“I am traveling to Japan! Oh but which city should I visit? Tokyo! Oh but what about Kyoto? Well, the food in Osaka is so famous… I don’t wanna miss any one!” No worries! We are going to introduce you the highway bus in Japan.
I guess no one would deny that it costs a lot to travel abroad, especially for transportation, say air tickets. When you visit a country with so many famous cities to sightsee, it will be another great amount of money, just for local transportation. So most of the tourists have no choice but to cut some places out. For people who are indecisive, it might even end up with being unable to finalize the itinerary until forever! But in Japan, there is a wonderful transportation means that solves the problem and you don’t have to cut any cities out!
That’s the highway bus we are going to introduce here! By highway bus you can travel for a long distance at a super reasonable price, so now it’s not anymore a dream to visit all the famous cities! If you have no ideas where to start with, how about starting the bus trip at Shinjuku?
Highway bus is perfect for a budget travel in Japan!
To travel for a long distance in Japan, there are three means: airplane, bullet train (shinkansen), and highway bus. Undoubtedly, airplane and bullet train are a lot faster than highway bus. But highway bus has an unbeatable advantage that airplane and bullet train can never have: low price!
Highway bus is the best choice for people who have a tight budget. For students, when you have a long school holiday, traveling by highway bus allows you to go around many cities sightseeing with an affordable price. Even if you are not a student, highway bus is still an excellent choice for you, like when you are traveling back to your hometown not for urgent matters. Why not ride on a highway bus?
Lower than half price of taking a bullet train!
So is it really that cheap to take a highway bus? Let the data speak!
Bullet train is a high-speed railway connecting different cities in Japan. Its maximum operating speed is over 300 km/h, so it reaches your destination when you are not even feeling ready! And importantly, there is not any troublesome procedure like taking an airplane. You can buy the ticket merely at a ticket vending machine, and depart immediately! It seems really perfect, but only if you don’t look at the price.
For example, “I can experience the newest culture and technology in Tokyo, while Kyoto offers me the chance to meet the tradition and history. It’s really hard to choose between them… so why not both?” I bet that’s what you have in mind and you’ve decided to visit both, right? If you travel by bullet train, it costs you 13,000 yen for a one-way ticket between Tokyo and Kyoto. This way, you spend more on transportation than accommodation! So here comes the point. Even though the bus fare depends on each bus operating company, no matter which you are taking, it can’t even reach the half price of a bullet train fare.
Isn’t it a billiant idea to save on transportation, and spend more on tasty local specialties or staying in a better hotel? So from now on, don’t forget to consider riding on highway bus when you plan to go anywhere, especially when there are a few cities you are going to visit!
Take night bus to fit a even tighter budget
Night bus is another great choice for you to save even more money! It operates at mid-night when everyone is asleep. To get to your destination, highway bus takes a lot more time than bullet train, undeniably. So why not take a sleep while you are traveling by bus? You will have more time sightseeing at your destination city, and by the way save one night’s accommodation! From Tokyo to Kyoto, the fare is 2000 yen at the cheapest price. Can you believe how cheap it is?
Highway bus can reach the countryside!
Have you ever given up a sightseeing spot you like, because it is in the countryside?
Taking airplane or bullet train is really fast and convenient, but only to large cities. If you want to go somewhere in a rural city to see the beauty of nature, or enjoy hotsprings which are in the countryside, airplane or bullet train is not so wonderful in this case, as it probably doesn’t reach those rural areas. So this is another unbeatable advantage highway bus has: it reaches the countryside!
For example, when speaking of Japan, what do you think of? I’m sure that there must be Mt. Fuji! It is the highest mountain in Japan, and is registered as a World Heritage site. It is so famous that everyone, including the local Japanese, wants to climb up there! You must be wondering that how strong and endurable a person has to be to climb up on the top, which is 3,776m high from the bottom. In fact, there is a secret about climbing Mt. Fuji.
Well, the secret is, there is highway bus reaching the middle of the mountain, departing from Tokyo. It is such a pity that you can’t get there by either airplane or bullet train. When you are riding on the highway bus, you may enjoy the nature sceneries at the same time. There doesn’t seem to be any better way to come to the Mt.Fuji, for climbing or for just enjoying the spectacular mountain view.
No need to struggle for transferring with a railway map!
Not having to transfer is just so tempting! Airplane and bullet train only stop by major cities. So it is likely that you have to transfer for a train (or more than once) to get to your destination. There are too many railway lines in Japan that even local Japanese feel confused, not to mention foreigners. Are you sick of reading Japanese Romaji planning which lines to take, to transfer and to get off? And if you miss one train in rural city, you might have to wait another hour for the next train!
Don’t hesitate to ride on a highway bus! It reaches not only major cities, but also rural cities and countrysides.
Never waste your time on bus!
A coin always has two sides. So what are the downsides of taking highway bus? I guess we all knew it: it takes long. As mentioned above, it is just a 2-hour train ride by bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto, whereas it takes 10 hours by highway bus. But actually you don’t really sit still in a narrow seat for the whole 10 hours. There will be several breaks that you can take a rest, grab some food, and of course, go to the washroom.
And if you make good use of the time you stay on bus, you won’t even realize how time passes that fast! Besides sleeping, planning a detailed itinerary for the next city is also a clever idea, isn’t it?
The biggest bus terminal in Japan! Let's get started in Shinjuku, Tokyo
You can get to up to 300 cities at “Basuta Shinjuku”, a bus terminal in Shinjuku, Tokyo. So Let’s start your journey here! It is connected to Shinjuku train station so you will have no problem getting there. Just follow the instructions in the station!
It is the biggest bus terminal in Japan. Buses departing from Shinjuku usually refers to this bus terminal, “Basuta Shinjuki”.
The new south exit of Shinjuku station has a direct connection to Basuta Shinjuku. So you don’t have to worry even if it rains, or if you have a lot of luggage to carry. You must be happy to know that there are escalators and elevators in the station, connecting to the bus terminal. Basuta Shinjuku is just one-minute from the new south exit of Shinjuku station. I can assure that you won’t get lost!
It is about 40 minutes from Haneda airport to Shinjuku station by shuttle bus. The bus arrives at the west exit of the station, so you will have to walk a little bit to get to new south exit. If you go from Tokyo station, take Yamanote line, one of the major railway lines in Tokyo, and it is just a 15-minute ride to get to Shinjuku station.
Get help from information kiosk for any enquiries
From the new south exit of Shinjuku station, heading to Basuta Shinjuku, you will arrive at the departure floor of the bus terminal. Purchase bus tickets there, and you can depart! Just easy and simple. Having introduced that it is a bus terminal from where you can reach up to 300 cities, you might consider the bus terminal complicated and hard to find the right bus to get on. But believe me, it is not at all. The bus terminal is divided into four areas, which are marked clearly as A, B, C and D. Just head to the area printed on your ticket. Everything is just easy.
There is an information kiosk on the same floor, and you can always find English speaking staff there. So don’t hesitate to ask if you have any doubts! They sometimes have Chinese speaking staff there too!
Get trip advice from the information desk one floor lower
If you still haven’t decided what to do in your destination, go to one floor lower than the bus terminal. On that floor, there is an information desk for sightseeing recommendations. You can also exchange money there. They speak Japanese, English, Mandarin and Korean. With all the supports, you don’t have to worry even if it is your first time to visit Japan.
A new shopping mall offering souvenirs and tasty food
If you still have some time before your departure, hanging around “NEWoMan” is a perfect choice! “NEWoMan” is a shopping mall built together with Basuta Shinjuku. There are not only branded fashion shops and restaurants, but even nursery schools and medical facilities. So before you depart, how about shopping for the newest fashion items, enjoying your time in a cafe, or buying last-minute souvenirs? Don’t forget your departure time!
For those who are not riding on a highway bus, you are also welcome to hang out around the shopping mall!
What's wrong with a greedy trip?
Though it is often suggested to focus on just one city when traveling, with convenient but economical highway bus, you don’t have to struggle for which city to choose anymore. Just visit every city you are interested in, and remember to take highway bus at Basuta Shinjuku. Search LCC air tickets on DeNA TRAVEL, and get a bargain! It is easy and simple to use.