Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Need Help ASAP - Green Car vs Ordinary Car: Japan Rail Pass

Need Help ASAP - Green Car vs Ordinary Car: Japan Rail Pass

Old Jul 12th, 2006, 02:29 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 744
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Need Help ASAP - Green Car vs Ordinary Car: Japan Rail Pass

I'm travelling to Japan this summer and will need to travel around the country on the shinkansen during a heavy travel time (o-bon period). I've read that it can be hard to get seats on the trains at this time, but that it's easier to get a seat if you have a Green Car pass.

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with this or can comment on this. It's $160 more but it's worth it if that's the only way I can get on the trains I need.

I just had a thought - I could get an ordinary car Japan Rail Pass, and if I couldn't book a reserved seat, I could always pay the additional surcharge to upgrade to the Green Car. Does anyone know how much that surcharge is?

Thanks very much for your help. I am going to try to get my ticket tomorrow, so any advice soon would be most appreciated.
birder is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2006, 04:26 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,352
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You will be able to get free seat reservations on all shinkansen and limited express trains with your JR Pass. You can get them well in advance, if you like.

You won't be buying your JR Pass on 8/8, of course, because you will be buying it (a voucher actually) before you leave your home country. You exchange the voucher for the pass when you get to Japan and can activate it for a later date. So, as early as July 24 you can get your pass activated to start on 8/8. Am not sure if you can get the seat res then or if you have to wait until the pass is active. But on the 8th, you can get all of your reserved seats thru the expiration date of the pass (would be Aug 21 for a 14-day pass)

If you don't have a reserved seat then you can use the unreserved cars and:

1) you'll be able to get on the train even if the seats are full.

2) you can get get in the boarding line well in advance of the train departure so that you are one of the first people to board. This will work when boarding at Tokyo station since it is a terminal and at major stations like Kyoto where lots of people get off. But, at Himeji station you might find that no seats are available.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2006, 04:31 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,352
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here is what it says at japanrailpass.com :
If you have an Ordinary-type JAPAN RAIL PASS and want to use a Green Car seat, you must pay the Green Car charge and the associated limited express or ordinary express charge.

The fare from Tokyo to Kyoto on a Hikari shinkansen is 7980 and would be covered by both passes. The limited express surcharge plus the ordinary reserved seat charge is 5440. That would be covered by the any JR Pass.

According to hyperdia the limited express surcharge plus the green seat charge is 9880. That would be covered by a JR green pass.

I believe that if you wanted to use an ordinary pass and make that trip in a green car, then your pass only covers the fare. That is, you would have to pay 9880 extra.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2006, 04:47 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,352
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One more thing. Before you get a green pass check japanrail.com to make sure that green cars are available on the trains you will be using. There are green cars on the Tokaido and Sanyo shinkansen Hikari trains. I think that some of the JR East shinkansen might not have green cars.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2006, 06:44 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 744
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks so much for the advice. I will be traveling quite a bit between Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and you're right, they won't have green cars on those trains. So that answers my question!
birder is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2006, 07:14 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,352
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You must have found the following statement on the JR pass website:

There are no Green Cars on most HIKARI and KODAMA trains on the Sanyo Shinkansen line (Shin-Osaka ·Hakata), or on TSUBAME trains on the Kyushu Shinkansen line(Shin-Yatsushiro – Kagoshima- chūō )

So the Hiroshima-Hakata travel would not be in a green car. Hakata-Nagasaki could be in a green car since that would be on a Kamome limited express. In any case, though, since (as I just read) the green cars are all reserved then if they are sold out then you'd be back in the ordinary cars with your green pass.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2006, 08:15 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 511
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, you can obtain the pass and all seat reservations at the same time even if the pass is not valid yet.
moxie is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
kdd
Asia
6
Mar 5th, 2014 09:28 PM
shirley_chl
Asia
17
Oct 22nd, 2010 09:44 AM
Travelingmommy
Asia
9
Sep 20th, 2007 12:03 PM
perkinsclan
Asia
8
Jan 19th, 2006 02:27 PM
debster
Asia
11
Apr 21st, 2005 08:00 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:16 PM.