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Published on : Friday, April 8, 2016
Long-distance bus travel is now much simpler and more accessible for visitors to Japan thanks to a newly opened bus terminal on the south side of JR Shinjuku station, acting as a central hub for bus travel from the capital.
“Busta Shinjuku” has consolidated 19 separate bus stations that were in the area into one large bus station that will service the four billion passengers per year who take advantage of Japan’s highway bus system and the 1,625 long distance buses which depart from Shinjuku each day. The new station will make bus travel for overseas visitors much simpler; whereas before the departure points would differ depending on the bus company used, now passengers will be able to make use of the services of 118 different companies all from one station. There will also be bus timetables for all companies as well as ticket reservation facilities in English. Escalators, elevators, toilets and sheltered waiting areas have also been constructed to ensure a stress-free experience for passengers leaving JR Shinjuku Station and continuing onwards by bus.
As one of the busiest transportation hubs in the country, Busta Shinjuku links the capital with over 300 cities in 39 prefectures around Japan, including cities on popular tourist routes such as Kyoto, Nagoya and Osaka, as well as further afield prefectures on Shikoku and Kyushu.
For travellers visiting Japan on a tight budget, bus travel is often the most economical option for getting around the country – as overnight buses can be taken in lieu of a night’s accommodation. For example, an overnight bus between Tokyo and Kyoto can cost as little as 2,900 yen (£18), whilst the same journey on the bullet train will set you back 8,210 yen (£53), and around £120 for mid-range accommodation.
Bus passes such as the Willer Express Bus Pass offer five non-consecutive days of bus transportation within a two month period for 12,500 yen (£80). Using this pass enables visitors to travel from the northernmost prefecture on Honshu, Aomori, right down to Fukuoka city on Kyushu, the southernmost island.
The new bus terminal extends over four floors, with a dedicated tourist information office located on the third floor. Offering information in English, Chinese and Korean, the office also provides currency exchange services and free Wi-Fi. There will also be delivery and baggage storage services provided by Sagawa Express.