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Budget-Friendly Ways to Travel Between Tokyo and Fukuoka! Including Bullet Trains, Buses, and Flights

Many people planning a trip to Japan want to visit as many cities as they can. If that describes you, then you probably want to think about which mode of travel is cheaper by comparing the travel time, price, and comfort they offer. This article picks out two famous cities for travelers, Tokyo and Fukuoka. Read on for an in-depth comparison of the available means of transportation between these two cities!

Where and How Far Apart Are Tokyo and Fukuoka?

Tokyo is the capital of Japan, located in the eastern part of Honshu, while Fukuoka is a city in the northern part of Kyushu, southwest of Honshu. These two cities are approximately 880 kilometers apart as the crow flies.
Incidentally, Fukuoka is 890km from Shanghai and 540km from Seoul. Being close to the Korean Peninsula and mainland China, Fukuoka is also considered as the Japan’s gateway to Asia.



Which Offers Greater Value? Various Means of Transportation Between Tokyo and Fukuoka

There are four main means of transportation between Tokyo and Fukuoka: conventional rail, bullet trains, express bus, and airplanes. To help you choose the best method of transportation, here are details on the travel time, price, and comfort of each of those modes of travel.

Super-Cheap If You Do It Right! Traveling by Train (Conventional Train Lines)

If you are prepared for an extremely difficult itinerary for the sake of cutting back on cost, then you can use the Seishun 18 Kippu (※For details on Seishun 18 Kippu, refer to this article). If there are five people in your group, you will only need to shell out an absurdly low price of 2,410 JPY per person to get to Fukuoka’s Kokura Station from Tokyo! However, you will need to get on the first train early in the morning and transfer 12 times to get to Fukuoka, which means you will be on the road for a total of 19 hours and 24 minutes.
The time window for transferring trains is quite short, and the Seishun 18 Kippu can only be used within one calendar day (through 11:59 pm), so you cannot pull off this plan if you fail to make just one of the scheduled transfers. It is a difficult plan, but one that will undoubtedly leave lasting memories of your trip! However, if you are heading to Tokyo Station from Kokura Station, the journey will stretch over two days due to the train schedules, so it would be more economical to go by the other means of transportation discussed below.

Enjoy the Journey! Traveling by Bullet Train (Shinkansen)

Want to relax and enjoy the trip? Then you should travel by Shinkansen (bullet train). From Tokyo Station, you will reach Fukuoka’s Hakata Station in about 5 hours if you hop on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen. No need to transfer trains! The Shinkansen is rarely delayed, so you can get to Fukuoka as scheduled. Fare is 22,220 JPY for a non-reserved seat and 23,390 JPY for a reserved seat, but you can get a 10% discount if you buy a round-trip ticket.
Tokyo Station and Hakata Station have plenty of shops selling souvenirs and bento (Japanese box lunches), so it would be a good idea to buy a bento before you get on the train and eat it in the comfort of your Shinkansen seat.

Enjoy the Journey! Traveling by Bullet Train (Shinkansen)

Appealing Low Prices! Traveling by Express Bus

If you want to save on transportation expenses while enjoying your trip, then an express bus is the option for you! While the schedule varies between bus companies, there are many buses that leave Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Station at 8:00 - 9:00 pm and then arrive in the Hakata area at around noon the following day. Fares also depend on the type of bus and the season of travel, but a one-way ticket generally costs 7,500 JPY to 20,000 JPY.
Passengers get jostled in the bus for many hours, so you need to be physically strong. But the good thing about express buses is that you arrive at your destination while you are sleeping, so you get to save on accommodation.

If You’re in a Hurry! Traveling by Plane

Now, if you want to get there right away, there’s no better way than to get on a plane. In Fukuoka, the city center is close to Fukuoka Airport: Hakata Station is just a 6-minute train ride away! That is the most efficient use of the limited time you have in your trip. A lot of people think that it is expensive to travel by plane, but with the advent of low-cost carriers in recent years, you can now get plane tickets at discounted prices.
Plane fares greatly vary depending on the season and airline, but a one-way ticket between Tokyo and Fukuoka ranges from 6,000 JPY to 30,000 JPY. The flight time is about 2 hours and 15 minutes.
There are two airports near Tokyo, Haneda Airport and Narita Airport, but Haneda is more accessible if you are going to or from central Tokyo. If you go to Tokyo Station by the limited Narita Express from Narita Airport, you have to pay 3,070 JPY for a one-way ride. When booking tickets, be extra careful about which airport you choose.

This article features various options for traveling between Tokyo and Fukuoka, so you can decide based on speed or price. Note, though, that fares change depending on the time of year you travel, and there are times when you can enjoy a higher discount if you book early. So, once you have finalized your date of departure, make sure to compare the various means of traveling between Tokyo and Fukuoka.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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