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Mad Scientist
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  # 2247544 29-May-2019 09:37
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I used the app and they gave me wrong connections in osaka. Wife used Google maps and gave completely different connections but they were the correct ones. Ymmv.




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  # 2247731 29-May-2019 14:21
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There's a list of agents on the official JR Pass website, and there are several in New Zealand.

 

http://www.japanrailpass.net/area_07.html#NEWZEALAND

 

I've used both JTB and HIS, and I've been happy with the service. Prices differ between them because of the exchange rates they are using at the time. You can also buy from various overseas agents. I have heard good things about JRPass.com and Vivre le Japon (Paris-based, maybe the one referred to above), but jrailpass.com gets some negative feedback on TripAdvisor.

 

The JR Pass is most worthwhile for long-distance trips and it's a bit of a waste to use it on short trips around cities. The best online calculator I've found is https://www.japanstation.com/japan-rail-pass-value-calculator/ because it suggests regional rail pass options too.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2249795 2-Jun-2019 08:29
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We got ours here. It was the cheapest we could find - better value than the official pricing we saw.

 


EDIT - I recommend the Green passes if budget stretches. Very nice way to travel.






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  # 2249867 2-Jun-2019 12:06
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Green is considered "business class". But only on certain trains and they are almost exclusively long haul express, though not always. So it depends if your trips will utilize it. And you must reserve in advance (5 mins in advance is ok), you cannot just step into a Green train car.





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  # 2249897 2-Jun-2019 13:04
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I used JTB to get my passes in NZ before I traveled. My travel agent got the passes for me through them. They seem to be a good company to deal with as one of their travel agents was in Christchurch on business and gave me two hours of his time when planning the trip and he gave me a lot of invaluable information to help me plan.

 

Also you can get a standard pass and a green pass. The Std pass has no reservations and at peak times you may have to wait for the next train if the one you wanted to take is full. The green pass gives you a secured seat when getting the ticket. I think my passes were round $900.00 std class for five weeks and $1500.00 for green class. I got the green pass. Bit of extra comfort but I wanted the security of knowing I could get on the train I wanted.

 

I traveled from the top to bottom of Japan and the pass covered 99% of my train travel. There is some super express trains that the pass does not cover but that did not effect me. The only time I had to pay extra was for  a few main city subway rides.

 

You get the voucher here before you leave and I walked across to the railway station the first morning in Tokyo and got tickets for the first week of travel. There was a wait of about an hour as there was a lot waiting to be served before me. 

 

Another useful website is " Hyperdia "     It will give you the timetable for every train in Japan. I knew each day where I was going so printed out a schedule for each day, then handed that to the ticket seller so I got the ticket for the right train and at the time I wanted. It work well.


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  # 2249902 2-Jun-2019 13:16
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I had the Green pass, I'm not sure if it was worth the money. You sit in the Green reserved car with a row of 3 vs a row of 4 normal reserved cars.

 

Non green pass have reserved seats too, as above. You can reserve seats even without Green pass, but I suppose you have to reserve more than 5 mins in advance unlike us with the Green pass. 

 

If you have Green pass and don't reserve seats you're treated like a normal pass holder, you compete with the masses.





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  # 2249948 2-Jun-2019 14:46
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Yea I tried to reserve seats with a normal pass and there weren't any seats left at the time.  But there were seats available anyway so it was fine.  I have had to stand for the two hours from Kyoto to Tokyo in the past though.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2250002 2-Jun-2019 15:35
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ah if that happened then I'd say my green pass was worth it! all my reservations were literally 5 mins before boarding time!





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  # 2250032 2-Jun-2019 17:26
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Reservation availability for both Green and Ordinary class varies according to route.

 

On the Tokaido shinkansen between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka, Ordinary class reservations do tend to sell out earlier than Green, but I've only once not been able to reserve a seat in Ordinary class on this route. Business people who are the major customers for Green tend to take the Nozomi train on this route, which is unavailable to JR Pass users, thus leaving plenty of Green seats in the Hikari.

 

On the Sanyo shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Hakata (Fukuoka), some shinkansen don't even have Green cars. Green seats tend to sell out earlier on this route than the Ordinary reserved seats. With the massive increase in tourists to Japan (more than double over the last 5 years), this is happening more often.

 

Whether you have a Green Pass or an Ordinary Pass, you can still reserve up to 5 minutes before departure time if there are seats available.

 

Having tried both Green and Ordinary, I don't think slightly more spacious seating and a hot towel in the shinkansen is worth paying extra for. Also, my travel in Japan is getting more and more off the main shinkansen route, where the difference between Green and Ordinary is less noticeable, and sometimes Green doesn't exist.


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  # 2250070 2-Jun-2019 21:18
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Batman:

Green is considered "business class". But only on certain trains and they are almost exclusively long haul express, though not always. So it depends if your trips will utilize it. And you must reserve in advance (5 mins in advance is ok), you cannot just step into a Green train car.



Reservations are easy though and you can actually do your entire trip in one visit to the station.





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