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kathyl Mar 29th, 2004 12:40 PM

Japan during Golden week
We (husband, mom, and myself) will be in Japan during the Golden Week in May. Yes, I know that this is not the best time to go because everyone will be on vacation. But that is exactly why we are going--that's when my brother and his fiance are on vacation and free to travel with us.

That said, I am a bit worried about getting train reservations for that week. We will be arriving on April 29 (4pm) and will be traveling to Miyajima/Hiroshima (May 2-3) and Kyoto (May 4-5). Since we won't be able to activate our JR passes till we arrive in Japan, will we have any problems reserving seats for our train travels???

KimJapan Mar 29th, 2004 03:09 PM

You might have trouble making the seat reservations, but that doesn't mean at all that you can't travel on the trains you want. Without reservations, you just wait on line for the non-reserved cars and hope for a seat. If there are no seats, you stand. It's not uncommon for trains to be filled to 150% - 200% capacity during peak travel time...that just means that there are double the number of people on the train than there are seats, and they are all travelling in the non-reserved seat cars or between cars. When you arrive and activate your JR passes, you should certainly try to make your reservations then...and if you can't get any, don't worry, just be prepared to stand in a crowd.

You will have great weather! Enjoy your trip!

mrwunrfl Mar 29th, 2004 05:07 PM

You can make reservations before you go to Japan. Visit the following website:

Alec Mar 30th, 2004 02:57 AM

Be careful when reserving seats through world.eki-net with a JR Pass. If you fail to collect your reserved tickets from JR East station (because you've changed your mind or schedule), the full face value (including Limited Express fee) will be charged to your card.

kathyl Mar 30th, 2004 09:17 AM

mrwunrfl and Alec-

Can I reserve seats at when our JR passes have not been activated yet? Our dates/times are pretty set so there shouldn't be any changes... thanks!

yathy Mar 30th, 2004 09:23 AM

Generally, trains FROM big cities such as Tokyo, Osaka will be crowded at the beginning of Golden Week, and at the end, trains TO such cities will be crowded. trains go opposite direction will be less crowded, sometimes unbelievably vacant.

Of course, trains run early morning or late at night will be less crowded.

Think how people will act and do reverse. That will help you to use trains comfortably even during the Golden Week in Japan.

Alec Mar 30th, 2004 09:51 AM

Yes you can. Go to the eki-net site and click 'Using JR Pass'. The reserved tickets will have the full fare printed on them, but by showing your activated pass (you have to do this before you collect your tickets)you will get them free.

kathyl Mar 31st, 2004 08:17 AM

Thanks for all the advice. I will look into reserving seats using that website. I feel a lot better now!

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