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Question re: seat reservations with JR Pass

Medford, Oregon
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Question re: seat reservations with JR Pass

Traveling Kyoto - HIroshima and HIroshima - Tokyo on JR Pass. I have read that for those longer haul rides it is best to to make seat reservations when we activate Pass at airport when we arrive. We arrive March 20 and will be traveling Kyoto-Hiro on March 25 (Fri) and Hiro-Tokyo March 26 (Sat). So, two questions will they have the schedule there so I can see the exact times to chose from ( i hear schedule change is March 12 and hyperdia doesn't have new sched. up)? If we make seat reservations on one train and then decide later to change to another train can we do that? Or just skip the reserved seats and try to get on another train without a reservation?


Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Question re: seat reservations with JR Pass

There is really no reason to book them at the airport the minute you arrive. You can do it at any JR ticket office in the first few days you are n Tokyo. The schedule will probably not change very much, and in any case you can use Hyperdia yourself and check between March 12th and the 20th when you arrive.

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2. Re: Question re: seat reservations with JR Pass

If you do have reserved seats and change your mind, don't just skip the reserved seats. You'll deny someone else the opportunity to have those seats. Go to the station in advance and tell them you want to change your seat. I've done that several times, and they'll do it for you without a problem.

Tokyo and California
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for Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Shinjuku, Japan
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3. Re: Question re: seat reservations with JR Pass

Here is a good Shinkansen timetable. For Tokyo-Kyoto-Hiroshima, look for the station in the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen box at upper left corner and click on the station name. Be sure to note the direction the train is heading. Kyoto to Hiroshima should say "Hakata Direction" and Hiroshima to Tokyo, "Tokyo Direction."


As you already know, the timetable might change slightly after March 12th.

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4. Re: Question re: seat reservations with JR Pass

The timetable will comprehensively change this Saturday as you're aware. New trains Mizuho and Sakura start running from Osaka to Hiroshima and onto Kagoshima. You can't take Mizuho or Nozomi on the JR Pass. You need to stick to Sakura and Hikari Railstar when travelling between Osaka and Hiroshima. Overall travel times won't vary a lot but schedules may. Hyperdia still shows old/current schedules, so you might check on new schedules next week hoping it will be updated. Station clerks of course will tell you new schedules if asked.

If you aren't sure what time you can board trains, I think you should book trains at the last minute.

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5. Re: Question re: seat reservations with JR Pass

If you have your hotels booked etc then your itinerary will be complete so you could reserve the train seats when you activate the pass. The only seat we didn't reserve meant that when we arrived at the station there were no more seats available in the non smoking carriage so had to travel in the smoking carriage which was terrible for us non smokers.

6. Re: Question re: seat reservations with JR Pass

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