Essential on Every Trip: How to Use Buses
Update: 31 August 2016

Essential on Every Trip: How to Use Buses

There are several types of bus services: route bus, highway bus, limousine bus, and more. Let's take a look at how to get on and off, how to pay the fare for each bus service, and at basic rules concerning buses.

How to Get On and Off a Route Bus

How to get on and off a route bus may vary depending on the route but there are two major ways to get on a bus.
(1) Get on at the front door, and get off at the rear door. In this case the fixed fare is applied and you pay the fare when you get on the bus.
(2) Get on from the rear door, and get off from the front door. In this case, you need take a numbered ticket from the machine near the door when you get on. Your fare is shown on the display in the front together with the number on your ticket. When you arrive at your destination, simply check the fare on the display and put the exact change and the numbered ticket in the box installed near the driver's seat.

How to Use a Toei Bus

The Toei bus service operates in Tokyo's 23 wards and the Tama district. In Tokyo's wards, you get on from the front door and put the exact fare in the fare box. In other areas, you get on from the rear door and pay your fare when you get off.

Other Route Buses

The Odakyu bus service operates in the southwest of Tokyo and in a part of Kanagawa Prefecture.
The Keio bus service operates mainly along the Keio railway lines in a wide area of western Tokyo.
The Keisei bus service operates mainly along the Keisei railway lines in eastern Tokyo and the northwest of Chiba Prefecture.
The Keikyu bus service operates mainly in the southern areas of Tokyo between Shinagawa and Kanagawa Prefecture.
The Seibu bus service operates in the northwest of Tokyo and the southwest of Saitama Prefecture.
The Tokyu bus service operates mainly along the Tokyu railway lines in southern Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture.
The Tobu bus service operates in the northeast of Tokyo, the south and the east of Saitama Prefecture, the northwest of Chiba Prefecture and the Nikko district.

How to Use a Highway Bus and a Limousine Bus

When using a highway bus or a limousine bus, you need to purchase a ticket in advance. You can book a ticket online or by phone via the bus company or a ticket agency. You may be able to pay with credit card or pay at convenience stores.


Depending on the bus service, the procedures of getting on and off, payment of fare, and ticket reservation may vary. Knowing basic procedures while staying flexible will make your bus travels as relaxed as they are convenient!

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.

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