How to book a reserved seat

  • Shinkansen*, most limited express and ordinary express trains have reserved Green Car seats and both reserved and non-reserved ordinary car seats. (The JAPAN RAIL PASS is not valid for any seats, reserved or non-reserved, on “NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen. Please use “HIKARI,” “SAKURA,” “KODAMA,” and “TSUBAME” trains.)
  • A non-reserved seat (except for “NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen) can be used simply by showing your JAPAN RAIL PASS.
  • Seat reservations can be made without additional payment. To make a reservation, go to any Travel Service Center or a Reservation Office (Midori-no-madoguchi) at a JR station, or to the sales office of a JR-associated travel agency. There, show your PASS, and obtain your reserved-seat ticket before the boarding. (“NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains and the trains marked with * require the payment of an additional charge.)

※ There are no Green Cars on most “HIKARI” and “KODAMA” trains on the Sanyo Shinkansen line (Shin-Osaka—Hakata), or on Series 800 trains on the Kyushu Shinkansen line.
※ The JR buses “Mizuumi-go” between Aomori and Towadako and “Oirase-go” between Hachinohe and Towadako require reservations. Please obtain your reserved-seat ticket before boarding these buses.
※ Use of Homeliner or other Liner trains is subject to additional fees.
※ Some trains have no non-reserved seating (all seats are reserved).
※ The process of obtaining your reserved-seat ticket may take longer than you expect, for example due to a line at the ticket counter. Please leave enough time when you visit the ticket counter.

※ Do not use an automatic ticket-reading gate with a JAPAN RAIL PASS or a reserved-seat ticket. Please show the PASS at a manned ticket gate.
※ Please note that during crowded periods you cannot be guaranteed a seat on a specific train. The periods when seat reservations are particularly difficult to secure are as follows: [December 28 to January 6] The New Year holiday period is the most popular travel time for Japanese people, for vacations and returns to hometown areas. [April 27 to May 6] Due to consecutive holidays in a comfortable travel season, there is large-scale travel throughout Japan for leisure and recreation. [August 11 to 20] Another time for traditional travel to hometown areas, called the Obon season.