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JR ordinary pass cannot make reservation?

JR ordinary pass cannot make reservation?

Oct 23rd, 2005, 06:07 PM
  #1  
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JR ordinary pass cannot make reservation?

My local JR agent told me that only green car can be reserved. JR ordinary pass holders cannot reserve seats in advance. Is this true? Also, how to reserve? My son is 5 so technically he does not need a pass but how safe is it to not have a pass for him? I arrive in Tokyo at 7pm on 28th and will be staying in Narita Hilton. The next morning at 7.44 am I will take the Narita Express to Tokyo Station and change to Hikari 367 Shinkansen at 9.36am. My question is whether I should activate my pass on the day of arrival (where to activate?) so the next day I do not have to rush to activate it. Secondly, at Tokyo Station, how to go from the Narita Express platform to the Hikari platform? I have 32 minutes for transfer but with 3 kids, I am worried. Please help. Thanks so much
chchtrain is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2005, 06:16 PM
  #2  
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Sorry, I forgot to mention that we are going from Tokyo to Osaka on Hikari 367. How can I reserve online?
chchtrain is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2005, 06:17 PM
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We had ordinary JR passes and were able to reserve in advance. Unless something has changed, your agent is mistaken.

I don't know the answer about whether to have a pass for your son or not.

As for when to activate the pass, you can activate it at the airport and then use it to take the express train into Tokyo. But, if you're staying at the Hilton in Narita, it seems silly to activate it the day you arrive as you will be wasting a day of the pass without actually using it. I would get to the station a little early the following morning and activate it then.

laurieco is online now  
Oct 23rd, 2005, 06:40 PM
  #4  
 
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You can make reservations for seats from 30 days in advance. Maybe your agent outside of Japan cannot reserve seats for you...but you can certainly make the reservations once you are in Japan.

Children below elementary school age (6) are not required to have tickets for trains, but they are not entitled to seats, so the 5 year old will be on your lap if you have a seat. We have always bought a child's ticket for our daughter (about 50% off), even when she was very young, as it was more comfortable for all of us for her to have her own seat.
KimJapan is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2005, 07:09 PM
  #5  
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I just tried to reserve on eki-net. I wanted to reserve N Express on 29th but the results that came out says I booked on 24th(which is today) at 7.44 am (which has passed). How can I check whether it was a mistake? The result was not sent to my email. How can I retrieve and perhaps cancel and rebook? I found out that my Hiraki train is already full at the time I want, so I must try a later train hence perhaps I do not want such early N Express anymore. Please advise how to cancel.
chchtrain is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2005, 07:36 PM
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Sorry, can't help with eki-net...since we are in Japan, we reserve and buy tix at the station.

It's not at all uncommon for non-smoking seats to be completely booked out weeks in advance on the more popular lines. You can try a later time, but it's likely booked as well. If you really, really want reserved seats, then you can probably reserve smoking seats.

If you can get the station about an hour early, you can line up then for the non-reserved cars..being in the front of the line increases your chances of getting seats. People are quite nice about swapping around for the sake of families sitting together.

You might actually try to get an earlier train, or take a train that isn't shinkansen for part or all of your trip. This kind of creative seat seeking, especially for so many people, is really best done in person at the station, allowing plenty of time.
KimJapan is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2005, 08:03 PM
  #7  
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It seems all the Hikari trains are full from Tokyo to Osaka until noon. Any other alternative to get to Osaka? I can stay at another town instead of Narita the night of my arrival and catch Shinkansen to Osaka the next day. Also, how likely are we to get seats on unreserved trains?
chchtrain is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2005, 08:42 PM
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You don't have to take a shinkansen, but it will take much more time. You could fly if you wanted to.

If you are at the station early, and you are boarding the train at the station of origin, then your chances of getting a seat in the non-reserved cars is almost a sure thing. The morning Hikari trains I checked orginate at Tokyo, so being in line about an hour beforehand should pretty much guarantee you a seat.

Also, the Shinkansens don't go to Osaka station...they go to shin Osaka. You'll need to change trains in shin Osaka to get to Osaka. They are two different places. Shin Osaka (New Osaka) was build for the shinkansen...Osaka station does not have shinkansens.

Also understand that even if you don't have seats, that doesn't at all mean you can't ride the train. What it means is you will stand part of all of the way. You'll see people sitting in the spaces between the cars when It's really crowded.

You also might want to explore the possibility of paying the difference between regular and green car to get reserved seats. I'm not sure if you can pay a surcharge to ride the green car with a regular pass, but people with regular tickets can pay to upgrade. The green cars more often than not have seats avaiable,
KimJapan is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2005, 10:43 PM
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On the day of your arrival you can get your pass activated at the station at Narita Airport. You can have it activated for arrival day or for the day after (or for a later date). You could activate it at JR Shinjuku station on arrival day or next day. Depending on the hours of the office that does the exchange. Hours are listed on the JR website.

The Hilton has a shuttle to Shinjuku station.

For the 5 year old, can't OP just buy a reserved seat ticket? Not the fare ticket, but just the reserved seat for 700 yen or so.

Taking the shinkansen is really the best option.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 01:21 AM
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If the 5 year old uses a seat, a fare ticket is needed. The seat reservation fee is in addition to the fare. The JR Pass makes the reservations free.
KimJapan is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 01:26 AM
  #11  
 
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I found the explanation from JRWest in English for child fares. The same applies to JREast as well as other transportation systems we've used in Japan. http://www.westjr.co.jp/english/trav...ml#Definitions

KimJapan is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 04:09 AM
  #12  
emd
 
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Did you figure out how to cancel the eki reservation? I have a brochure from JR about using eki-net. It says :

Your reservation can be made from 10 a.m. one month prior to the train's departure up til 0:00 p.m. 2 days prior to train's departure.
You can apply for reserv. 24/7 but actual reserv. and reply email will only be made from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

It sounds like you realize that you can't change your reservation on eki-net. You have to cancel the original reserv. (cancellation fee required) and make a new one. Your request for cancellation will be accepted up until 3 p.m. of the day before your departure.

(I believe that if you do not cancel and do not show up, your credit card that you registered gets charged for the ticket. If you show up w/JR pass you get the tickets without payment.)

You can pick up your reserved tickets at any JR East reserv. ticket office or travel service center by showing the reply email titled "Notice of your reservation" which includes the reserv. #. The map in the borchure shows the pick-up area to be from the Tokyo area (across to Nagano on a line) up to the upper tip of Honshu, but not much further south than Tokyo and Nagano.

Brochure also says: In order to travel on the Sinkansen or NArita express both a seat reserv. and a basic fare ticket are needed. Please purchase the latter when you pick up the former.

I didn't realize this, but just in case anyone else is out there and is going to use eki-net, it is really a service "principally for making reservations for those using Narita as their gateway of Japan."

emd is offline  
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