Taking the bus in Japan 日本行きのバスに乗る

Guide for taking the bus in Japan

Day bus, night bus, in town or in the countryside: this network, like a maze of a public transportation network, is particularly well developed in Japan. Learn how to take the bus with confidence, for short or long trips!

How to use and pay for the bus?


There are two different types of payment systems to be aware of on Japanese buses:


  • One fare for all routes


This is the simplest pricing, similar to what that of the West. The price is often indicated at the bus stop or on the bus. Depending on the region, you will have to pay directly when you get on the bus, or when you leave the bus (as in Kyoto for example). Simply insert your coins into the machine provided to pay, or have your IC card scanned.



The coin and pay machine near the driver

Wikimedia Commons


Price table according to the stop

Wikimedia Commons

Take a bus for long journeys


In addition to city buses, there are companies in Japan that offer long journeys at a lower cost. These are often night trips.

Thus, Tokyo-Osaka or Tokyo-Kyoto journeys are very common and save the price of a shinkansen but also a hotel night. This solution will of course only be suitable for those who can make do with rudimentary comfort to spend the night. To get from Tokyo to Kyoto by night bus, it will take between 7 and 10 hrs.

The pink buses of the Willer Express company.


Willer Express

Interior of a Willer Express night bus


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