questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

travelling new years day

Travelling New Years Day

My husband, son and myself will be leaving Tokyo on New Years Day to travel to Kyoto. We all have 7 day JR passes and this will be the first day we will use them. We arrive in Tokyo on the 26th, can we exchange our voucher then and book seats for that day before they are activated? Am worried we will struggle on this day getting to Kyoto as it is a peak time. Can you give me any other advice regarding this.


Hi there,

The 1st of January is indeed a busy travel day, still you will be fine if you reserve tickets 3-4 days in advance. Which you can do right away after the JR Pass is activated.

You can select a '1st day of use' up to 30 days in the future, when you exchange the JR Pass. This means that you do not have to start using the JR Pass right away but can make seat reservations for the period of travel. You will be fine if you do this on the 26th or 27th and then reserve seats for travel on New years day.

Hope this helps,

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