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Local Buses

Local buses are a cheap way to get around. They are punctual, if not early, and  far more economical than the train (the further you go, the more economical bus rides become).

It`s easy to take a local bus, but hard to determine which bus to take. You have to know Kanji to be able to get on the right bus. Usually you don`t have time to ask the driver if the bus will stop at your stop, as the entrance to the bus is in the back of the bus and by the time you make your way to the driver, you`ll be on your way in whatever direction.

To grab a local bus, flag it down with your hand (if you don`t signal the driver to stop he may pass by), and get in the back door. On the stairs up, or at the top of the stairs, grab a ticket from the machine. The ticket should have a number, and this number corresponds to an electronic fare / zone board at the front of the bus. Below your zone number it will show the cost of the bus ride if you get off at the next stop.

When you are ready to exit, pull or press the stop button and make your way to the front. Drop EXACT change into the machine next to the driver.   If you don`t have the exact change, there is a change machine as part of the same apparatus, the change slot is facing into the bus whereas the fare slot is much closer to the driver, and on the top. Be sure to sort out change before the bus comes to a stop, so you don`t hold up the line.
Drop the change and your ticket into the machine, and it will beep – that`s your signal to leave.

The fares vary, in the city it`s about 200 yen for an inner-city ride.

If you aren`t sure if you are on the right bus, you can ask the driver “Sumimasen, Shizuoka eki o tomarimasuka” (Excuse me, are you going to stop at Shizuoka station). You can also ask the driver to tell you when you have arrived at Shizuoka station by saying “Shizuoka eki tsuitara oshiete kudasai“.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ruth permalink
    February 6, 2013 3:40 am


    I’m going to be living in Shizuoka ken from March, with the new Interac batch. I’ve been told I don’t need to drive, so I imagine I will be catching busses at some point. I was wonderng, you mentioned that the ticket shows the fare to the next stop. How do you know how much your whole bus journey costs if it’s a few stops on?

    Thanks (great website by the way)

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