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What is Hatobus? Hugely Popular Tours, Convenient for Seeing the Tokyo Area

Hatobus are bus tours that take you around a variety of places from the center of Tokyo to the surrounding areas. There is a wide selection of courses, including half-day plans to overnight plans. This time, we delve into the appeal of Hatobus!

What is Hatobus?

Hatobus are popular bus tours that take you around Tokyo and a variety of other places on day trips and overnight trips. They offer a wide selection of tours for foreign visitors. The interpreter-guides, who speak English and Chinese, are knowledgeable about Japanese history and culture. There is also an array of places to visit (dependent on conditions such as languages, whether meals are included and schedule.) The tours that include meals can accommodate dietary restrictions.

Let's take a look at what tours they have!

What is Hatobus?

Tokyo Half Day Tours

These are convenient half-day tours that cover major destinations in a short period of time. Destinations include the standards, such as Tokyo Tower, Imperial Palace, Asakusa, Skytree, and Odaiba. There are also unique plans for experiencing Japanese culture, such as one that includes a visit to a "maid cafe" in Akihabara, the sacred grounds of Japan's subculture, another that includes a tea ceremony, and another that includes an Oiran Show.

Rates: 1,800 JPY per person (incl. tax)/adult and up

Tokyo・Yokohama Full Day Tours

These are tours for people who want to efficiently see the major tourist spots in Tokyo or Yokohama. In addition to tours of the standard tourist spots, there is one that comes with three meals focusing on the appeal of Japanese food including sushi and tempura, and a plan that goes to Yokohama Chinatown and an outlet mall. There is also a tour for Muslims that includes a visit to one of Japan's largest mosques and a halal lunch.

Rates: 5,500 JPY per person/adult and up

Fuji Hakone Suburban Tours

These are tours for those who want to get out of Tokyo. There is a tour that includes World Heritage sites such as Mt. Fuji and Nikko Tosho-gu as well as one to enjoy the popular amusement park, Fuji-Q Highland, with a ride themed on the animation, Evangelion, and an overnight tour for enjoying onsen hot spas.

Rates: 5,500 JPY per person/adult and up

*The image is for illustrative purposes only

Lots of Great Services

The tours come with all kinds of different buses. Those with free Wi-Fi on board and the double-decker buses decorated with Hello Kitty are popular. Some tours also offer headsets to listen to multilingual* guides that progress in time with the bus (offered on buses with automatic audio guide systems; the tour guides are Japanese speakers). These services are limited in availability, so be sure to book in advance.

*English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Indonesian, Thai, French, Vietnamese

Departure

Most tours depart at Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal (with some exceptions) and the time depends on the tour. There are free pickup services for those who are concerned about getting to the departure point on time (not applicable for some tours; reservation required). Pickups can be made at major hotels in Tokyo, Tokyo Station, and the East Exit of Shinjuku Station (mornings only).

Reservations

Reservations should be made on Hatobus's official website. Online reservations can be made up to 4:00 pm on the day before departure (with some exceptions). If there is availability you may be able to join tours on the day of, but it is better to make advance reservations. If you reserve at one of the Hatobus offices, you will be able to purchase the ticket at the same time.

Points to Keep in Mind

In recent years, there has been an increase of people making reservations and not showing up. It is common courtesy in Japan to "show up if you have made a reservation, and to cancel in advance if you are unable to." Please follow the etiquette and fully enjoy the tours. Also, if you ask the tour guide, you will be able to leave the tour at one of the stops - however, keep in mind that you cannot request a refund for the portion of the tour that you do not attend.

*The image is for illustrative purposes only

You can join Hatobus tours in a group or on your own (some exceptions apply). If you are visiting Japan, please try it out!

*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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