New all-in-one bus terminal opens at Tokyo's Shinjuku Station

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Staff Writer

A new transportation hub consolidating all 19 bus stations around JR Shinjuku Station in Tokyo opened Monday to streamline services and reduce congestion in the area.

The Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal, called Busta Shinjuku in Japanese, is the busiest transport hub in the country, with up to 1,625 long-distance arrivals and departures per day involving roughly 40,000 passengers.

Used by 118 bus companies, the hub is situated on the south side of the station and handles routes to 39 of the 47 prefectures, from Aomori on the northern tip of Honshu to Fukuoka in Kyushu.

“This is the very first time to use this terminal, but it seems very useful, just as I heard,” said 22-year-old musician Oki, who only provided his surname and had just arrived from Nagoya.

The new terminal provides access to the station from the second floor and direct access to the train platforms on the first floor.

The facility is equipped with multiple escalators, four elevators and a large waiting room that can accommodate travelers with heavy luggage.

However, an office worker who came to visit the new terminal suggested it would be more convenient if it had shops and food booths.

“The terminal itself is very well organized. It should be more convenient for me to take a bus to Shizuoka, which I often visit,” said the man, who identified himself only as Ishikawa.

The terminal is designed with the bus stops on the fourth floor and the taxi stands on the third floor.

Since there used to be long lines of commuters waiting for taxis along Koshu Kaido Avenue, the new bus hub is expected to reduce traffic accidents and congestion along the busy thoroughfare.

The third floor also has a tourist information center with information in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean.

Other services designed for foreign tourists include ticket reservation and foreign exchange services from JTB, and delivery and baggage storage services provided by Sagawa Express.