All About Japan

The Japan Bus Guide

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Buses are a great way to get around Japan, usually from city to city or in the countryside. Around a big city like Tokyo, though, trains are more convenient and generally cheaper. The big exception is Kyoto, where it’s best to get the bus.

How to Ride a Local Bus:

Many local buses these days allow the use of Suica prepaid cards or other such cards. See Super Cheap Japan's train guide for more information. Some others don’t, so check our tips below:

Top Tips:

* How to ride a bus depends on the bus company, so it’s best to stand behind Japanese tourists and copy them! Sometimes you get on at the front and off at the back, but sometimes it’s the opposite. If you get on at the back in the deep countryside, there’s a good chance you’ll need to pick up a little paper chit with a number on it—don't lose this, as it's how the driver knows how much you need to pay when you get off!
* In the countryside there's often no English signage, so get someone to write the Japanese characters for your destination, then show this to the bus driver when you get on.
* Make sure you bring enough money when taking a countryside bus, as there will probably be no ATMs around that work with foreign cards.

Want to know more? Check out Super Cheap Japan below!

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