I'm planning to take a few trips on the Tohoku Shinkansen in the near future, and I'd like to use JR East's online eki-net service to order the tickets. It looks like they offer an option to have the ticket tied to an IC card, which would be marginally cheaper and seems more convenient for me than picking up paper tickets at a kiosk.

According to the FAQ, to ride with that reservation, I simply tap the registered IC card at the gates at the origin and destination:

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However, I recall that in the case of paper tickets and reserved seats, there was also a specific paper ticket for the reserved seat that corresponded to the class of seat that was reserved.

If I'm using an IC card, how is that reserved seat ticket handled? Do I

  • retain the electronic proof of purchase email and use it when boarding?
  • need to visit a ticket machine or staffed window to pick up a reserved seat ticket regardless of using the IC card e-ticket service? (And if so, do I use the IC card or another document/code?)
  • not need to do anything, because the IC card also serves as the reserved seat ticket (even though I can't actually see the car/seat number on it)?
  • receive a reserved seat ticket from a printer directly in the ticket gate, as JR Central/West does for an IC-card-linked SmartEx reservation?
    • For completeness, while the poster and accepted answer is correct so it doesn't make sense to write a whole answer: There is no printed reserved seat confirmation at JR East Shinkansen ticket gates.
  • 1
    Seeing this FAQ, I would be inclined to say that you need to pick up the reserved seat ticket at a reserved ticket machine Dec 16, 2023 at 7:02
  • @NicolasFormichella that's where my confusion arises, because that FAQ is linked from the other option, which is the paper ticket order. Even when I select a reserved seat service, if I follow the path of choosing an IC card e ticket, there's no mention of a seat reservation ticket or how I'd go about picking one up with an IC card, and it links to the IC access FAQ which is in the screenshot.
    – nanofarad
    Dec 16, 2023 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


You make the seat reservation on Eki-Net and link it to the IC card, which can then be used to enter the gates. Detailed instructions here (in Japanese, but reasonably comprehensible when run through Google Translate).

As you note, the card can't display your seat number, so you'll want to retain a copy of it for boarding and in the unlikely event there's a dispute over the seat or something.

  • Thanks! I'll hang onto the reservation details alongside the physical IC card itself. Do you know whether the same thing is likely to hold for green class, or do those require explicit seat reservation checks?
    – nanofarad
    Dec 16, 2023 at 23:41
  • 1
    @nanofarad I don't see why Green Cars would be any different, although I rarely if ever use them! Dec 17, 2023 at 4:52

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