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Japan Rail Pass - Golden Week - First Class better?


We will be in Japan over the Golden Week (we did not check it out before booking the flights :( ) and are planning to go a lot by train. We know the Golden Week will be very busy. Would it be better to buy the First Class ticket or will the trains be full anyway?

And will it be better to be more in Tokio during Golden Week or is it better to stay away from Tokio? We read recommendations for both.

Thank you so much for you answers.

Best regards


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    Golden Week does not have to be the nightmare that so many portray it as. There is a mass exodus of people from the big cities at the start, and their return at the end. As long as you are not fighting the other people for the same seats, Golden Week does not have to be so bad at all. In fact the big cities will be a lot emptier than normal. That said, popular resorts and amusement parks can have a ton of people, and hotels near there can fill up months ahead of time.

    I'll share with you a secret. Golden Week is actually one of the most beautiful times to be in Japan. You can see a lot of amazing beautiful places. The wisteria comes into full bloom from the end of April through the first week of May, and while many get starry eyed about the cherry blossoms, very few ever find the amazing beauty of these purple flowers. There are not as many places to see them, but the two most famous are the Ashikaga Flower Park and in Kitakyushu, the Kawachi Fujien.
    Another beautiful jewel is the nemophila at the Hitachi Seaside Park near Mito, north of Tokyo.
    If you can get there in late April before Golden Week starts, so much the better. But it too is simply goegeous when it’s at its peak.
    It’s also tulip season, such as at Toyama’s annual tulip fair, as well as Hitachi Seaside Park.
    And the beautiful azaleas. There are some stunning places to see them. In Tokyo, a few of the finest are Nezu Shrine and Shiofune Kannonji in Tokyo, and in Saga, there is Mifuneyama Rakuen
    and Komyozenji.
    And still another gem is there - the canola blossoms, such as at the Iiyama's Nanohana Park in Nagano:
    And if you still have your heart set on the cherry blossoms - you still can enjoy them in Hokkaido, at Matsumae Castle.

    So don't fret about Golden Week, take advantage of it.
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