If you are planning to ride Shinkansen between December 23th and January 9th for this year, we recommend you to book your tickets NOW.
Japanese people have custom to return to ancestral family places and celebrate family reunion twice a year; Obon and Shogatsu (the Japanese New Year). These days, many people go on trips as well.
Please refer to the following article for Obon in 2016.
"Obon," the Busiest Season for Shinkansen.
As a result, Shinkansen will be crowded from December 23th to January 10th, and very crowded from December 28th to January 6th for this year. It is likely that you have to line up for Shinkansen and end up standing during the ride if you do not reserve your seats beforehand. Reserve seat tickets will be sold out.
Japan Railways Group sets their own definition and calendar for peak, regular and off-season. If you are interested, you can read it on the page below.
The Best Time to Travel on Shinkansen: Peak, Regular and Off-season
Many people want to book tickets during those peak periods as soon as they fix their travel dates. However, the Japan Railways (JR) group accepts reservation from one month before travel date. You can see some people standing in a line at stations in the morning to buy tickets for peak periods one month later.
We, Shinkansen-Ticket.com, can take orders of tickets for next year. When we receive orders of tickets for a date more than one month after, we buy those tickets on the JR release day, one month before travel date.
If you plan to ride Shinkansen during the peak periods, ask us to reserve tickets once you decide your dates. We securely reserve your tickets/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