Monday, September 29, 2008

Public Transportation

The bus system in Nagasaki is complex. Destinations are also written in kanji only, so if you can’t read Japanese or don’t know what the kanji looks like for where you are going, you’re in trouble. Busses are boarded in the rear only, and can be paid with exact change only. Busses have little change making machines at the front that should be consulted before reaching a destination. At the rear of the bus is a ticket that needs to be taken when getting on the bus, and deposited with the change when getting off. I totally screwed this up, much to the embarrassment of the cute girl I was out with that night. Most intercity bus rides are a couple bucks each way. I like walking and typically will walk the 40 minutes or so each way that other people insist on taking a bus for.

Taxis are quite expensive in Japan. It’s like a 500円 minimum charge, plus distance, plus a late-night fee if the ride is after the busses stop running. Taxi doors open on their own, and patrons should wait for the driver to open the door.

There are also street cars that can be taken for a cheap 100円 regardless of how long you ride them for. I have not done this yet.

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