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Is a seat reservation required ? 2009/9/3 22:49
Narita
I will use a JR ordinary pass to take Narita express to Tokyo. Do I need to reserve a seat first before I get on a train? Can I just simply hop on the train? In Japan, can I just get on any JR train without an reservation ? or I will have to always make a reservation first via internet?
by blueriver2009  

... 2009/9/4 08:24
Do I need to reserve a seat first before I get on a train?

Yes! All seats on the Narita Express are reserved.

Can I just simply hop on the train?

No.

In Japan, can I just get on any JR train without an reservation ?

Most trains have non-reserved seats, in which case you can just get on any JR train. But there are a few exceptions of trains that are fully reserved. Among them is the Narita Express.

or I will have to always make a reservation first via internet?

No.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Seat reservations 2009/9/4 08:34
Blueriver,

Note that while you cannot just jump on a Narita Express train from Narita Airport without a seat reservation, it is not necessary (and is actually not advisable) to reserve in advance. You can reserve seats at the JR ticket counter at the same time you activate your Japan Rail Pass.
For most other trains in Japan, including the shinkansen, you don't need to reserve seats, so can just hop on and off trains using your railpass.
by Dave in Saitama (guest) rate this post as useful

nex reservation 2009/10/19 16:18
Hi everyone:)

I actually am also curious about the NEX reservation story:)
The NEX website advises that travellers don't make a reservation prior to their arrival, but rather at Narita airport (which i will be doing when i buy my JR east pass:). For the journey back to narita airport, should i make an advance reservation? i'll be returning to tokyo via tohoku shinkansen, so would it be advisable to make the return shinkansen (sendai to tokyo) and the NEX reservation (tokyo to narita apt) in advance?:)
Would it be a problem to just "hop on and off" the shinkansen and nex as Dave says?:)
Just as an aside, I'm not planning on reserving my shinkansen ticket from tokyo to sendai, just thought i'd "hop on" hehe, but is that really ok?:)
thanks for your advice!:)
by ciwibird (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2009/10/19 17:26
For the journey back to narita airport, should i make an advance reservation?

Yes, unless you do not know your exact date and time of departure yet.

i'll be returning to tokyo via tohoku shinkansen, so would it be advisable to make the return shinkansen (sendai to tokyo) and the NEX reservation (tokyo to narita apt) in advance?:)

Yes.

Would it be a problem to just "hop on and off" the shinkansen and nex as Dave says?:)

If the shinkansen has dars with unreserved cars, you can just hop on with your Japan Rail Pass and use the unreserved seats. However, if you want to use reserved seating, a seat reservation is required in advance. Japan Rail Pass regulations state that the seat reservations have to be made before boarding the train.

Note that the Narita Express and the fastest shinkansen between Sendai and Tokyo (Hayate and Komachi) do not carry unreserved seating. The slightly slower Yamabiko trains between Sendai and Tokyo do.

Just as an aside, I'm not planning on reserving my shinkansen ticket from tokyo to sendai, just thought i'd "hop on" hehe, but is that really ok?:)

If you use unreserved seating on a Yamabiko train, yes. But if you want to use a Hayate train, Komachi train or reserved seating on a Yamabiko train, you must make seat reservations in advance and cannot just hop on.
by Uji rate this post as useful

thank you! 2009/10/19 21:27
thanks so much for your advice Uji,
very helpful!:)
by ciwibird rate this post as useful

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