I'm a little confused on exchanging my exchange order for the JP Rail Pass. I want to take the train from Tokyo to Nagoya on July 5, which is the first ride on my 7 day pass.
If I buy a 7 day pass, is the day I exchange my exchange order for the rail pass the first day of pass, or can I do the exchange and have the first day start a couple days later?
If the day I exchange the pass is the first day, how do I reserve a train in advance? Can I reserve it and say I have a pass that I will exchange?
Also, will I have trouble reserving off rush hour trains the first two weeks of July, or because it's low season will it be okay?
JR Pass validity begins on the first day you use it. To make sure, when you arrive at Narita Airport you can go to the exchange office and ask them.
[ Edit: Edited at Jun 27, 2006 8:53 PM by zags ]
To confirm what Zags said, and contridict the information in the Lonely Planet Japan guidebook, you can EXCHANGE your pass whenever you would like upon arrival in Japan. When you exchange your pass, you give them the starting date you'd like for the pass. The validity of the pass is the 7 days from then.
For example, I exchanged my pass on the 4th of July, asking for the first day to be the 6th of July. My pass is valid from the 7th of July until the 12th of July.