Should I Reserve a Seat?

  • Published on : 26/06/2016
  • by : Japan Experience
  • Rating :
    3/5

Making seat reservations with your JR Pass

Can you make reservations with a JR Pass? When should you make them? Your questions answered. Buy your Japan Rail Pass online today!

Which trains have reserved seats?

All shinkansen have three cars of unreserved seating either at the front or the back of the train, and will be marked as such in both English and Japanese. The rest of the cars are reserved seating only, with conductors stopping by to check your ticket.

Limited express trains also have unreserved cars, although the number varies depending on the line (ranging from one to three). 

Shinkansen

Shinkansen

©chester adams, unsplash

Do i need a reservation?

Your Japan Rail Pass entitles you to free seat reservations on all trains that are valid with your rail pass. 

If you are making a reservation with a rail pass, only you (the passholder) can do this, and it must be done once you are in Japan. After activating your rail pass, take it to any JR ticket office and present your pass to make a free reservation. You can do this as far in advance as you would like/is possible, or even just before you plan to get on a train. 

Reservation Shinkansen

Reservation Shinkansen

©Tzuhsun Hsuhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/flicker/,CC BY-SA 2.0,https://www.flickr.com/photos/alberth2/3359493725/

Trains where you don't need a reservation

Trains that are just called "express" are different from a Limited Express, and most likely have only unreserved seating.

These are commuter trains that skip over some of the smaller stations, rather than trains that travel long distances.

Some examples include the "JR Rapid Express" that carries students and workers between Osaka and Kyoto cities in Kansai, or Tokyo and Yokohama cities in Kanto.

You do not need to make reservations for express trains, although you may find that these are very crowded during peak rush hours.

Japan Train

Japan Train

©liam-burnett-blue, unsplash

Latest Articles

Train Conductor in Japan

Jorudan

If you want to optimize your time when taking the train in Japan, you should plan your routes well in advance (and ensure that you order your Japan Rail Pass prior to departing for Japan).

Shinkansen au quai d'une gare au Japon

Practical tips on JR PASS

Japan is the country of trains, with probably the densest network in the world, the highest traffic... It has therefore developed a culture of train travel unique in the world.

Japan Visitor - tsurumai-station-2017-2x.jpg

Chuo Line

The Chuo Main Line is a Japan Rail-operated railway line that goes between Tokyo and Nagoya, and is not to be confused with the Chuo Line (Rapid), which is the special section of the line that serv

See All (125)

Comments

Rate the content

Your comment

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
* Required fields