Can someone please tell me when using the rail pass if you ever need an additional ticket? For instance, if we take the bullet train to Kyoto, do we literally just show our pass when we board the train, or do we need to show our pass to a ticket agent and get a special ticket? Similarly, when using the pass for trains in Tokyo that allow it, do we just board and show the pass, or do we need to use it to purchase different tickets? Hopefully this makes sense!
Typically all that you do is, when you come to the ticket turnstiles, you go through the line with a staff person and show them your pass, and they’ll wave you through.
Although if you want to ride with a seat reservation, you need to go to the JR green window ticket office and have them print you a physical ticket, it’s just free when you show them the JR pass. Then you show both at the ticket turnstile.
Thank you so much for your answer! If we take the bullet train and do not reserve seats, we need no extra ticket then, correct?
Correct. You’ll have to check for the specific train you want to take, but for the Hikari and Kodama trains from Tokyo to Kyoto, the first five cars are unreserved so you can park yourself wherever a seat’s available.
That being said, I still recommend getting a seat reservation, especially if you’re going to be travelling during a busy season or time of day.
When you exchange your JR Pass voucher for the actual pass, they will give you a little fold-up booklet with the main ticket stuck to the back. You just show the back of this booklet when you pass through the ticket turnstiles - note that you will have to use the turnstile next to the station attendant’s office each time.
When you make seat reservations, you will be issued with separate ticket cards - for free. A conductor might ask to see these on the train.
Don’t stress, the JR Pass is incredibly easy to use!
Thank you SO much for your help! I tried asking this question on another site and no one seemed to understand! Thanks again!
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