questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

what chances of securing seats during 28 dec to 2 jan 2015

What chances of securing seats during 28 Dec to 2 Jan 2015

I know I am travelling at the peak period of JR train rides.
This is my Itinerary.

Day 1 28 Dec Shinagawa to Kyoto Departure 7.10am
Day 2 29 Dec Kyoto to Sagaarashiyama
Day 3 30 Dec Kyoto to Osaka return at night
Day 4 31 Dec Kyoto to Inari to Nara return at night
Day 5 1 Jan Kyoto
Day 6 2 Jan Kyoto to Hakone then Hakone to Shinjuku
Day 7 3 Jan Tokyo

I will arrive on 26th and activate my JR Pass at the JR station for travel on 28 Dec and at the same time book my seats for Shinagawa to Kyoto. What are the chances of getting my seats for the morning departure?
How do we reserve seats on line once we have activated the JR pass at the station? Or we have to reserve personally at the station? Are all the stations open early like 6.30am for us to reserve or book our seats?
Based on my itinerary, will I need to reserve my seats for all the above train rides? Problem is I dun want to have to rush to catch a train.
I cannot find a direct train from Kyoto to Odawara (going to do the Hakone round trip) at any earlier departure until 8.33am. What are other better alternatives as I want to be in Hakone earlier, I cannot get a hotel in Hakone on 1 Dec otherwise I would have travel the night before. Where else can I stay that is on route to Hakone from Kyoto?

If I buy the green car at the higher prices, does it mean that the chances of getting seats are much higher and I do not have to worry about reserving seats.

Your advice is greatly appreciated!


Hello Rusie,

Japan is great spend the new year in, although a little busy at times. You will only need seat reservations for Dec 28th and Jan 2nd, as other travel is mostly on local lines, which don't have reserved seats.

It's hard to say exactly what changes will be, however you should not much problems getting on the train. Seats do sell out quickly during the Holiday periods but there's always a spot to be found somewhere, or you could queue up for a non-reserved seats. Reservations can be made in Japan and have to be done so at a station in person.

I checked the train schedule for you on the 1st of January and there ore no directly earlier trains, you could however take One of these options with a transfer. An alternative would be to stay the night before in a place such as Nagoya/Shizuoka and travel the following morning from there.

As for Green Class, statistically it gives you a better chance for getting seats on a trains as it covers all seats. However you'd want green seats and I don't know what chance you would have there. Consider traveling in Green Class if you wish to extra comfort and quiet it offers.

Hope this helps,

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Thank you Daniel for your helpful info! When there is a transfer, I assume you have to get off the train and find your next train, right? I notice sometimes the time is very short, will there be enough time?
Can I buy the JR Pass from this website and they will send to Singapore? It will be delivered within how many days and How much do I have to pay the fedex fees?
Thank you!


Hi there,

Yes generally transfer times are made so you there is enough time to transfer.

We certainly ship to Singapore, it takes 2 days and shipping is very fast. The charge is 14 euro or equivalent. All shipping details can be found here.

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