Why Don’t You Try Boarding a Sightseeing Bus on Your Next Tokyo Trip?
We've rounded up a few options you definitely need to check out.
Tokyo has lots of first-class tourist attractions, and even just planning an itinerary can be tough. That's when sightseeing buses come in handy. There are plenty of routes that take you to some of Tokyo's most famous spots, so you should be able to find something that suits you. If you will mainly be visiting places located within the same area, then the community buses run by the various wards are a convenient option. They're cheaper than regular route buses and some are even free, so we strongly recommend you check them out.
This open-topped double-decker bus can take you to one of Tokyo's famous towers, Tokyo Tower, as well as the Rainbow Bridge, which connects Shibaura and Odaiba (Adults: ¥1,800). There's a variety of different routes available to suit your needs. A guide will accompany you, so you'll be able to learn about the sights as you go by. English-language and Chinese-language tours are available.
The bus stop is the Hato Bus company’s signature yellow color. There are departure points at Shinjuku Station and Tokyo Station; different routes may have different departure points. You can apply book a tour on the Hato Bus website; you can book places up until 11:59 p.m. the preceding night (provided that there are still places left on the bus), which is perfect for spur-of-the-moment plans. You can pay via credit card or at a convenience store (when there is no flexibility regarding the departure date, only credit card payment is accepted).
For details on the various routes, visit the official Hato Bus website.
This roofless double-decker bus is perfect for sightseeing. There are three routes available: the "Imperial Palace, Ginza, and Marunouchi Route" (Adults: ¥1,600, 50 minutes), the "Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge Route" (Adults: ¥1,800, 60 minutes), and the "Odaiba Nighttime View Route" (Adults: ¥2,100, 120 minutes). There's also a "Sky Hop Bus" service (Adults: ¥3,500) that enables you to make unlimited use of three routes -- “Asakusa and Tokyo Skytree Tower Route,” “Odaiba Route” and “Roppongi and Odaiba Route” for one day.
The Sky Bus departs from in front of the Marunouchi Mitsubishi Building, and it returns to the same spot after the tour. Advance reservations are available. The Sky Hop Bus has stops (see photo) in Asakusa, Akihabara, Roppongi, Odaiba, and other popular tourist spots. You can buy tickets after getting on the bus as well as at the ticket counter.
For more details, visit the Sky Bus website.
This free bus will take you around the Otemachi, Marunouchi, and Yurakucho areas, home to commercial facilities such as the Marunouchi Building. There are 14 stops in total, and there are buses every 12-15 minutes between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. A full circuit all the way round takes about 35 to 40 minutes.
The Marunouchi Shuttle bus stops have signboards with a red design and a bus icon. There are bus stops near the Shin Marunouchi Building, a commercial facility, and the Peninsula Hotel. You don't need a ticket to get on, so just check the timetable and use the bus as you please.
To see the timetable for each bus stop, visit the website.
There are two routes: the North Route, which takes you to Shin-Nihombashi Station, Ningyocho, Suitengu, and other areas that feel traditionally Japanese; and the South Route, which runs through Tsukishima, Kachidoki, and other areas in the Tokyo Bay area. The North Route takes about 68 minutes in total (70 minutes on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays), and the South Route takes about 65 minutes (73 minutes on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays). Hours of operation are usually 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There's a beckoning cat-like character at the bus stops. The North Route has 30 stops (31 on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays) at locations such as the Yaesu North Exit of Tokyo Station, which connects to several rail lines, as well as the front entrance of Suitengu, a shrine with a long history. The South Route has 30 stops (36 on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays), including the Tsukishima Municipal Center near Monja Street and St. Luke's International Hospital, one of the top medical institutions in the country. The fare for both adults and children is ¥100, and you pay when you board. Payment by IC card is also accepted.
For more details, visit the Edo Bus website.
This bus, designed after the famously loyal dog Hachiko, will take you around the Shibuya area. There are four routes: a route that takes you from Shibuya Station to Ebisu, Daikanyama, and other fashionable areas (90 minutes for one circuit right the way round on weekdays, passing a total of 44 stops); a route that runs from Shibuya Station to Yoyogi-Uehara Station and passes by an art museum and other attractions (52 minutes for one circuit on weekdays, passing a total of 20 stops); a route that runs from the Shibuya Ward Office through Tomigaya, Sasazuka, and other residential districts (83 minutes for one circuit on weekdays, passing a total of 40 stops); and a route that goes from Shibuya Station to Omotesando, Harajuku, and other popular tourist spots (95 minutes for one circuit on weekdays, passing a total of 49 stops).
The bus stops are marked with a picture of the dog Hachiko, and each route has a different identifying color. There are bus stops all around the tourist hotspot that is Shibuya, which makes Hachiko Bus perfect for exploring the area. Passengers of elementary school age and older pay 100 yen upon boarding. IC card payment is also accepted.
See the Hachiko Bus website for details.
Metro Link Nihonbashi
There are two routes: the Metro Link Nihonbashi line, which runs through historic areas such as Yaesu, Kyobashi, and Nihombashi, and the Metro Link Nihonbashi E Line, which runs through the shopping and business areas of Hamamachi, Ningyocho, and Kabutocho. The Metro Link Nihonbashi route takes about 40 minutes for a full circuit, and the buses run every 10 minutes. The Metro Link Nihonbashi E Line takes about 30 minutes for the full circuit, and the buses run at 22-minute intervals. The Metro Link runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and the E Line runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.
The Metro Link Nihonbashi bus stops feature a distinguishing logo, while the E Line stops have a yellow design. Both buses stop at the Tokyo Station Yaesu Exit, which provides access to Shinkansen bullet trains, so if you plan to move on to another city after looking around Tokyo, these buses are perfect. They're free, so you can use them as much as you need, and enjoy the more traditional side of Japan.
For more information, check out their website.
Provided by Travel Photo Guide™ and Japan Walker™ (9 February 2018)