Saturday, December 20, 2014

How to Travel from Osaka to Tokyo via Night Bus

There are two main options you can take to travel from Osaka or kyoto to Tokyo. The most popular and preferred one is riding the Shinkansen (bullet train). A lot of people say that riding the Shinkansen is an experience in itself and it's a must do for them. However, we decided NOT to ride the Shinkansen but ride the overnight bus from Osaka to Tokyo instead, and here's why:

Cost:
- Shinkansen (1 way) costs 13,620 Yen or 5,100 Php. 
- Overnight Bus (1 way) costs varies from 3,000 Yen to 11,000 Yen. We selected one of the cheapest but still comfortable bus which costs 4,200 Yen or 1,600 Php.
- It's a whopping 3,500 Php difference EACH!

Time:
- Shinkansen obviously is faster as the whole journey takes 3-4 hours.
- Overnight Bus takes around 8-9 hours.
- The difference however is that, there is no night trip for Shinkansen and you need to travel during the day. For Bus, you can take the overnight ride which in our case was from 10pm to 7am. So you can sleep during the entire bus ride and immediately go around by day time.

Total Savings:
- We saved total of 7,000 Php for transportation for the two of us
- We saved half a day of itinerary which we used to go to Disneyland in Tokyo
- We saved additional 1 day of hotel cost (since we did not have to book 1 day of hotel).


Recommendation:
- Ride the bus if you want to save time and money. It's very comfortable as they have reclining seats and it's very spacious. Only downside is that you won't be able to see any sights going from Osaka to Tokyo as you'll probably be sleeping the entire time.
- Ride Shinkansen, if you plan to travel around 4 cities that are far from each other (not counting Nara, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe which are near from each other) since that's when Shinkansen unlimited ride will be worth it. If you do the math, even if you go to 2-3 cities, it's still significantly cheaper to ride the bus vs. unlimited JR Pass which costs around 13,000 Php and needs to be bought outside of Japan. 

How to Book?
- You need to choose among several bus companies. We chose Willer Express Bus  (http://willerexpress.com/en/) because of reviews and recommendation from our friends. I also highly recommend this!
- You can buy ticket at the venue or online. We booked through online to avoid risk of running out of ticket and also there are discounts at times if you book through online.
- Print the confirmation ticket and go the station around 30 mins prior to your scheduled departure time and just show the ticket. All of the staff speak very good English.

How to get there?

Ride MRT and alight at Umeda Station Exit 5. 
Turn Left immediately and go straight until you see the Mitsubishi Building. Then turn left again and go straight until you see several hotels and building nearby.
You will reach a dead end wherein there is an intersection and a tunnel passage in front of you. Walk diagonally to your right and enter the underground walkway.
This is the underground tunnel and at the end of it, you will see the Umeda Sky Building Tower already.
Here you can check out different restaurants, mall stores, and even go up the tower at the Floating Garden. To know about the details check their official website here
You need to get to Umeda Sky Building TOWER EAST because that's where the Willer Express station is situated. For a detailed instructions on how to go to Willer Express Umeda, click here
 The waiting room is located in the first floor of the building. 
 This is the lobby/waiting area. 
 
There's a powder room to refresh yourself but toilet is located at the basement near the underground restaurant. There's a vending machine to get quick snacks and refreshments. However, if you want to eat a heavy meal, I suggest you go to the underground food court.
 
Be mindful of the boarding time and your bus number. If you booked online, make sure you have the confirmation printed out for a smoother process. 

The buses are located just outside the building. You need to present your tickets to the driver and you need to double check the bus number as well! :)
The seats are surprisingly comfortable for an 8 hour drive. It's cozy because pillows, blankets, and head covers are provided.

NOTE: Boys and girls are not allowed to seat together! We just found out the day itself! all the while, we thought the bus seats are full that's why my boyfriend and I have different seat numbers but we noticed that even group passengers (family) are seated away from each other.
 Head covers for those "awkward open mouth sleeping face" situations ;) hahaha
There's also a very small toilet that resembles airline toilets. Now, you don't have to worry if you feel you want to pee or do #2 ;) (poopie) Although, there are no outlets inside the bus so you need to bring with you power bank or better yet, turn off your mobile phones for the night to save battery. 
 Our bus stopped at Shinjuku in Tokyo. But there is no MRT station near by the bus stop so you need to walk around 10 mins to walk to the nearest MRT station.
This is the front view of the bus stop. From here, you may now look for the nearest MRT station or walk going to your hotel. 
Address: 1-1-88, Oyodonaka, Kita-ku, Osaka
Photobucket

27 comments:

  1. hi tinco, how did you handle your luggage from travelling to different cities? :)

    we are planning to replicate your japan itinerary but the problem is, our tickets are bound to Manila-Osaka, Osaka-Manila. thanks for your help :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nancy! Nope we didn't travel around with our luggage except when we went from Osaka to Tokyo via night sleeper bus :)

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  2. hello po!

    ung plane ticket nyo po ba from manila - osaka den narita - manila?? :)

    salamat po sa info and very informative po ung blog nyo :)

    -Junn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Junn, we arrived in Osaka airport then went back home from Tokyo airport :)

      Delete
  3. Hello Ms. Tin,
    I would like to thank you again that your blog helps us to get our approved Taiwan Visa last year. 😁😁
    And now we're planning to go to Japan and im here to get some tips and information how you spent your vacation there. I hope you dont mind if I ask you where did you take a bath when you arrived in Tokyo? Did you check-in first to your hotel or you just go straight to Disneyland?
    Thank you in advance for answering.

    Vani😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vani!!! super thank you for reading my blog posts!!! :) kakatuwa naman haha.

      Anyway to answer your question...since we're meeting with some friends na kasama sa Disneyland and naka stay sila sa area ng bus stop namin in Tokyo..dun na kami muna nag freshen up and doon muna namin iniwan yung luggage namin since we want to go to Disney first thing in the morning. Dilemma din kasi namin at first yun because hindi pa pwedeng mag check-in sa Asakusa hostel namin when we arrived Tokyo. Good thing may place kami to stay for the mean time. Cguro what you can do if you want to follow my itinerary in Tokyo coming from Osaka, check your hotel in Tokyo if they can store your bags muna. Ang problem lang ngayon yung ligo niyo haha :) Maybe you can freshen up sa CR nalang muna ng hotel :)

      Delete
  4. There are two main options you can take to travel from Osaka or kyoto to Tokyo. The most popular and preferred one is riding the Shinkansen (bullet train). A lot of people say that riding the Shinkansen is an experience in itself and it's a must do for them. However, we decided NOT to ride the Shinkansen but ride the overnight bus from Osaka to Tokyo instead, and here's why: fort lauderdale tours

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup bullet train is indeed an experience itself but it's quite expensive! :) thanks for sharing your link, Richard!

      Delete
  5. Can I ask what time of year were you travelling? Would prices go up in December for night bus? :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi! What airline did you fly and what time did you arrive? :) I'm looking at booking the night bus from Osaka to Tokyo but my ETA via CebPac is at 8:00pm. Just a bit worried that any delays might leave us short on boarding time (flight delay, immigration, travel from airport to Umeda Station). Can you share your approximate travel time from Kansai to Willerbus Station? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Tin, this article is super helpful! You gave me and my friends an option B. I just want to ask though, you mentioned na walang overnight trains available which is why you opted to take the bus, I'm a little confused kasi meron akong na-search that an overnight train is available, the Sunrise Izumo / Sunrise Seto, which stops at Osaka and goes all the way to Tokyo. Now I'm not sure if what I read is outdated, would really appreciate your feedback. Salamat! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello Ms. Tin.
    May I know kung ano ang pinakamalapit na MRT station sa bus stop ng shinkuju?
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Ms. Tin,

    Can you help me.. I checked at willer's website but couldn't find the route of osaka-tokyo. How did you guys booked that for your trip?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was reading this blog because I had booked with Willer Express from Osaka to Tokyo recently.

      Here is the link:
      http://willerexpress.com/dy/3/bus/pc/binList/?skb=02&sk=27&tk=13&osf=1&osfp=0&lang=en&of=0&sk=27&sa=&tk=13&ta=&sdt=2016%2F02%2F14&fdt=2016%2F02%2F15&mn=1&fn=1

      Just change the departure date and passenger number, then hit search.

      You should be able to find a bus! Good luck Ms. Tin!

      Delete
    2. Thank you! ��

      Delete
  10. Hi, how is the view from the bus during the journey? can we choose the window seat and how many breaks in between ? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. hi dear pretty ms.tin ,may i know is the unlimited JR pass can use on other train as well? or only bullet train? need your advice in urgent , as im buying to flight from kl to tokyo , and i hope to buy round trip by bus from tokyo to osaka , stay for few days and back to tokyo from osaka.pls advice , thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  12. hi, which route can i take if we are going osaka-tokyo? i don't see it at the website and the link given was not loading at all. thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Tinco, I've checked trip schedules on Willer Express for Osaka to Tokyo and noticed that some trips do not start directly from Umeda. Could I still catch that bus when it stops at Umeda? How about the fare? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Miss Tin Co,
    May i ask you, as you said above print the confirmation ticket and show it to the staff, if we book while in osaka and where can we print the ticket? can i book the ticket 1 month earlier so i can print ticket at my home? Thank you for all of your sharing above. Please kindly reply and help. -Sen-

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello!

    What about an overnight bus trip from Tokyo to Osaka? Any tips how/where to buy tickets in advance?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ms. Tin, Can we use your itinerary? I think this is perfect for us since this is our first time to go to Japan.
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello, is it possible to buy the ticket directly at the office without booking online first?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Tinco, I would just like to know if we can book in advance like 3 months before? (online booking)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Kathmandu to lumbini bus ticketreservation to lumbini bus ticket from our agency Kathmandu Nepal. Book a bus ticket to lumbini for Darshan lumbini Nepal

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Tin, I am looking at the Wilerexpress website and could not find a bus with a restroom. Will there be restroom breaks on the trip?

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am unable to read articles online very often, but I’m glad I did today. This is very well written and your points are well-expressed. Please, don’t ever stop writing.
    Travel with kids

    ReplyDelete

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