Comparison of Tokyo's two major bus terminals: "Busta Shinjuku" vs "bus terminals around Tokyo Station"! Which one will you use on your next visit to Japan?

Comparison of Tokyo's two major bus terminals: Busta Shinjuku vs bus terminals around Tokyo Station! Which one will you use on your next visit to Japan?

If you have come all the way to Japan, you will want to visit famous tourist areas such as Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone. However, there are many people who don't know how to access it from Tokyo.

What we would like to recommend for such a case is the express bus. Not only is it easy to understand how to make reservations and how to ride, but the best part is that it's easy and relatively cheap. For those who want to make the most of their limited time, taking a night bus is also an option. There are also night buses that go to places like Osaka.

In this article, we will thoroughly introduce Busta Shinjuku, which is directly connected to Shinjuku Station, and the bus terminals around Tokyo Station.

About Busta Shinjuku

Busta Shinjuku is the departure and arrival point for express buses connecting Tokyo and other parts of the country. There are approximately 100 operating companies, and it is known as one of the largest express bus terminals in Japan. Previously, there were 19 bus stops scattered throughout the Shinjuku area, but in April 2016, all bus stops were consolidated into Busta Shinjuku (official name: Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal), greatly increasing convenience.

When using the express bus, go to the "express bus boarding floor" on the 4th floor. There is also a waiting room and information counter. When accessing Busta Shinjuku from JR Shinjuku Station, you can use Shinjuku Station's "New South Gate" to avoid getting wet even in the rain*.

*The new south ticket gate can be used from 05:45 to 24:00, so please use the south exit outside of these hours.

About bus terminals around Tokyo Station

around Tokyo Station

The bus situation at Tokyo Station is a little more complicated than at Shinjuku. This is because the bus terminals are not consolidated into one place like Busta Shinjuku.

In addition to Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu, which opened in September 2022, there are a total of three permanent manned bus terminals around Tokyo Station. There were also unmanned bus stops, which made things more complicated. "Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu" consolidated the express bus stops that were scattered around the Yaesu Exit and opened in September 2022, but this time it is merely in the first phase area. It is scheduled to open fully in 2028 once everything is in place.

💡Points to keep in mind

The bus stop you use depends on the bus company and destination, so be sure to carefully check which bus stop you should use when taking an express bus departing from Tokyo Station.

Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu

Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu
Ticket vending machine (left) and information counter (right) on the 1st basement floor of Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu
Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu
Bus stop located on the 2nd basement floor of Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu

Unlike Busta Shinjuku, which has bus stops on the third and fourth floors above ground, "Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu" has ticket offices and information counters on the first basement floor, and the bus stop is on the second basement floor. It's a very convenient location, as it can be accessed from the 1st floor entrance of "Tokyo Midtown Yaesu" and the Yaesu underground shopping mall on the 1st basement floor near the Yaesu exit of Tokyo Station.

*Yaesu underground shopping mall is open from 5:00 to 23:00. Please access from the ground outside of these hours.

Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Express Bus Terminal Bus Stop

Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Express Bus Terminal Bus Stop
Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Expressway Bus Terminal bus stop. There are bus stops number 1 to 9.
Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Express Bus Terminal Bus Stop
Tokyo Station Nihonbashi Exit, a drop-off point for express buses operated by JR Bus Kanto

From the "Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Express Bus Terminal" bus stop, which is located just outside the Yaesu South Exit of Tokyo Station, you can go to short-distance routes in the Kanto area, medium-distance routes in Northern Kanto and Chubu, and long-distance overnight routes to the Kansai area, operated by JR Bus Kanto. There are bus stops numbered 1 to 9. There is a manned ticket office/counter on the right side of platform 9. If you are coming back to Tokyo Station, the place to get off is Tokyo Station Nihonbashi Exit. Please note that this may differ from where you ride.

From here, we will compare and introduce express bus routes that depart from and arrive at "Busta Shinjuku", the bus terminal of Shinjuku station, and bus terminals around Tokyo Station.

Comparison ① Bus routes

Japanese Bus routes

Both "Busta Shinjuku" and "bus terminals around Tokyo Station" have express buses on various routes, from buses running north for Aomori in Tohoku to ones running south for Fukuoka in Kyushu. Of course, there are also direct buses to Osaka and Kyoto, which are popular with foreign travelers, as well as direct buses to popular theme parks that can be taken as day trips from Tokyo, such as Tokyo Disney Resort and Fuji-Q Highland, which are very convenient.

However, if you want to go to Hakone, there are no buses from Tokyo Station, so use Busta Shinjuku. As for the bus bound for Narita Airport, if you use the bus that departs from "Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Expressway Bus Terminal", it is cheaper than Busta Shinjuku and has relatively frequent buses. The main prices and number of trains per hour are as follows.

Bus TerminalBus Company
Fare
Number of Buses
Busta Shinjuku
Tokyo Airport Transport Service
One way: 3600 yen
About 3 buses per hour
Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Express Bus Terminal Bus Stop
Airport Bus TYO/NRT
One way: 1,300 yen (early morning/late night buses: 2,600 yen)
Approximately 3 to 6 buses per hour (daytime: 1 bus every 10 minutes)

💡Points to keep in mind

There are many bus companies, and sometimes several operate to the same destination, and each has different prices, times, frequency, etc., so be sure to research carefully. Also, the bus stop where you get on the bus and the bus stop where you get off the bus on the return route may be different. If you are returning to Tokyo from a day trip etc., be sure to check such information too.

Comparison ② About purchasing tickets and riding the bus

About purchasing tickets and riding the bus

Busta Shinjuku

  • If you have not reserved a bus in advance, purchase a ticket at the ticketing counter or vending machine before proceeding to the bus stop.
  • If you have pre-booked your bus and have already paid, please wait for the bus at the bus stop.

💡Points to keep in mind

The bus stop for each bus is displayed on the departure information board. Please wait for the bus near the bus stop 10 minutes before the departure time. If you have any questions, please ask the staff.

Bus terminals around Tokyo Station

There are about 7 bus stops around Tokyo Station, including "Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu", but how to get on them is basically as follows.

Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Express Bus Terminal Bus Stop
Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Express Bus Terminal Bus Stop
Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Expressway Bus Information Desk. Check the boarding location on the electronic bulletin board
  • If you have made a reservation in advance, check the bus stop on the departure information board and wait near the bus stop about 10 minutes before the bus arrives. Seats are fixed, so there are no queues. After the bus arrives, simply get on the bus.
  • If you are traveling on a non-reserved seat route without advance reservations, there are ticket offices at two locations: "Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu" and "Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Expressway Bus Terminal Bus Stop", so purchase your tickets there.
  • At "Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu", even if you purchase a ticket from the ticket vending machine, you will not be able to board the bus if the bus is full, so be sure to line up after purchasing your ticket and secure your seat early. In addition, even if you do not have a ticket, if there is a vacant seat and you are able to board the bus, you can pay the fare on the bus when you get off the bus. Express buses departing from the "Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Express Bus Terminal Bus Stop" are non-reserved seat routes, and you will not be able to board the bus if the bus is full.
  • Other bus terminals do not have ticket vending machines, and you often have to pay directly to the driver. Check the departure point on the departure information board and stand in line. When the bus arrives, the automatic doors will open and you can board the bus. If you have not made a reservation in advance, you may board the bus if there is space available and pay the fare directly to the driver on the bus.

💡Points to keep in mind

Basically, it is better to make a reservation in advance, but if there are seats available on the day, you can ride. However, there is no guarantee that you will be able to board the bus, so if you know your destination and departure date and time, it is safer to make a reservation in advance. Also, be sure to check in advance whether there is a ticket sales counter or whether you can pay the fare directly to the bus operator, as this varies depending on the bus company.

Comparison ③ Convenient restaurants, shops, waiting rooms, etc. while waiting

japanese bento

In addition to the waiting area, some terminals also have convenience store and etc.

Busta Shinjuku

The waiting room is located on the 4th floor, which is the "express bus platform floor." There is also a convenience store, "Daily Yamazaki Busta Shinjuku Store", and "Busta Shinjuku THE Miyage SHOP", which carries souvenirs from the Kanto area, and they are open from early morning until late at night, so you don't have to worry about time.

Bus terminals around Tokyo Station

Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu
Waiting space on the 1st basement floor of Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu
Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Express Bus Terminal Bus Stop
Shop (back) and vending machine (front) located at the JR Expressway Bus Information Desk at the Yaesu South Exit of Tokyo Station
  • The waiting areas of "Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu" are located on the 1st and 2nd basement floors, as well as a convenience store and vending machines. In addition, there are many restaurants on the first basement floor, which is on the same floor as the Yaesu underground shopping mall and the terminal, in addition to cafes such as Starbucks Coffee.
  • "Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Expressway Bus Terminal Bus Stop" also has a waiting area and a shop. There is also an open space with a large roof and deck that is approximately 230 meters long directly above. When you have time until your bus departs, or when the waiting room is full, we recommend taking a walk on the deck.

Business hours list

Bus terminal \ Business hours
Waiting Space
Merchandise Sales
Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu
05:00~24:35
05:00~24:35 (FamilyMart)
JR Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Express Bus Terminal Bus Stop
06:00~0:00
08:00~23:00
Busta Shinjuku
04:30~25:00 (Highway bus platform floor)
04:30~25:00 (Daily Yamazaki), 06:00-24:00 (Busta Shinjuku THE Miyage SHOP)

Comparison ④ Availability of services that are pleasing to foreign tourists

Lockers

The bus terminal provides convenient services for travelers and offers multilingual support.

Busta Shinjuku

On the 4th floor, there are coin lockers that are available for 2 hours at 100 yen (50 lockers) for small, 200 yen (46 lockers) for medium, and 300 yen (46 lockers) for large size (full amount will be added every 2 hours after that depending on the size of the locker). There is also a coin-operated cell phone charger (charges for 20 minutes for 100 yen) next to the automatic ticket machine on the north side.

The information counter in the waiting room is always available in English (Chinese is available irregularly). You can also use "Shinjuku-Bus-Terminal Free Wi-Fi", a free public wireless LAN service for foreign tourists visiting Japan.

Bus terminals around Tokyo Station

Coin lockers on the 1st basement floor of Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu
Coin lockers on the 1st basement floor of Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu
Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Express Bus Terminal Bus Stop
Electronic bulletin board at the Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Express Bus Terminal Bus Stop
  • There are coin lockers in the waiting area on the first basement floor of "Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu". One idea is to use the coin lockers around Tokyo Station, as they may be full. You can also rent mobile batteries (application download required). Information signs and information signage inside the terminal are written in English. In addition, the automatic departure information announcement is also available in English, and the official website is available in English, simplified Chinese, and Korean. As for the internet environment, you can use Wi-Fi at Tokyo Midtown Yaesu.
  • At the information office where the ticket counter/counter of "Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit JR Express Bus Terminal Bus Stop" is located, there are coin lockers (400 yen for small size/600 yen for medium size/700 yen for large size per day), waiting area, shop, and toilet. there is. English is available at the counter, and signs on electronic bulletin boards are written in both English and Chinese.

Index

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