Long distance express bus services can be an economical way to travel around Japan. There are a number of express bus services that run from the Yokohama Station area to other major cities in Japan. The two main bus terminals for highway buses at Yokohama Station are the East Exit Bus Terminal, and the YCAT bus terminal. These two terminals are located in two separate buildings that are right beside each other about 5 minutes’ walk from the East Exit of Yokohama Station.
Highway Bus Services from the East Exit Bus Terminal
The East Exit Bus Terminal is a 5 minute walk from the East Exit of Yokohama Station and is inside the Sogo building. There are three bus lanes (A, B, and C) on the 1st floor of this building, but most of the long distance highway bus services depart from Lane C. Listed below are services from Bus Lane C to Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Akita, Fukushima, Sendai, Tateyama, Hakone, Gotemba, Karuizawa, and Tokyo Disneyland.
West Japan JR Bus run three services to Kyoto and Osaka from bus stop 14. There is one daytime service that departs at 8.55, and two overnight sleeper buses that depart at 22.00 and 22.30. Prices range between 3,800 yen and 6,600 yen depending on the date, service, and seating. For more details and to make a booking check the kousokubus.net website.
JR Bus Tohoku also run overnight bus services from bus stop 14 to Akita and Fukushima. The night bus service to Akita departs at 20.55 and arrives at Akita Station at 6.35 the next morning. Fares start at 9,400 yen. The night bus service to Fukushima departs at 23.05 and arrives at Koriyama Station at 4.50 and Fukushima Station at 6.10. Fares start at 4,200 yen. This company runs another overnight service to Sendai which departs from bus stop 17 at 23.00 and arrives at Sendai Station at 5.45. Fares start at 3,500 yen. For more details and to make a booking check the Japan Bus Online website.
Keikyu Bus and their associate bus companies run regular daytime limousine bus services from bus stops 17 and 18. From bus stop 17 you can catch services to Tokyo Disney Resort and Tateyama. From bus stop 18 you can catch services to Hakone, Gotemba, and Karuizawa. You can buy tickets for these services from Keikyu ticket machines by the bus stops, or make enquiries at the Keikyu Information Counter on the B1 level which is directly below the bus lanes. For more details check the Keikyu Bus English website.
Keisei Bus run an overnight bus service from bus stop 17 to Osaka and Kobe. The bus departs at 23.50 and reaches Shin-Osaka Station at 6.51 and Kobe-Sannomiya at 8.00. Fares vary between 6,000 – 9,000 yen depending on the day of travel and how soon you purchase your ticket. For more details and information on booking tickets check the Keisei Bus website.
Highway Bus Services from YCAT
The YCAT (Yokohama City Air Terminal) bus terminal is located next to the East Exit Bus Terminal but is inside the Yokohama Sky Building. This bus terminal has regular limousine bus services for both Haneda Airport (at bus stop 3) and Narita Airport (at bus stop 1). There are also a number of daytime and overnight highway bus services that run from this terminal to other locations in Japan. Listed below are services to Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Okayama, Hiroshima, Wakayama, Kyoto, Nagoya, and Nara.
With the exception of JR Bus, Keisei Bus, and Willer Express most of the companies running these buses do not have English websites, so you would need to use a travel agency to book tickets in advance. However, you can make enquiries about these services directly at the YCAT Information Counter and buy tickets there too. If you do buy tickets at YCAT though, you will have to pay with cash. Below are listed some of the services that run from YCAT.
Entetsu Group’s eLiner operates four daily services to Hamamatsu Bus Terminal in Shizuoka Prefecture. Buses depart from bus stop 6 at 9.20 (arrives 13.24), 16.50 (arrives 20.57), 19.00 (arrives 22.59), and 22.50 (arrives 5.30). Fares vary between 3,000 and 4,500 yen depending on the service (day or night) and the travel period.
Shizutetsu Express run three daily services from bus stop 6 to Shizuoka Station at 15.30, 17.20, and 18.50 with an extra service at 20.20 on weekends and holidays. The journey takes about 3 hours and the fare is 2,780 yen.
Chugoku JR Bus run an overnight bus service to Okayama and Hiroshima. The bus departs from bus stop 1 at 22.00 and arrives at Okayama at 6.41, and Hiroshima at 9.11. Fares vary between 7,200 and 10,000 yen. You can check the details and make online bookings for this service at Kousokubus.net.
Wakayama Bus run an overnight bus to Wakayama. The bus departs from bus stop 1 at 22.55 and arrives at JR Wakayama Station at 7.25, and Nankai Wakayama Station at 7.40.
Seibu Bus run an overnight bus to Kyoto. This bus departs from bus stop 1 at 23.15 and arrives at Kyoto Station at 8.17. Fares vary between 5,400 yen and 9,000 yen depending on the season and how early you make a booking.
Keisei Bus run overnight services from bus stop 1 to Nagoya and Nara. The bus for Nagoya departs at 23.30 and arrives at Nagoya Station at 7.08. Fares vary between 4,800 and 7.400 yen. The bus for Nara departs at 23.50 and arrives at Kintetsu Nara Station at 6.55, and JR Nara Station at 7.01. Fares vary between 6,500 and 8,000 yen. For more details and information on booking tickets check the Keisei Bus website.
Willer Express also run a variety of daytime and overnight bus services from YCAT to destinations in Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe. Stops, times, and fares tend to vary so for up-to-date details and to make online bookings check the Willer Express English website.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.