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Questions on 7D Kansai Hokuriku pass

I will be in Japan for 8 days in early Jan. Plan to be based out of Kyoto and Osaka mostly and will travel from Kyoto to Kanazawa to take the Nohi bus to Shirakawago for a day trip likely on Jan 4 or 5. Also plan to visit Iga Ueno, Seki Juku, Wakayama, Kobe and Himeji Castle during the trip. It seems the 7D Kansai Hokuriku pass is the best pass for my plans. However, I would like to clarify the following:
1. Since the pass only covers unreserved seats on Haruka, Thunderbird, Kuroshio etc, does it mean we will have to pay to reserve seats for our journeys Kyoto <=>Kanazawa? What is the risk if we do not reserve the seats?
2. Does the pass cover Seki(Mie) station?

I know the Takayama Hokuriku pass provides for reserved seats on thunderbird but it does not cover the other areas which I am interested in. Should I take a risk and just get the 7D Kansai Hokuriku pass? Are there any tips on how we can ensure we will still be able to get on the train and have a seat with this pass?

Thanks in advance.


  • Hi,
    First, I'm not sure why you are saying there is reserved seating on the Thunderbird. According to the official page as well as
    there is no reserved seating on any train. You contradicted yourself under your first question.
    Trying to get seat reservations would be prohibitively expensive. You don't say when exactly you are traveling, but if it is after the New Year's rush (about Jan 3-4) there should be no problem getting a seat on a train.

    As shown on the map of the link above, Seki Stn is not covered. You'd need to pay the fare from Tsuge to Seki, but it's probably not much.
  • Hi,
    Sorry for the confusion. I know there is no reservation covered under the 7D Kansai Hokuriku pass. I am wondering if it is safe to travel without reservation. Was planning to do the day trip to shirakawago on Jan 4 or Jan 5. Given what you said about the New Year's rush, I will try to do it on Jan 5. Thanks for your reply.
  • Hi,
    Well now you are talking about something else. The bus to Shirakawago is not covered with this pass, and that bus does require seat reservations.
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