HOW TO: Find Shinkansen and Express Train Seating Charts and Train Layouts

If you're like me, you may have issues getting a seat on the train in an area you'd like to be in, such as, near a bathroom, or away -- far away -- from a smoking car. Of course, most express trains in Japan now are completely smoke-free (it wasn't that way when I first arrived, and oh how I had problems then...), but some shinkansen do still have smoking cars.

That aside, what if you're curious about the basic layout, or perhaps where you're reserved seat might be, or which cars have the unreserved or reserved seats?

Some of you might think, "why would I care? I'll sit anywhere, no problem." If that's the case, don't even worry about checking out the link, but for those of you who might be like me, even a little, you might want to read a recent post I wrote on The Japan Daily Press on how to find JR express train layout charts.

Knowing how to do this comes in handy on most trips I plan that involve JR express trains. And the websites I found are pretty cool, too (mentioned in the post).

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