JR Online Seat Reservations Now Available
Passengers can now make advance seat reservations online for certain JR trains in northeast Japan and Hokkaido, including most express and bullet trains.
From February 2017, travellers to Japan can now make seat reservations in advance for certain JR trains to and in parts of northeast Japan, including Hokkaido and the Tohoku region north of Tokyo. Seat reservations can be made online using the JR East Train Reservation Service, which can also be accessed from the following URL:
Reservations can be made from one month before the the travel date up until 11:40 p.m. (23:40, Japan Standard Time) three days prior to the travel date.
After arrival in Japan, passengers can collect their seat reservation tickets at their chosen location. These include designated JR East and JR Hokkaido stations and JR travel service centres and information desks as well as JR West Kanazawa and Toyama stations.
Seat reservation tickets can be collected any time up until the day before the train’s departure, and are free of charge for holders of JR rail passes such as the Japan Rail Pass, the Hokkaido Rail Pass, and the JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass.Eligible trains include the Hokuriku Shinkansen (Tokyo-Kanazawa), shinkansen and major limited express trains in the JR East area north of Tokyo, and shinkansen, limited express and rapid airport trains in the JR Hokkaido area (some exceptions apply). Reservations cannot be made for local stopping trains or sightseeing trains.
Until now, seat reservations - including those for holders of rail passes such as the JR Pass - could only be made after arriving in Japan. However, the new online reservation system makes it even easier and more convenient for foreign visitors to travel comfortably on Japanese trains such as the bullet train and express trains.
Detailed information on eligible trains, how to collect seat reservation tickets, and how to make changes or cancellations to seat reservations can be found on JR Hokkaido's website: http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/pdf/e/tr201701.pdf