the Golden Week). We are planning to exchange our vouchers for the Ordinary JR Passes right after arrival at the airport and subsequently make our seat reservations.

My question is: considering it’s Golden Week, what are the chances we will be able to get seat reservations only 2-3 days in advance? Particularly, 1st May (Osaka – Himeji day trip), 2nd May (Osaka – Hiroshima), 5th May (Hiroshima – Tokyo), and 12th May (Tokyo – Kyoto). We are especially worried about getting reservations for the 1st, 2nd, and 5th May.

In case we won’t get the reservations, we’re planning to travel in the non-reserved cars. I would like to know how busy the non-reserved cars get during Golden Week. Will we be able to find two seats or is it likely we’ll have to stand all the way?

Thank you in advance for your reply.



Hello Alex,

Honestly, I don't see any problems at all here. If you book your tickets 2-3 days in advance, then I am sure that you'll be able to board the train and have secured seating. The routes Hiroshima - Tokyo and Tokyo - Kyoto will be the busiest, try to reserve them when you can.

In case of a non-reserved seat, people queue up before the train arrives at the station. If you do have to take a non-reserved seat, just be sure to queue up 20-30minutes in advance, in order to secure seating.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Thank you so much for your reply, Daniel-san.

We'll make all seat reservations right after arrival in Japan to secure our seats.
It's a relief to know that we don't have to worry about this. :)


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