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JR Pass/Nozomi

Denver, Colorado...
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JR Pass/Nozomi

Firstly, thank you for any info you might be able to provide. I understand it is not possible to use the JR Pass on Nozomi trains even with a supplement payment. Can someone please confirm? Also, I understand that currently there are very few overnight sleeper trains available. Confirm please. Again, many thanks!

Illinois
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for Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: JR Pass/Nozomi

Yes - that is correct.

http://www.hyperdia.com/en/ - for train routing options and fares throughout Japan.

Tokyo and California
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for Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Shinjuku, Japan
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2. Re: JR Pass/Nozomi

Night trains:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2356.html

Seats you can get with the JR Pass without paying a supplement, like the "nobinobi searts" are very uncomfortable, I hear.

Japan
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3. Re: JR Pass/Nozomi

There are more Nozomi route departures per hour than Hikari, so you do have to put a little more thought into planning your schedule. Other than that, the difference in travel time, depending on the distance traveled, is usually only about 20-40 minutes.

For night trains, I found this site very helpful:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2356.html

UK
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4. Re: JR Pass/Nozomi

Apart from the seats referenced above, you can also use your rail pass to pay for the 'Josha ken' (fare ticket) part of a berth on a sleeper train - usually about half the cost. Can still make sense but the rub is that sleeper tickets go on sale a month in advance and will probably be sold out by the time you have exchanged your rail pass voucher for an actual pass... Only way to get a ticket is to ask a Japan based agency or friend to do so for you...

Japan
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5. Re: JR Pass/Nozomi

One year, I made reservations for a sleeper car as soon as I arrived in Japan, two weeks ahead of time. It worked, but I also had a back up plan in case it hadn't. It isn't impossible, but have a back up plan in case everything is already booked.

Aoyama Dori and San...
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6. Re: JR Pass/Nozomi

<<<Other than that, the difference in travel time, depending on the distance traveled, is usually only about 20-40 minutes.>>>

This is really only pertaining to Tokyo-area to Kansai-area (Kyoto/Osaka, etc.) travel. If you check Hyperdia and plug in Tokyo-Hiroshima (for instance) a Nozomi usually takes 4-hours plus a few minutes depending on the time of day. Uncheck Nozomi and that ~4-hour trip extends to 5:55-6:30 hours due to the connections that you "just miss by minutes" at Shin-Osaka, Shin-Kobe or Okayama. It is a brutal part of the schedule but if you print out the time table you will see that you literally miss your connection by minutes which costs you close to an extra hour waiting for the next train. The other delay is the busy JR West corridor has a lot more waiting time at stations for Nozomi and Mizuho trains to pass.

Japan
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7. Re: JR Pass/Nozomi

Thanks Route.

My goodness, it just keeps getting more and more complicated for JR pass holders!

Tokyo and California
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8. Re: JR Pass/Nozomi

When I go from Tokyo to Hiroshima or Hakata, I like stopping at Shin-Osaka. That way I can get some 551 Butaman (yum!) and take the Sakura Shinkansen onward :-)

San Francisco...
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9. Re: JR Pass/Nozomi

Actually, the Japan Rail Pass is an incredible deal (available for foreigners only) if you do a lot of intercity travel. When I've met people in Japan, they have been amazed at how much rail travel I do on my vacations, not realizing how little it costs me. Most are not aware that a fixed-price Pass is available to foreigners.

10. Re: JR Pass/Nozomi

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