questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

trains from hakata to tokyo during golden week

Trains from Hakata to Tokyo during Golden week

I'm travelling to Japan (and South Korea) in May (partly during Golden Week) with my wife. We planned to arrive in Japan the May 5th by ferry from Busan, South Korea and spend the rest of the day and the following night in Fukuoka and then proceed to Tokyo on the 6th day by train. We planned to get Japan Rail Passes but we can't activate our passes before the 5th day because that is the day we arrive in Japan. Because the 6th day is the last day of the Golden Week and trains will be very crowded my question is:

How probable it is that we get reserved seats (rather side by side of course) to any train (except Nozomi) on the May 6th? We don't really mind which time to travel because our plans on that day are very flexible. So my question put differently, how probably will we get reserved seats on any train from Hakata Station to Tokyo that day? Six hours train ride is a bit long to stand :)


HI Liamola,

I would say that it will be busy and you should be prepared for not being able to find 2 seats together during this period if you turn up on the day of travel. Ideally you should activate your JR Pass on arrival on the 5th (specifying a starting date of the 6th), and then try to reserve seats immediately. If will very much depend on the time of day you travel (early is best!), however I would strongly recommend earlier rather than later!

I hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Thank you for your reply :)

Do you then think that it is probable that we can get reserved seats for a train on 6th day if we try to reserve them on the 5th day? We will be arriving in the late afternoon/evening to Fukuoka so we are able to try to make the reservations quite late on the 5th. However we don't mind taking the first train in the morning.


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