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Seat-In-Coach Now Available to Tour Japan by Bus

By June 18, 2017 at 11:47 pm

A great news afoot for foreign tourists: an extensive sightseeing bus service is currently under study by nine bus service operators from Hokkaido to Kyushu to provide a Japanese equivalent of the so-called seat-in-coach service common in the western countries.

Right now, local bus operators are restricted to run within respective localities and, much as they wish to, can't operate beyond the borders. Now, the idea is to link all these nine regional bus lines to travel the length of Japan, north to south, in the style of seat-in-coach - eventually from Hokkaido down to Kagoshima, the southern tip of the main island Japan. The new system will certainly afford the touring foreigners greater degrees of freedom.

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Nine bus operators have agreed to the project: Nansatsu southern Satsuma) Tourists (Kagoshima), Kotohira Bus (Kagawa), Shinki Bus Group (Hyogo) Kanto Jidosha (Tochigi), Iwate Tohoku Jidosha (Iwate), etc. These operators have joined to organize a Japan Coastline Alliance to activate respective tourist agents to program route linkages. The alliance is due to attract 15 corporates across the country within this year. 

To start with, the alliance contemplates an expensive regional tour in Kyushu next spring as its maiden project leading to nationwide operations. This tour is to link Nansatsu Tourists and Miyazaki Kotsu to operate around Southern Kyushu and simultaneously the whole of Kyushu exclusively for foreign tourists. The tours are complete with English-language tour guide service. The one that tours around the whole of Kyushu costs 100-150 thousand yen for 8 days with 7 nights. An optional tour offers more freedom of movement on 3 days and 2 nights - free to stop over.

Hard-driving tourists will take advantage of the services offered by the alliance to transfer busses from one to another, starting Kyushu then to Shikoku via a ferry, touring Shikoku by Kotohira Bus en route to Kansai via Shinki Bus, etc.

A great news indeed for ambitious foreign tourists.(Nathan Shiga)

Source: Nikkei

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