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Japan rail pass green or economy? What is the difference.

Posted:04/04/2019 Updated:

There are two options, economy and green, when you purchase the Japan rail pass, and green pass cost about 25 percent more. What is the difference and is it worth getting a green one?


Japan rail pass green vs economy.

Green means first class, so it is simply more comfortable than economy seats. But Shinkansen’s economy seats are clean, spacious and comfortable, definitely better than aeroplane economy.

The biggest benefit of having a green pass is that economy seats sell out before green seats, so it might help to book a seat especially when you are travelling at a busy time of the year.

Shinkansen’s green seats.

There are 2 and 2 seats in rows instead of 2 and 3, so the seats are
about 12 cm wider than the economy seats. More room in front and behind the seat, and the seats recline further.

The best thing about the green carriage is you have lots less chance to see a group of young people or family with little children. The carriage normally has fewer passengers and is quieter.

By the way, if you buy green seats without Japan rail pass, it only costs about 4000 to 6000 yen more than economy seats.


Shinkansen’s economy seats.

Even though they are smaller than green seats, economy seats are comfortable to travel in, for several hours. There are 2 and 3 seats in rows, and it could happen that you need to sit in the middle of 3 when it’s a busy time.

The Shinkansen with and without green carriages?

All shinkansens leaving and arriving in Tokyo have the green carriages, but some Sanyo-Shinkansen, running between Osaka to Hakata, and Kyushu Shinkansen, running between Hakata to Kagoshima don’t have one.

If that is the area you are mainly travelling, you probably wouldn’t need a green pass.


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