Having a JR pass is indeed, the best way for tourists to get around Japan. But what if you forgot to buy it or you were in Japan for a long period, therefore you are not eligible for a JR pass. If you thought shinkansen is too expensive, this blog is for you!
While shinkansen is the fastest way, it’s not very economical friendly (to me, esp lol). That was the reason why I decided to use bus/ night bus instead of shinkansen to go to Kyoto.
Travelling by bus takes around 7~8 hours from Tokyo to Kyoto, but if you took a night bus, it is equal to only one sleep. Except for not having a comfortable bed and unable to wear your favorite pajamas, it is so far the best and cheapest way to travel around Japan. There is no need to worry about noises or people disturbing your sleep like on an airplane. I was so surprised by how quiet the bus was the moment I stepped on. Large luggage is put in the underneath compartment. For security reasons, this compartment won’t be opened until arrival, so always have a handbag or a small backpack as your carry-on luggage!
As soon as you get on the bus, you will see people preparing for a long sleep. A blanket is usually provided for your convenience. After a 15-minute-explanation, the lights were off and everyone goes to sleep. Depends on how long the ride is, there is usually one or two break in between so you can use the bathroom and do some stretching. Upon arrival, the lights are on and there would be some noises to make sure you won’t miss your stop. I can’t say that the ride was comfortable, but the fact that I was able to spend a day going sightseeing in Kobe, so I guess it wasn’t that bad.
One way trip from Tokyo to Kyoto by shinkansen costs around 15000 yen while bus costs 2500~6000 yen depends on when and which company do you choose. My trip was around 6000 yen return, not even half of one way fare by shinkansen! I figure that sometime companies that don’t have English support services provide cheaper fares so if you could read Japanese, please do so. Or if else, we here at Tourist information center can help you reserve your tickets with a small charge, when the price differences is significant between the companies!
Please do not hesitate to contact Tokyo tourist information center for tour reservation, JR pass or any other information about Japan travel.