Few people depend on taking a bus to work in the major Japanese cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. At best, a local bus will take you from your suburb to the nearest subway or rail station from where you can complete your commute. In general, Japanese city buses are cheap, crowded and slow.
In smaller cities such as Kyoto, which has only 2 subway lines, buses are essential for getting around town, if you don't have your own transport, whether that is a car or bicycle.
Car-mad Japan seems to discourage the urban bus and there is no bus culture that you would encounter in a city like London, for example. Night buses, too, are something of a rarity as are double-decker buses for anything other than sightseeing tours of Tokyo.
Japan does have an excellent system of inter-city highway buses however, with even the smallest town having a daily or weekly connection to the capital, Tokyo.
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Friday, August 07, 2009