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Monday, 1st August 2016
In Japan Travel News,

Weekly express bus passes to be launched for visitors to Japan

A new bus pass is to be launched in Japan in September, which will allow foreign visitors to travel around the country more easily.

Some 60 transport operators have joined forces to offer the pass to enable tourists to ride for any distance at the same price on around 100 expressway routes, reports the Asia Nikkei Review.

They will include journeys in the northernmost island of Hokkaido and the southern island of Kyushu, as well as everywhere in between.

Bus companies, such as Willer Express Japan from Osaka, a selection of regional operators and even some associated with the railways, like Keio and the JR group, are involved.

The Japan Bus Lines (JBL) Pass will be available from the new consortium’s website, which is navigable in English, Chinese and Korean.

Visitors will be able to choose from two passes, depending on the length of their visit and their transportation needs.

The first will be valid for seven days and cost 20,000 yen (£148.50), while the alternative option is a 14-day pass with a 28,000 yen (£208) price tag.

Passengers who have bought the passes will still need to reserve seats in advance, meaning it won’t be as simple as hopping on a bus whenever the mood takes them.

It is thought that the passes will also not be available during peak seasons, explaining the reason for rolling them out in September after the summer.

English signs are expected to be improved on the services to coincide with the increased number of foreign passengers the passes are expected to bring.

The JBL consortium is hoping to attract 370,000 travellers and 1.5 billion yen in revenue by 2019.