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We are travelling from Hakodate to Fukushima (changing at Sendai) on 28th March.

1) Can somebody confirm whether our JR Pass will be valid on this date? This website http://www.jreasthokkaido.com/e/index.html says it is launching only from 1st April, which is confusing.

2) Only Shinkansen 'Hayabusa' are operating on that day (at least at the times we want) http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/shinkansen/ttable.pdf. Will we have to pay any additional fares to ride this train with our JR pass?

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1) The link you give refers to a new regional pass covering eastern Honshu and southern Hokkaido, not to the nationwide pass. If you have a nationwide pass, it will be valid.

2) There are no additional fees, but remember that seat reservations are mandatory on all Shinkansens at least between Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and Morioka (although in your case you will probably just make a reservation all the way to Sendai). You can reserve at a ticket counter of any JR station in Japan at any time, as long as there are available seats. (As of right now, all Shinkansens between Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and Sendai on March 28 have available seats.) You can also reserve online between Shin-Aomori and Sendai, but not between Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and Shin-Aomori.

  • Thank you! In regards to point 2, can we book the seat reservation at the station on the day (i.e. shortly before boarding) or is this something that needs to be done further in advance? – Tiphaine Mar 12 '16 at 13:43
  • See my edited answer. – fkraiem Mar 12 '16 at 13:49

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