questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

where can i check an available seat on shinkansen?

Where can I check an available seat on Shinkansen?


We are going to arriving to sendai airport on 27 dec 13 and directly we would like to book a Shinkansen seat to echigo- yuzawa from sendai station at 11.26 - 14.12. Unfortunately according to jr pass's rule we cannot make a reservation online and pick up ticket on the same day of departure date so Is there anything that you can suggest us? How can we do to make sure if it's sill available for 11 adults 2 children? As far as I know this time of the year is the most hardest time to fine a Shinkansen ticket in japan and we can't take any risk to miss the train. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


Hi there!

This is a difficult one. Still I think that you will be fine since trains are only getting really busy after the 28th.

This website allows you to see available seats, unfortunately it is only in Japanese and works only between 6.30 - 22:30 Japanese time. Right now it is in the middle of the night there. If it would give any ease of mind, I could look up the route at a later time and tell you about the available seats.

Something else that may give you a little peace is that all trains have reserved and non-reserved seats. If all reserved seats are booked you can still line up on the platform before departure and go for a non-reserved seat. The downside is that you would have to be at the platform a good amount of time in advance. Lastly if seats are full you can still stand - I know this is far from ideal but at least you can be on the train if you have to.

I hope this helps!

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