Trains may be everyone's first choice as Japan holds the world-famous punctuality. But, there is also an efficient network of highway buses that crisscross the country. Located in the shopping mall called NEWoMan, Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal, affectionately known as "Busta"—a combination of the words bus and terminal, makes travelling easy for visitors to hop on a bus in central Shinjuku and head off to explore other areas of the country for a very reasonable fee.
One of the largest bus terminal, Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal (a.k.a Busta) connects Tokyo to about 300 cities in 39 prefectures all across the country. There are free Wi-Fi, coin lockers, a convenience store and an ATM in the waiting room, to ensure that you have everything you need before boarding. Head up to the 4th floor of the complex to catch a highway bus. On you way back and need a taxi, go to the 3rd floor of the complex.
How to Buy Bus Tickets
Tickets can be purchased online, at the reception desk or at ticket machines. To buy online, use the route search at its official web page and go on from there.
1) Ticket Counters
During peak hours, the queues are rather long and would recommend to buy via ticket machines. If you reserved online, make sure to pick up the tickets 10 minutes in advance as your seats might be given away to guests waiting for cancellation.
Staffed ticket counters with separate desks for each destination
2) Ticket Machines
Payments can be made either by card or cash. These ticket machines sell various kinds of express bus tickets such as highwaybus.com, Japan Expressway Bus Net, Japan Bus Online and Airport Limousine.
3) Online Tickets
Tickets can be purchased online on the websites of the different operating companies. However, the system differs by company, and in some cases you will have to print the ticket yourself while others simply ask to show the confirmation email. That being said, make sure to read the details at the time of purchase.
Note of Caution
When you purchase a ticket, make sure to check departure, arrival, and bus stop at the bulleting board or via smartphone. Because the main lines are all on the 4th floor, the floor is split into four color-coded sections, each labeled with an alphabet, A, B, C and D . With so many buses leaving per day, it’s easy to take the wrong bus by mixing up the bus stop or departure time. To avoid such chaos, make sure to check the route number, bus company, departure time, and destination on your ticket carefully.
The 4 color-coded areas are as follows
Area A (orange): Basically it covers the Tokyo region including Haneda and Narita airports as well as Tokyo Disney Resort. To be pricise, this route covers the Tohoku Expressway, Joban Expressway, East Kanto, and Tokyo Bay Aqua Line.
Area B (blue): Tomei Expressway and Chuo Expressway which covers Hakone, Shizuoka and Fuji Five Lakes.
Area C (green): Kan-etsu Expressway which includes destinations in the Hokuriku and Shinshu regions such as Niigata, Jomo Kogen, Minakami, Fukui, Nagano, Kanazawa, Toyama, Kamikochi, Matsumoto, Gifu Takayama, and Hakuba.
Area D (purple): Tohoku and Kansai regions with cities such as Sendai, Yamagata, Nagano, Niigata, Karuizawa, Matsumoto, Nagoya, Osaka and Kyoto.
※This area is the furthest from the waiting room. If you’re taking such a bus, be aware that getting there can take a while.
The information counter is on the 4th floor of the complex and ready to help you in Japanese, English, and Chinese during its business hours from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. However, Chinese is available irregularly.
Coin Locker Locations
There are 3 coin lockers on the 4th floor of the comlex. One within a passage next to a convenience store (Family Mart), the other at the end of the passage, and the third one next to the escalator going down to the 3rd floor. On weekends and holidays, these coin lockers tend to be full. Payment can be made either by cash (small coins) or by IC card. However, the same IC card must be presented upon placing and taking the item out.
Coin locker next to the escalator going down to the 3rd floor
Services and Facilities
There are free wifi, multipurpose toilets, nursing room, waiting room, ATM, convenience store, and gift shops all equipped within the complex. For more information, check from the official webpage here.
Gift shop at Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal "Busta"
As there are many large signs with directions in English, access to the terminal is easy. Either take the New South ticket gate which is directly connected to the terminal or take the South Exit and cross the pedestrian crossing right in front.
Pedestrian crossings on South Exit. Bus terminal is on the right side.