5 Great Tips on How to Take Non-Reserved Seat on Shinkansen




Taking bullet train is exciting and fun!

But did you know that it has reserved and non-reserved cars?

This article focuses on non-reserved seats on bullet train.



Those English words are hard to understand for non-Japanese →  10 Mysterious Vocabs


Not only sushi, but Japan has great dishes! → 5 Yummy Food You Better Try in Japan



What to Do Before Boarding

If you take bullet train for few hours, I would recommend you to buy some food and drinks.


I almost always eat ekiben, which literally means station bento.

Ekiben is a special bento box and offers various ingredients.

Contents depend on area (Prefecture) and usually pictures are available for each ekiben.

If you are not sure what to get, refer the pictures!


It is a great way to enjoy seasonal vegetables and fish while traveling. 



5 Tips on Non-Reserved Seat on Bullet Train


Below are 5 important tips to take bullet train non-reserved seat efficiently.


Avoid Long Weekend and Holiday 


It is important NOT to take Shinkansen during holiday.

For instance, it is very difficult to get a seat during Obon season or the end of December.

Because many people go back to their hometown, bullet train would be packed.

Even tickets for reserved seats may be hard to purchase.


Same thing happens for long weekend. So avoid holidays if possible.

The best time is during week.



Buy Tickets

The best way to get Shinkansen tickets is advance purchase.

It is cheaper and you don’t have to rush to buy tickets at station.


If you prefer to buy in the station, simply go early and try to be ready by the departure time.



Check Non-Reserved Car Number



There are various Shinkansen and their name and shapes are different.

You don’t have to remember the name, but always make sure the destination.


After making sure which train to take, you need to check non-reserved cars.

This is different from one train to another so you always must check.


For example, bullet train A may have non-reserved cars between #1-5, while bullet train B may have between #1-7 and #13-15.



Go to Boarding Area 


After checking non-reserved car number, go to the non-reserved car number and wait on line.

If you don’t wait on line, the number of passengers increases more and more and you may not get seat.

When it is packed, many people remain standing.



Take a Seat Quickly


When entering the train, you have to take a seat as soon as you see vacant one.

If you think for seconds, you might miss the seat.


If you see empty seat, just take it!



Another Tip 

Another tip is to take billet train from Tokyo station if you depart from Tokyo area.


If you go to Kyoto or Osaka, for example, the Shinkansen departs from Tokyo station, pass Shinagawa station and Shin-Yokohama station.


If you take in Tokyo station, there would be more available seats.

If you take in Shin-Yokohama station, there may be no seats available.



Taking non-reserved seat is easy but you better know the timing.

Bullet train is fast yet expensive.

If you want to save, non-reserved seat is a great option.




Those English words are hard to understand for non-Japanese →  10 Mysterious Vocabs

Not only sushi, but Japan has great dishes! → 5 Yummy Food You Better Try in Japan





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 - Travel 47

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