The 'Green Pass' entitles you to travel in the 'Green Car', the equivalent of our 1st class, on all Shinkansens and certain fast lines.
This type of Pass is increasingly more popular with foreign travelers as considering the the comfort it offers, it is good value for money.
The 'Green' car will give you access to a large seat that can recline 40°, a footrest, more space between the seats (an enjoyable feature when you want to stretch out your legs after a long day of visiting), an integrated radio set, a travel magazine as well as space for your luggage.
The carriage staff will offer you a hot towel (oshibori) as well as a drink during the trip (if you travel on the Kyushu Shinkansen lines you will even get an ice cream). You can relax and enjoy the scenery through the large windows.
The Green Cars also have smoking areas.
To be assured to find a seat
Buying this Pass is a good idea if you are planning on traveling during busy times (May, August and September) because, in addition to the fact that there is more space allocated to each travelers, the Green cars are generally less busy.
Where to find the Green Cars ?
There are between 1 and 3 Green Cars depending on the train. They are indicated by a green clover on the side of the carriage. Most frequently, these carriages are located at the front of the train in order to limit the circulation of people looking for the bathrooms.
However, in the case of the Shinkansen running on the Tokaido - Sanyo line, the carriages are located next to the stairs so the travelers don't have to walk along the platform.
The location of the Green Cars is usually indicated on the platform floor.
Please note that the Hikari Rail Star running from Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima or Hakata does not have Green Cars, but the wagon with reserved seats has a very similar layout.