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You are in: Fukuoka: Getting Around: (How To:) Highway/Long Dist. Bus

(How To:) Highway/Long Dist. Bus
Type: How To: Guides | Highway Bus

Detailed guide to taking a Highway or Long Distance bus from Tenjin Bus Center.

3rd Floor, Mistukoshi Building 

Level of difficulty: Some signs are in English, a confident traveller can muddle through.

Many highway/long distance buses leave from Nishitetsu Tenjin Bus Center. This is on the third floor of the Mitsukoshi building in central Tenjin. Other buses leave from Hakata Bus Centre in front of Hakata Station

Access: There's a long escalator from the IMS-side corner
...up the escalator... 
of Watanabe dori. Elevators are on the far side of Mitsukoshi

There are two kinds of buses.

Long-range has toilet, coffee. May make stops at a rest
area for smoking and stretching of legs.

Highway bus: no toilets. If you have a choice between a highway bus and JR train
from Hakata, the bus will be a little more expensive but it will be more comfortable. Seats are cushioned and they recline.

What the station looks like:
Indoors, 3rd floor. There are 6 bus boarding areas. Each is numbered and has a sliding glass door. These doors to the boarding areas are closed. The bus driver opens them after arrival. Don't attempt to open them yourself.
Bus from here 

Above each door there is an electronic sign that lists the next 3 buses that are due, along with the departure time. These notices are in Japanese.

Perpendicular to the doors (so that they're easy to see) are signs telling you the number of each boarding area. They are numbered 1 - 6. (Example: 1 "noriba" in hiragana.) Also on these signs are the final destinations in Kanji with English underneath.

Near boarding area 1 and 2 is a convenience store and a souvenir shop. They are next to each other, and have the same name ("Smile Shop") but they are two separate stores. If you take merchandise from one to the other without paying, you'll be shoplifting.

Boarding area 1 is next to the entrance to Mitsukoshi Department Store's GAP store. (American mid-price khaki style fashion, the goods are considerably more expensive here.)

some English 
Ticket machines: final destinations written above the machines in English and Kanji. The map and price info is in Japanese only. There are also information desks and ticket windows.

Highway bus can be cash or pre-paid ticket card.

Best deal for highway bus: Pre-paid ticket card.
There are pre-paid ticket card vending machines. These cards cost:
1000 yen for 1100 yen value
3000 yen for 3400 yen value
5000 yen for 5750 yen value
10,000 yen for 11,500 yen value

(Note that the savings for 5,000 and 10,000 are proportionately identical)

How to use the machines:
Machines accept bills of 1, 5 or 10 thousand. No coins.
Put in the bill. There are four buttons, one for each cost range (1, 3, 5,
10 thousand)
Push the button and your card slides out of a slot. If you are owed any
change, it will also come out.

Where the machines are:
One is next to the coffee shop across from bus boarding area 6.
Another is across from bus boarding area 3.

Getting on:
Busses arrive a few minutes before the scheduled departure time and generally depart precisely on schedule. (Notable exception is on snowy days,when the highways (which pass through mountains in regions far more snowy than Fukuoka) are closed due to snow accumulation. You'll know it's happening when you see that busses due an hour earlier have not arrived, and you notice TV camera crews filming the people waiting. Best bet is to travel to Hakata station and take a train.)

Board through the only door at the front of the bus. There are two or three stairs in the door. At the top of the stairs, next to the driver's seat, there's a bus card machine for pre-paid ticket cards in front of you and a numbered-ticked dispensing machine on your right. If you bought a pre-paid ticket card, insert it into the bottom slot of the machine. It will come out the top. You haven't paid anything -- this simply records where you got on. If you don't have a pre-paid ticket card, take a numbered ticket from the machine on your right.

Working out how much you have to pay:
At the front of the bus, to the left of the driver, is a fare indicator. This consists of a series of numbers, indicating the fare stages, with a corresponding amount in yen to pay. Check the the fare stage on your ticket and keep an eye on the yen value next to that number on the board. The fare will obviously increase as the bus progresses.

If you do not have a pre-paid card: Have the fare-stage ticket and your fare in yen ready. If you do not have change, you can put a 1000yen note into a machine next to the driver and get change. Just prior to disembarkation, put your money and the fare-stage ticket into the slot next to the driver. The driver cannot give change.

if you have a pre-paid card As you leave the bus put your card into the TOP slot of the same machine. It will come out the bottom slot.

If there is not enough on your card to pay for the complete fare, the driver will push a button and your expired card will come out, and a red LED display will show how much more you need to pay. If you have another card, you can put it through the machine. Otherwise, cash is OK.

In the Mitsukoshi Building in central Tenjin.

1 min from Tenjin st'n on foot.

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First published Thu May 31, 2001
    Updated Sun Jun 03, 2001

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