What are the advantages of a Green Japan Rail Pass - 1st class?

Green Pass

The 'Green Pass' entitles you to travel in the 'Green Car', the equivalent of our 1st class, on all Shinkansens and certain fast lines.

Green Car  (first class)

1st class comfort

This type of Pass is increasingly more popular with foreign travelers as considering 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.

Even more services

During your trip in the Green Car on the JR Hokkaido Line, the on-board staff will offer you a small hot towel (oshibori) as well as a hot or cold drink. You can then relax and enjoy the scenery through the large windows.
The JR Hokkaido Line is considered to have some of the highest levels of service among all JR lines. This service is offered only to and from Hakodate.

Some Green Cars have smoking areas. The latest Shinkansen N700 series has smoking areas near the Green Cars.

For travelers who wish to enjoy an even more relaxing journey, private Green compartments can be found on certain Limited Express trains such as the "Super-View Odoriko".

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.

Comparaison JR Pass Ordinary / Green

“NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen lines*1
Green Car
Ordinary Car
“HIKARI,” “SAKURA,” “KODAMA” and “TSUBAME” trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen lines and all trains on the Tohoku, Yamagata, Akita, Joetsu and Nagano Shinkansen lines GranClass *4
Green Car


Ordinary Car
Ordinary private Compartment
Limited express and ordinary express
Green Car
Ordinary Car
Green private compartment
Ordinary private compartment
Sleeping Car
Local and rapid trains
Green Car
Ordinary Car

  • ○ : Cars accessible with Japan Rail Pass
  • ※ : Cars accessible with additional charge

*1 The JAPAN RAIL PASS is not valid for any seats, reserved (incl. Green Car) or non-reserved, on ”NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains.
*2 There are no Green Cars on most “HIKARI” and “KODAMA” trains on the Sanyo Shinkansen line (Shin-Osaka―Hakata), or on some “SAKURA” and “TSUBAME” Series 800 trains on the Kyushu Shinkansen line.
*3 If you use a “DX Green” (operated by JR Kyushu),
you must pay the limited express charge in addition to the DX Green charge.
*4 If you use the GranClass car, only the basic fare is covered with your JAPAN RAIL PASS for both Green Car and Ordinary Cars and you must pay the limited express charge and the GranClass car surcharge additionally.

Advantages green car

Ordinary Car Green Car
Seat Reservation
Not required
(in "Jiyûseki" car = no reservation)

Seat Reservation Fee



Seat Size


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