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Train reservation - can it be changed

Wodonga, Australia
Level Contributor
580 posts
179 reviews
Train reservation - can it be changed

Hello

We will be in Japan next month and we will have a JR Train Pass for our travels. We intend to make reservations for all our train travel which will include Tokyo to Takayama, then to Kanazawa, then Hiroshima, then Okayama and finally to Kyoto. We plan to do all reservations when we arrive in Tokyo from Australia.

If we book say for example Okayama to Kyoto departing at 10.30am but we decide we would like to stay in Okayama for a few more hours, is it permissible to cancel the 10.30 reservation and make a new reservation for 4.00pm using our JR Pass.

Thanks for any assistance.

Paul

Australia

12 replies to this topic
1. Re: Train reservation - can it be changed

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Japan
Level Contributor
4,199 posts
149 reviews
2. Re: Train reservation - can it be changed

Yes, you can change reservations easily.

Booking ahead is a good idea. Some of those links get heavily booked, and doing a set of bookings for your trip saves waiting in line multiple times around the country if you were doing tickets at each point. Some places you might only have to wait a few minutes to do a reservation, but other times 30 minutes standing in a queue when you want to catch a train is not a good experience. (I tend to pick times to book tickets when the ticket offices are quiet, often late in the day.)

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
5,310 posts
24 reviews
3. Re: Train reservation - can it be changed

Yes, with the JR Pass, you can cancel your reservation and make a new reservation at any Japan Rail station. There is no charge for this service.

Try to make your changes at least a few hours in advance, so that JR will have the opportunity to re-sell the seats you won't be using.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
Level Contributor
11,122 posts
28 reviews
4. Re: Train reservation - can it be changed

It is helpful if you can type out a list of the reservations you want to hand to the JR staff. Watching how quickly their fingers dance across their screen is a great introduction to Japan and the culture shock involved even around the modern and mundane.

I usually make my reservations when I exchange my Japan Rail Pass voucher for the pass but it depends on how long the queue is.

Wodonga, Australia
Level Contributor
580 posts
179 reviews
5. Re: Train reservation - can it be changed

Thank you all for the advice and suggestions. It is most reassuring.

Edited: 06 August 2018, 14:24
Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
57,819 posts
67 reviews
6. Re: Train reservation - can it be changed

If the line at the airport to exchange your voucher and make reservations is long, please consider just making your first reservation from the airport. Make the rest of your reservations at another less crowded JR station in Tokyo.

Vermont
Level Contributor
3,882 posts
670 reviews
7. Re: Train reservation - can it be changed

Yes we've done this many times. Well, not many many times.

We too get all our tickets for 30 days at the start of each trip. Sometimes plans do change.

Printing out the hyperdia options for the trains you think you want and then highlighting the one you actually do want makes it easy on the agent. I you want to change though, you probably won't be able to print out your new choice - but you can write it out before you visit the ticket agent.

One thing we have found is that the ticket agent is most appreciative that we are *returning/exchanging* the unused tickets (I assume other folks just don't bother?)

Do wait until you have the replacement tickets in hand before giving up the ones you don't intend to use.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
5,310 posts
24 reviews
8. Re: Train reservation - can it be changed

The Japanese word for "cancel" is "can-say-ru." Just hand the ticket agent your reservation card and say "can-say-ru."

Japan
Level Contributor
4,199 posts
149 reviews
9. Re: Train reservation - can it be changed

>>>If the line at the airport to exchange your voucher and make reservations is long, please consider just making your first reservation from the airport. <<<

If the lines are long at the exchange office they will generally only do one booking and direct you to a normal ticket office to do the rest. With the number of vouchers being exchanged, count on only being able to do one booking. That is the current, usual practice at the busy offices I visit.

Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
519 posts
19 reviews
10. Re: Train reservation - can it be changed

Yes, you can. You can even change to an earlier train like what I did. I reserved seats for a 7:40A departure from Shinagawa to Kyoto. I actually arrived in Shinagawa around 6:50A. Since the Shinkansen ticket booth was empty, I went up and showed my 7:40 ticket and my cell with hyperdia showing the 7:10 shinkansen and asked if I can get on that one if possible. He took my ticket and thanked me for then proceeded to input it on comp and he apologized that there was no window seat. I said it was fine (the 7:40 shinkansen had no window seats available also). He then gave me my new ticket and I was on my way.

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