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TestudoToTetsudo

JR Ticket Offices and Reservations

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TestudoToTetsudo

A friend of mine is going to Japan this fall and wants to ride a couple reserved legs on his Japan Rail Pass (he's considering "Going Green").

 

I had an ordinary pass and went in Jiyuseki on Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen when I was in Japan as an adult, so I don't remember much of doing the whole reservations thing at the ticket office.  But my friend will need to for his green car reservations.

 

My friend doesn't know much Japanese, but I see that JR East now has English-Speaking ticket offices at Narita.  Do you know if the JR East ticket office can do reservations for other JR group trains for Japan Rail Pass holders?  Or only JR East trains?

 

Thanks!

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bikkuri bahn

Your friend can make all reservations for all JR Group trains at JR East ticket counters, the same goes for any ticket counter (midori no madoguchi) at other JR Group stations (JR Kyushu, JR West, JR Tokai, JR Shikoku, JR Hokkaido).  The reservation system (MARS) is nationwide.

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TestudoToTetsudo
Your friend can make all reservations for all JR Group trains at JR East ticket counters, the same goes for any ticket counter (midori no madoguchi) at other JR Group stations (JR Kyushu, JR West, JR Tokai, JR Shikoku, JR Hokkaido).  The reservation system (MARS) is nationwide.

Thanks for such a quick response!  Great to know for him and for me when I hope to go to Japan next year!

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westfalen

If the clerk at the ticket window can't speak English just write the date you want to travel, stations and times down on a piece of paper, eg;

 

Monday 15/07

Tokyo 0900 --> Morioka 1132

 

and hand them your pass. They may not be able to understand what you're saying but they will be able to read the station names and times.

 

I've sucessfully made reservations at little one horse towns while I've been waiting for the next train. Japan is not quite as foriegner unfriendly as many first timers think.

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JR 500系
If the clerk at the ticket window can't speak English just write the date you want to travel, stations and times down on a piece of paper, eg;

 

Monday 15/07

Tokyo 0900 --> Morioka 1132

 

and hand them your pass. They may not be able to understand what you're saying but they will be able to read the station names and times.

 

I've sucessfully made reservations at little one horse towns while I've been waiting for the next train. Japan is not quite as foriegner unfriendly as many first timers think.

 

Yes i'll second that. Japan is actually quite easy to go free and easy, even if you don't speak the language...

 

Furthermore, just to add on, you can actually just tell them where you want to go.

 

For example, you are at Narita Airport at the moment, and wish to go to, say Sapporo, like i did. It involved both JR East and JR Hokkaido trains, but all can be done at the same time. Besides, all you need to do it to tell the staff at the desk:

 

私は札幌に行きたい - Watashi wa Sapporo ni ikitai

or: I wish to go to Sapporo.

 

And they will judge based on the time now and connect you all the way to Sappro, using the fastest and also the route that is fully covered by the JR Pass so you need not pay any additional fees... They will then produce quite a number of tickets, since there are multiple connections. They will then slowly try to explain to you in English, or just explain to you in Japanese using a pen to point at the ticket shown timing and train service number so that you understand all the connections required and wait at the correct platforms.

 

It's really easy, even if you don't speak a single Japanese. But some Japanese will definately help ~~

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lurkingknight

I didn't have any trouble at all booking shinkansen tickets in osaka with our railpass. The ticket agent we had spoke enough english to send us on our way.

 

A little bit of both languages, some and gestures and sound effects can make due. It really helps if you learn hiragana and katakana too... some things aren't romanized and being able to pick them out is a great help.

 

The ticket agent did exactly as jr500 described, even though his english was good enough to understand, he turned his screen toward us and pointed out the options closest to the times that we wanted to travel (we had a list with dates and times prepared beforehand)

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westfalen

I usually write down the trains I want to book on because of the very fact that the ticket clerks will do what they think is the right thing by me and put me on the quickest most direct routing, that's usually anything but the way I travel. :grin

 

What I like is that you could go to the ticket window in Wakkanai and ask for a seat on the SL Yamaguchi and a room on the Sunrise Express without so much as a "You want what?"

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TestudoToTetsudo

Thanks for the additional comments everyone!  I'll let my friend know to write down his reservations requests as a back up (he may also make another, purchased/not with pass, reservation and ticket buy to ride GranClass on the Tohoku Shinkansen).

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the_weird_one

http://www.hyperdia.com/en/ is a seriously useful website for planning train journey's in Japan - the iPad/Phone app is also worth every penny/cent/yen/other denomination that they charge for it, does require a live internet service though so try to use it on a free hotspot in Japan if you've got a 3/4G enabled pad.

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lurkingknight

hyperdia is great, sometimes though it doesn't pick the best route.. or the most scenic... great for finding out what the fares are ahead of time though and easy to supplement google maps with.

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TestudoToTetsudo
http://www.hyperdia.com/en/ is a seriously useful website for planning train journey's in Japan - the iPad/Phone app is also worth every penny/cent/yen/other denomination that they charge for it, does require a live internet service though so try to use it on a free hotspot in Japan if you've got a 3/4G enabled pad.

 

I love using Hyperdia and have told my friend about it.  It's my most important planning tool for my trips to Japan!

 

My question was more about making reservations for all-reserved services after one identifies which reserved services you need to take on Hyperdia...

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