JR Tokai and JR West Japan announced on September 13th, 2023, that during Japan's "Big Three Peak Seasons" – the year-end holidays, Obon (Festival of the Dead), and Golden Week – the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen "Nozomi" services will operate with fully reserved seating, with no unreserved seating available.
This change in operation will take effect starting from December 28, 2023, through January 4, 2024, during the year-end holiday period.
During these Big Three Peak Seasons, reserved seats often become fully booked quickly, resulting in long lines for unreserved seating on the platforms, which can lead to delays in boarding and disembarking. To address these challenges, it was decided to make all seats on the "Nozomi" services during these peak periods fully reserved.
For other Shinkansen services such as "Hikari," "Kodama," "Mizuho," and "Sakura," unreserved seating will continue to be available as usual during the same period.
With this announcement, it is expected that reserved seat reservations for the Shinkansen during the year-end holidays will be more crowded than usual, making it more challenging to secure seats.
Regular seats used on Reserved cars and Unreserved cars of Shinkansen. Consider it as "economy class" seat.
Better seats with more space than ordinary seats. All Green Seats are reserved only. Consider it as "business class" seats.
Your seat is reserved and secured when you book your tickets. Head to the station with a peace of mind.
Seats are the same as Ordinary Seat.
Better seats and free blankets. Popular among Japanese business persons, executives and people who
Know as "First Class" of Shinkansen seats. Only available on Hokuriku and Tohoku Shinkansen lines.
You can take any open seats in unreserved cars of any train on the departure date. (No departure time will be indicated on your tickets.)
The best seat type if your priority is the cost and are traveling during less-crowded season/time.
For further information and photos, please visit official page at http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/ticket/types.html