After receiving your JAPAN RAIL PASS, it is possible to make seat reservations at a “Midori-no-madoguchi” (ticket office).

Pictogram of a Midori-no-madoguchi (Ticket Office).

■There is no additional charge for making seat reservations. To make a reservation, go to any Travel Service Center or “Midori-no-madoguchi” (ticket office) at a JR station, or the sales office of a JR-associated travel agency. There, show your pass and obtain your reserved-seat ticket before boarding. (“NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains and the trains marked with *in the scope of available trains in the About page require payment of an additional charge.)
* Seat reservations cannot be made at unmanned stations or stations without a reservation function.

■ Shinkansen, limited express trains, and express trains have reserved Green car seats, reserved standard car seats, and non-reserved seats.
*(With a JAPAN RAIL PASS, "NOZOMI" and "MIZUHO" (including non-reserved seats in both) trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen Lines cannot be used. Please use the "HIKARI," "SAKURA," "KODAMA," or "TSUBAME" trains.)
*Some trains have no non-reserved seats (all seats are reserved).

■ You may use non-reserved seats (excluding "NOZOMI" and "MIZUHO" trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen Lines) just by showing your JAPAN RAIL PASS.
*Most of the "HIKARI" and "KODAMA" trains on the Sanyo Shinkansen Line (between Osaka and Hakata) and Kyushu Shinkansen Line (800 series) do not have Green Cars.
*Additional charges are required to use "Home Liners" and other "Liners."
*Please allow enough time when coming to the ticket office as the counter may be busy.
*Do not forget to pick up the reserved-seat ticket at a “Midori-no-madoguchi” (ticket office) or reserved seat ticket machine.


The periods when seat reservations are particularly difficult to secure are as follows:

  • April 27 to May 6
    On consecutive holidays during common travel seasons, some trains are crowded.
  • August 10 to 19
    During the Obon season, some trains are crowded with people returning to their hometowns.
  • December 28 to January 6
    The year end/New Year holiday period is the most popular travel time for Japanese people, for vacations and returns to hometown areas.

How to read reserved seat tickets

How to read reserved seat tickets

①Originating Station
②Departure Date
③Train Name
④Departure Time
⑥Arrival Time
⑦Non-Smoking Seat
⑧Seat Number
⑨Car Number

Alternatively, you can make a seat reservation at a reserved seat ticket machine

Reserved seat ticket machines are located in some of the JR stations. At a reserved seat ticket machine, you can have reserved seat tickets for the JAPAN RAIL PASS issued without having to stand in line at the "Midori-no-madoguchi".

Reserved seat tickets can be issued for most of the trains that can be used with a JAPAN RAIL PASS. However, reserved seats may not be booked when they cannot be used, such as booking reserved seats for the same time on different trains.

How to reserve and issue a reserved seat ticket at a reserved seat ticket machine

(1) Scan the QR code on your JAPAN RAIL PASS with the reader on the reserved seat ticket machine (or input the reservation number written on the PASS), and input your passport number.
(2) Input the travel section, date and time, etc., and select the train and facilities.
(3) Check the inputs, and if everything is correct, issue the ticket.

How to access the station platforms using your JAPAN RAIL PASS

Many JR stations have automatic ticket gates. From June 1, 2020, when going through the gate, insert the JAPAN RAIL PASS into the slot. After passing through the gate, do not forget to pick up the PASS after it comes out on the other side.

How to insert tickets into the automatic ticket gates

Automatic ticket gate

*You may not go through automatic ticket gates indicated to be "IC only"
*You cannot go through the gate with a seat reservation ticket only.