Cheap Travel to Tokyo: Overnight Buses

I love shopping in Tokyo.  I love the people-watching. I love the stereotyped feeling of “Japan” that I get while just being there.  Tokyo is worth visiting more than once, and it doesn’t have to be too spendy.

I’ve used overnight buses to get to Tokyo (and Tokyo Disneyland — same price!) multiple times, and I haven’t been let down yet.

Photo: oimax

Here’s how overnight buses work:

– Go online (I like Willer Travel because they have English support, and it’s the cheapest company I’ve found). 

– Choose your boarding point and destination (You can leave from the Kanazawa Station, and get off in Shinjuku, Tokyo Disneyland, and a few other places)

– Choose your seat type ( Seats range from ¥4,400 – ¥8,500, depending on the type of seat you want and the day you’ll be traveling.  It’s all clearly explained in English on the site.)

– Check to see if your travel date is available on the website.

– Make your reservation online (you pay via credit card).

– On the day of travel, you meet at the loading place at the Kanazawa Station –the bus usually leaves at 10:00 pm.  Sleep the night on the bus. (It stops every few hours for bathroom breaks, which is good or bad, depending on how easily you can get back to sleep.) If you’re getting off in Shinjuku, you’ll be dropped off at 6:40 am at the train station.  You arrive at Tokyo Disneyland at 7:40am.

Photo: Willer Express

If you’re returning via overnight bus, make sure you’ve reserved your return ticket in advanced, and be sure where the boarding location is!  You’ll also want to be sure you have their Emergency Phone Number listed in your phone in case you’re having trouble finding where to get on the bus!

If you’re using the “standard” (cheapest) seating option, be aware that you are quite close to the person next to you. If you’re traveling with a friend, it’s fine, but if you don’t know the other person, you may want to get a seat upgrade for a larger personal bubble.

How about you? What’s your preferred method of getting to Tokyo?

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