December 2019

Our monthly online newsletter,"L'ESPACE".
L'ESPACE is a diverse French word that means place,area,cosmos,and gap.

Back Number

Riding the Bus

There are numerous rosen basu(fixed-route bus) routes running in Tokyo. These fixed-route buses follow a set path and timetable, letting passengers on and off at specific times and locations. If a bus goes close to your destination, it’s a convenient way to get there. As an example for how to use the bus, here’s how to use the Toei Bus (also called the tobus) that runs in the 23 wards.

Before Riding

Things to confirm in advance

The Toei Bus (tobus) has numerous lines running in the Tokyo city center, and their layout is complicated.
Before riding the bus, go to the Toei Bus website or route search sites, and confirm the following.


The site below can be used to search for information such as Toei Bus routes, bus stops, time tables, and where the buses are currently running.

Toei Bus Real-Time Information Service (Japanese)
Toei Bus Real-Time Information Service (English)

The site below is for searching routes. Available in 13 languages.

Japan Transit Planner

Waiting at the Bus Stop

After arriving at the bus stop, make sure that the bus line you want to ride stops there.
Line up in order of arrival and wait for the bus to arrive.

When the bus arrives, confirm it will stop at the bus stop where you want to get off. The displays on the front, back, and sides of the bus show its route number and destination. Since multiple lines stop at the same bus stop, be careful.

Riding the Bus

Riding the Bus

When getting on the bus, use the door at the front. Stand a short distance away from the bus until it has stopped and the doors have opened.

After Getting on the Bus

Pay the fare

The fee you pay for riding the bus is called unchin (fare). Pay your fare using the machine located next to the driver’s seat. You can use cash or an IC card.

When paying in cash, change will be supplied automatically if you pay more than your fare. You can use coins and 1,000-yen bills to pay.

Sit in a seat

Since buses sometimes stop suddenly, try to sit down whenever there are seats available. When standing, hold onto a tsurikawa (rings hanging down from above) or tesuri (poles used to support your body) to keep your balance.

Get off the bus

The next bus stop will be announced and shown on the display at the front. When the stop where you want to get off is next, press the “stop request button” located on a nearby wall or pole.

If you’re worried you might get the stop wrong, tell the bus driver where you want to get off and ask them to tell you when it’s time.

When the bus comes to a complete stop, stand up from your seat and get off using the back door.
After getting off the bus, don’t immediately go out into the street from in front or behind the bus. This is very dangerous.

Riding the Bus

Using Other Buses

Using the Toei Bus (tobus) in the Tama area

When riding the Toei Bus (tobus) in the Tama area, get on from the back door and get off at the front.
In addition, the fare varies depending on where you get on and get off. The two payment methods below are available.

[Using an IC card]

Riding the Bus

Using buses run by other companies

There are a variety of different buses other than Toei Bus (tobus) running in Tokyo. Methods for getting on and off the bus, as well as paying the fare, vary for different bus companies and lines. Confirm these details on the website for each bus company.

Tokyo International Communication Committee

Ono Bldg. 3F, 17-15 Kandamatsunagacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0023
TEL:03-5294-6542 FAX:03-5294-6540