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Vintage bus and train cards

September 2021
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With the Tokyo Olympics recently concluded and me supposed to be in Hiroshima now and participating in an international conference, I am somewhat nostalgic about Japan. Having lived there for a few years while studying, and then staying again for a few months twice later (2001 and 2008) as a visiting researcher, I miss many of my haunts.

Another discovery one time I was searching for an item in my office drawers is a stash of cards from the various times I was staying in Japan. You can purchase these at the station, convenience stores or from the bus driver.

From top left (clockwise): Kyoto city single day bus pass, Tokyo single day bus pass, Kanto region (Tokyo, Yokohama, Kawasaki, Chiba, Saitama, etc.) bus cards (1,100, 3,360 and 5,850 yen denominations), JR Suica card, and Yokohama Triennial Bus Card.

The bus cards already have discounts incorporated. The pink 1,100 bus card costs 1,000 yen so you get an extra 100 yen value. It’s +360 for the blue and +850 for the yellow. Since I was a regular commuter before, I usually got the yellow card. I’m not sure these cards are still there given the advances in technology and innovations over the past decade but it is likely that these were upgraded and are other options to more high tech ones using, for example, smartphones. Mobility as a service (MaaS) is now being promoted in Japan and as I have registered for my conference in Hiroshima, I have a three day transport pass included in my registration. This can be accessed through my phone and could have made a convenient companion going around the city.


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