Past Osaka, the number of train options drop by 50% and that a large chunk of tourists aim towards Hiroshima (and further), it appears to be a headache for JR railpass holders
– Sakura trains to Hiroshima have 8 coaches while Hikari to Osaka have 16, even with the Kyoto/osaka stop that does not make the maths
– There are 2 sakura per hour, nozomi and mizuho are not permitted , kodama is once an hour
– what do the tourist boards in prefectures like Hiroshima Yamaguchi Fukuoka think? Is it acceptable for them to think that their market opportunity could only be 50% of those of Kyoto and Tokyo?
– there is 1 counter for rail pass activation in Tokyo station and 1 in Shinagawa. Do we really think we will be able to address the 40M tourists excepted in 2020 on this?
As a side, we tried Ueno this week, still 1 counter with 75’ wait on a Friday morning…
– what about exchanging rail pass via phone or pasmo/suica partnership?
– what about a paperless experience from order to travel?
– what about making JR seat reservation available in English and online for railpass holders?
So far, most western tourists end up queuing and travel standing up in non reserved coaches damaging the JR and Japan efficiency reputation.
Parents with young children, older travellers really struggle.