Non-reserved seats on the Shinkansen are priced several hundred yen cheaper than reserved seats. However, you cannot sit in a seat when the train is crowded. However, there is no “sure-fire way to get a seat,” but there is a way to increase the probability of getting a seat.
Basically, line up in car No. 2 or No. 4.
The number of seats on the Shinkansen varies depending on the car. In the case of the “Nozomi” train, unreserved seats are available in Cars 1 through 3, with 65 seats in Car 1, 100 seats in Car 2, and 85 seats in Car 3.
The first car has 65 seats, the second has 100 seats, and the third has 85 seats. Cars with restrooms and smoking areas at the end of the car have fewer seats, and the first car has fewer seats due to the driver’s seat.
Therefore, if there is a line at the station platform, if the number of people in line is about the same, the probability of getting a seat is higher if you line up in car 2. Similarly, Car 4 has a capacity of 100 passengers, so if Car 4 has unreserved seats, Car 4 is also a good place to aim for.
In the case of the “Nozomi” train, only cars 1-3 have unreserved seats, so the basic strategy to get a seat is to line up in car 2.
If you want Whole Japan Rail Pass, first make a ticket reservation!
If you have a discount coupon, you can make a reservation and purchase tickets online at a discount price.
Double-digit cars are also a target.
In the case of the “Kodama” and “Yamabiko” trains, there may be some unreserved seats in the No. 12 to No. 16 carriages. These 2-digit cars are also a good target.
Many people think that “unreserved seats are located in cars No. 1 to No. 5,” so the unreserved seats in the two-digit carriages are often empty.
Ride to/from Shin-Osaka or Sendai
For the Tokaido Shinkansen, trains bound for (and departing from) Shin-Osaka and for the Tohoku Shinkansen, trains bound for (and departing from) Sendai are relatively empty. It is also easier to get a seat on trains departing from or arriving at intermediate stations such as Nagoya, Hiroshima, and Echigo-Yuzawa.。
If boarding at a stop along the way, board through the door away from the ticket gate.
One car has two doors. Of these doors, wait at the door farthest from the ticket gate, because passengers who get off at that station often get off at the door closest to the ticket gate. This is because passengers tend to get off at the door closest to the ticket gate, and it takes longer for passengers to finish getting off at the door closer to the ticket gate.
Stand in the center of the vehicle when standing
If you have no choice but to get a seat, stand in the center of the unreserved car as much as possible. If there are passengers getting off at a station, it is easier to secure a seat if you stand in the center of the car.
If you stand on the deck, it will be more difficult to get an empty seat if there are passengers getting off the train.