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Can I reserve 2 seats on one pass?

My son arrives in Japan a week after I do and right at the start of Golden Week. I want to reserve a seat for him so we can travel together the first couple of days using our Rail passes.

Please advise if
(1) I can reserve a seat for him when I make my own reservation before he arrives (ie 2 seats on one pass at the same time)
(2) I can reserve a seat for me at one office and then use my pass to reserve a second seat at another office?
I know this second option is not strictly playing by the rules but I expect the start of Golden Week to be very difficult for reservations when he arrives

Appreciate advice from the forum.



  • Hi,
    Since the one pass entitles one person to ride, you can only reserve one seat. At best, you can reserve a seat with the one next to it currently vacant, but there is no way to hold that seat from somebody else.
    As for #2, JR is all tied into the same computer network - they all use the same seat map, so obviously trying an end-run around them is not going to work.
    What you can do is as soon as your son arrives in Japan, have him activate his pass ASAP (the first day of use can be a future date, within a month). Then you can try to find seats together. You should know however that Golden Week in spite of all the hysteria raised by so many, does not have to be a hell on earth. You will see a mass exodus of people from the big cities at the start, and their return at the end. If you are going in another direction and not fighting the Japanese for the same seats, travel in GW does not have to be so bad at all.
    If you are taking a JR East train, you can also reserve seats ahead of time (but for where most foreign tourists go, between Tokyo and Kansai, it is not JR East).
  • Hello Tenjin - thank you for your helpful message on seat reservations and also the comments on Golden week!! Most appreciated!
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