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Can we reserve JR seats before ?

Can we reserve JR seats before the activation date? like for example we are going to pick up our JR pass Monday then we start using it Wednesday, can we reserve our seat on the same day we pick up the the pass? on the same place we pick up the card?


  • Dear customer,

    Thank you for contacting us.

    If you want to book a seat you can do so without additional charges before you catch your train by going into a booking office at the train station (midori no madoguchi) and showing your Japan Rail Pass.

    Booking website are usually in Japanese only, and therefore not very easy to use for non Japanese speakers. The JR East Shinkansen Reservation office is the only one with an English version that allows online booking.

    However, you can only book Shinkansen and Limited Express trains running on the JR East network, that is to say Tokyo, the Northern part of Japan and the Narita Express.

    You can however exchange your vouchers for the JR Pass once you get to Japan and start booking your seats straight away.


    Japan Experience
  • Hi,
    The short answer is no - you can't reserve seats with just the voucher - you need the active pass. Although as said, JR East allows you to if you can do it online.
    Once you have the pass, you can reserve seats at any JR office. Reservations are free.
    You can see regular fares, routes and schedules on Hyperdia.
    Under "More Options", be sure to uncheck the Nozomi box since you can't ride that train using the pass.
    You can reserve seats on the same day before you board, or do all your seat reservations ahead of time if you keep a strict schedule and know which train you will board. Some trains like the Narita Express require seat reservations.

    Hope that helps.
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