We are currently using a Japan Rail(JR) rail pass in Japan. For many trains and all Green Cars, seat reservation is required. That's been a pain in the neck so far: Lines at the ticket offices are often quite long, English proficiency of ticket agents varies quite a bit, the machines have also long lines, and the machines are fairly difficult to use and I feel bad about blocking one for the considerable amount of time it takes.
So using the pass takes way more planning and prep work than is desirable. One potential workaround would be to just make a LOT of seat reservations in one go and than simply let the ones lapse that we won't be using.
- Does JR (Japan Rail) allow making overlapping seat reservations? Can I reserve seats for, say, the 10:00 am, 10:30am and 11:00am train from Hakata to Osaka ?
- What happens if you have a seat reservation but you don't use it without cancelling it ? Does JR in any way "punish" you for this ?
- Is there a way to cancel a seat reservation that doesn't require you to physically go to the train station and stand in line for significant amount of time?
- What are good strategies for having travel flexibility and avoid hour long visits to the train station just to manage the stupid seat reservations.
Yes, I understand that reserving a seat and then not using it is a really crappy thing to do. I'd be more than happy to cancel a seat reservation that I won't be needing, but JR makes it exceedingly difficult to do so.