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Goin’ Japanesque!

Hato Bus Tours: Nice & Easy Tokyo Tours for the First Timers in Japan

The Hato Bus offers compact tours lasting for a half day to one day.

Its great point is that you can join the tour on a whim after arriving in Japan.

This time I am bringing to your attention how to use the Hato Bus and their popular tours.

 

How to Use the Hato Bus

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1. Reservation System

You can make a reservation on the Hato Bus website basically up to 4 PM on the day before the tour, and if by phone, you can try even on the day of the tour.
(However, if you are making a reservation by phone on the day of the tour, you can only do so when seats are available.)

<Hato Bus Reservation>
In English: 03-3435-6081 (9:00 AM to 6:30 PM JST, Japan Standard Time)
In Chinese: 03-3435-1200 (same as above)
Official Website

2. Payment Methods

If you are making a reservation on the website, you can pay with a credit card.
Once you are in Japan you can also make reservations and pay for the tour directly at one of their 4 branch offices, Ginza Capital Hotel or other locations.
The Hato Bus utilizes the dynamic currency conversion (DCC), and they accept other currencies than Japanese yen as well.
If you are booking on the day of the tour, you can go to the departure point of the tour and pay at Hato Bus Reception Counter.
(For further detail on DCC and other locations for reservation and payment, please refer to the official website.)

3. Departure Points

The most frequently used departure point where you join the tour is Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal.
This terminal is located on the first floor of World Trade Center Annex.
As the departure time varies depending on the tour, please make an inquiry when you make a reservation.

Access: Tokyo Station -> (JR Yamanote Line for Shingawa/Shibuya) -> Hamamatsucho South Exit -> (on foot) -> Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal, Map

*If you are unsure whether you can get to the departure point on your own, you can use a service of picking you up in front of your hotel, Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Station instead. (Reservation required.)
Please make a proper arrangement in advance as the hotel pick-up service may not be available at some locations.

4. Taking off During the Tour

So long as you tell your tour guide, you can leave the tour when the bus comes to its one of scheduled stopping points.

However, there is no refund when you leave during the tour.

 

6 Recommended Hato Bus Tours

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1. Tokyo Afternoon

 – Guide Language: English
 – Duration: 1:40 PM to 5:50 PM (no meal)
 – Fares: 5500 yen for adults 3100 yen for children

This tour includes getting a great view of Tokyo from Seaside Top Observation Deck of the World Trade Center (at the height of 151 m), a tour of most famous sightseeing spots in Japan such as the Imperial Palace, Asakusa Nakamise, and Sensoji Temple.

At the end, you can enjoy a cruising on the Sumida River cruise ship.

2. Tokyo Morning Tour

 – Guide Language: English
 – Duration: 9:00 AM to 12:50 PM (no meal)
 – Fares: 5500 yen for adults 3100 yen for children

This half-day tour focuses on the three most popular sightseeing destinations in Tokyo; Tokyo Tower, the Imperial Palace, and Asakusa.

After you get the whole view of Tokyo landscape from the observation deck of Tokyo Tower, you can take a stroll in the Imperial Palace and Asakusa. The bus tours around Ueno and Akihabara on the way back.

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3. Japanese Cultural Experience and Zojoji Temple

 – Available on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Thursday and Sunday from July 1 to December 21, 2017, excluding August 5 through August 20
 – Guide Language: English
 – Duration: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM (no meal)
 – Minimum 2 guests are required. (Offer decision is made 5 days prior to the scheduled date.)

This is not a tour to visit sightseeing destinations, but you can get three kinds of Japanese cultural experience at a temple; tea ceremony, origami folding papers and furoshiki wrapping cloth.

The instructor will explain in English and it will lead you to an understanding of authentic Japanese culture.

4. Kimono Wearing Experience and Kamakura

 – Available on Wednesday and Sunday from July 16 to December 27, 2017, excluding November 5, 19, 26, December 3 & 10
 – Guide Language: English & Chinese
 – Duration: 9:20 AM to 6:00 PM (lunch included)
 – Minimum 5 guests are required. (Tour offer decision is made 5 days prior to the scheduled date.)

Leaving Tokyo this tour visits the three major spots of the ancient city Kamakura; Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Hase-Kannon, and Kamakura Daibutsu Great Buddha.

You can take a stroll around Kamakura Komachi Street wearing a yukata.

A professional kimono dresser will help you wear the yukata, so you don’t need to know how to wear it yourself.

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5. Dynamic Tokyo

 – Available daily except for December 29 through 31
 – Guide Language: English
 – Duration: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM (lunch included)

This tour starts at Tokyo Tower and visits the Imperial Palace and Asakusa.

It also includes Japanese cultural experience of tea ceremony, cruising on the Sumida River, a stroll in Asakusa, and you can enjoy the view of Tokyo to the fullest.

6. Panoramic Tokyo

 – Available everyday
 – Guide Language: English and 7 other languages (by recorded messages)
 – Duration: 9:00 AM to 5:45 PM (lunch included)

This tour explores great places and let you feel the history of Tokyo; the Meiji Jingu Shrine, Parliament House, Imperial Palace and Asakusa Nakamise.

In addition, you can cruise the Tokyo Bay on a large passenger ship, and after enjoying Odaiba, the latest sightseeing attraction of Tokyo, the tour tops it off by taking you to watch a performance of traditional Japanese dance.

 

Conclusion

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The Hato Bus Tours offer many more plans other than the above.

For foreigners, the tour guide uses primarily English, however other languages are also available if you use recorded messages as in the tour of Panoramic Tokyo.

Find an exciting tour on the Hato Bus website and join it.

The Hato Bus Tour is especially for you if you are in Japan for the first time and wondering where to visit.

Official Website

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Berial the Demon

About the author

It has been over 40 years of reading manga in the deep world of manga. Japan’s manga has an endlessly wide variety of genres. I will be recommending special manga for you to read from such infinite amount of works.

View all articles by Berial the Demon
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