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Japanese, luxury travel busses

I have always visited cities in Japan with the shinkansen, but I have seen signs of long distance buses around touristy areas before. For instance, when I was in Hakone, I saw a bus that could take me directly to Shinjuku. That is very impressive as it takes about an hour with a high-speed train. Because I easily get carsick, I never considered this option.

But recently, I discovered that the buses can have more comfort than I could ever imagine. Take for instance, the seats in the buses from Willer Express, they have fully reclining chairs (up to 142°!) with a cocoon like partition, special ladies-only seats with leg rests that have a built in foot massager and heating + a Sharp Plasma cluster air purifier on board, a hood attached to the top of the seat that gives you privacy, while you sleep, and a personal monitor for entertainment and games at the back of the seat in front of you. It has started to become comparable to an airplane without the discomfort that you might get from the air pressure in the cabin and the take off & landing. You do have to deal with carsickness and the possible toilet breaks (not all buses have a toilet in the bus), in which the bus stops and with many people leaving their seats, disturbing your sleep.

I haven't taken a bus to travel somewhere far, since I was on a school trip during high school - and that's a long time ago! -, but I heard that power sockets and wireless internet is common in most luxury travel buses and even trains now. But I think it is good to mention that most of luxury travel buses in Japan have them too. If you can get a good rate, find an over-night bus to your destination (saves you one hotel stay!), and/or don't mind sitting in a bus for a long time, it is quite a budget friendly way to travel.

Make sure to compare prices, as there are many bus companies and you might get a better deal out of it by buying a Japan Rail Pass or scoring a cheap plane ticket.


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