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HappyTrvlr Feb 6th, 2018 09:29 AM

Train seatteservations using Japan Raill Pass
We will be in Japan during Cherry Blossom season and will have a Japan Rail Pass. Is there any way we can make seat reservations from the USA before we leave? If we canít do this, could a travel agent, perhaps one in Tokyo?

Adastra2200 Feb 6th, 2018 12:31 PM

You don't specify which trains you are riding. If on a JR East train, it is possible to do so online.
For anything else, you can only reserve seats at a JR office - and you'd need a ticket or activated pass to do so. So the travel agent idea is out. What you could try is as soon as you arrive in Japan, activate your pass with a future date set as your first day. and then reserve your train, or all of them if you can religiously follow the schedule. You can see Japanese train schedules and transfer info on Hyperdia.

You can see the current cherry blossom forecasts here. Check from the middle or end of February from time to time to see the latest updates. Although accuracy only really gets good within about a month of the start of the season. Of course Mother Nature is not under any obligation to follow anybody's itinerary or schedule.

HappyTrvlr Feb 7th, 2018 04:12 PM

Thanks. I will buy a Japan Rail Pass for the nation think I will have everything written out when I arrive at Narita to have them booked then.

Kavey Feb 7th, 2018 11:00 PM

When we land at the airport, we exchange our voucher AND get a whole list of tickets / seat reservations made. It's taken a fair while because, quite rightly, they dealt with the queue of travellers looking to exchange vouchers and / or buy a simple regular ticket first, but that was fine by us. I had a printed list of exactly what trains I wanted reserved -- date, time, departure point to arrival point, train name and I explained our seat preferences.

Ahead of travelling, I'm not sure it could be possible as you need the active JR Pass (not the voucher) to make the reservations.

mrwunrfl Feb 8th, 2018 09:45 AM

Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr (Post 16670418)
Thanks. I will buy a Japan Rail Pass for the nation think I will have everything written out when I arrive at Narita to have them booked then.

Ok, but it is not really necessary unless "we" are a group. This is not like booking airplane seats. If you are not taking the N'Ex then there is no point. If you are taking the N'Ex then you can just get your passes and seat res for that train.

I would not book all of the seats in advance at one time, but if I did then I wouldn't do it at JR Narita Airport station. Not when they are basically saying "we don't want to do this now, so wait some more".

Better, I think, is to get all of those reservations at your N'Ex destination. Better yet, get them the next day. There are separate lines for seat reservations.

Look for the seat reservations sign:

This is the JR sign for seat reservations, though you will likely see "Seat Reservations" in English.

HappyTrvlr Mar 6th, 2018 01:51 PM

Thanks,mrwunrfl for this advice.

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