Buses in Fukuoka
Three major bus companies operate in Fukuoka: Nishitetsu, Showa and JR Kyushu. Nishitetsu Bus covers almost all of Fukuoka, while Showa Bus operates in the western region such as Gakken Toshi and Karatsu, and JR Kyushu operates lines in the eastern region. Express buses are also available through Nishitetsu and JR Kyushu, and they connect Fukuoka to other major cities within and outside Kyushu.
The fares vary depending on the routes and distance taken. Nishitetsu Bus offers a flat “100 yen bus” service for travelling around downtown Fukuoka. For more information, please visit their website.
Bus Stops and Schedule
The main bus terminals for inner-city and express buses are located inside the Solaria Terminal Building (where Mitsukoshi Department Store and Nishitetsu Fukuoka Station are found) and inside the Hakata Bus Terminal next to JR Hakata Station. Although bus stops are usually found on the main roads of the city, you need to make sure to catch the right bus for your destination in Tenjin and Hakata Station area, for there are many bus stops that are in close proximity but serve different routes. It is best to confirm your route and bus stop on the Nishitestu Bus website (available in English, Chinese, and Korean) before boarding the bus. Timetables are posted at bus stops, and are distinguished by colors of green, orange, and pink to indicate the different times for weekdays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays respectively. Most bust stops also have detailed charts showing the route of each bus and its fare. Also keep in mind that due to traffic jams on the road, your bus may not always arrive on time.
How to Use Nishitetsu Bus
When the bus arrives, check the destination and the route number that appear on the upper front panel of the bus, and board through the rear door. Take a small, numbered ticket (seiri-ken), indicating where you boarded, from the automatic dispenser inside the door. Even if you have an all-day pass, you will still need to take this ticket. However, if you have an IC card such as nimoca (including commuter passes, Ecole Card, etc.), you can simply touch it to the card reader and avoid this step. Inside the bus, you will see a panel above the front windshield that indicates the next stop, and an announcement will be made as it approaches. When you come near your stop, notify the bus driver by pressing the “stop” button and pay your fare once the bus comes to a complete stop. When paying in cash, drop the numbered ticket and correct fare into the fare collection box. For an all-day pass, drop the numbered ticket into the collection box and present your pass clearly to the driver.
For IC cards, simply touch it to the card reader, but for passes such as the Ecole Card that have photo identification on them, you must also present this side of your pass clearly to the driver. The panel above the bus driver also indicates the fares for each ticket number, so check the number shown on your ticket and pay the corresponding amount. If you do not have the correct change, use the change machine next to the driver that accepts 50 yen, 100 yen, 500 yen coins and 1,000 yen notes (but excludes 2,000 yen, 5,000 yen and 10,000 yen notes) to pay for your fare.
- Nishitetsu Bus
Tel: 0570-00-1010 (Nishitetsu Customer Service Center)
(call 092-303-3333 when using a PHS/IP telephone)
*Interpretation service is available in English, Chinese, and Korean
* Fares and bus times are searchable in English, Chinese, and Korean
- Showa Bus
Tel: 092-327-5611 (Maebaru Office)
- JR Kyushu Bus
Tel: 092-641-0500 (Hakata Branch)
This is an unlimited ride pass for travelling on almost all highway and local buses (and some ferry services) within Kyushu and Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Depending on your choice of travel days and regions to travel, you can choose from four different types of SUNQ passes which include “All Kyushu 4 Days”, “All Kyushu 3 Days”, and “Northern Kyushu 3 Days”. This is a very convenient ticket for those wishing to travel and sightsee within Kyushu by bus, and can be purchased at counters of major bus service operators, travel agencies, or on the Internet. For more information, refer to the website below.
Regarding Highway Buses
You can use “highway buses” that connect many major cities in the country as a way to travel Japan inexpensively. There are many bus companies and routes, but if you visit the website of the Nihon Bus Association, you can get nationwide information on highway buses.
Japan Bus Web
The subway system in Fukuoka has three lines. The Kuko Line runs west from Fukuoka Airport to Meinohama, and connects with the JR Chikuhi Line. The Hakozaki Line runs from Nakasu-Kawabata to Kaizuka, and connects with Nishitetsu Kaizuka Line. The Nanakuma Line links stations between Tenjin-Minami and Hashimoto. Each station has multiple exits, so check the posted maps to determine the appropriate exit for your destination. While the subway fare is usually proportional to the distance you travel, travelling only one station is discounted at 100 yen (otonari kippu). The fare system is as follows: children who are 12 or older are charged adult fare, elementary school students between age 6 and 11 pay half the adult fare rounded to the nearest 10 yen, and infants between age 1 and 5 may ride for free, but only up to two infants when accompanied by a paying passenger. Any extra children must pay the child fare. A child fare must also be paid if the child is travelling unaccompanied. Furthermore, each subway station is now marked with a station symbol and number, making it easy to confirm your destination.
Using the Subway
Check the fare to your destination on the route chart at the station, and buy the ticket from the ticket machine. Insert the ticket into the automatic ticket gate, retrieve it on the other side, and proceed to the platform. This is the same procedure as when you use a one-day pass. For IC cards such as Hayakaken (including commuter passes), simply touch the card to the reader. Confirm your train’s arrival time on the information board and wait at the correct numbered platform. When the train arrives, check the destination by the sign on the train or by listening to the announcement. The name of each station is announced inside the train and is indicated on the message panel (in Japanese and English) just above the door. Once arriving at your destination, insert the ticket into the station’s automatic gate and exit. Tickets will be collected at the gate, unless you are using a one-day pass or connecting to another train. In such cases, make sure to retrieve your ticket before exiting the gate. When using an IC card, make sure to touch it against the card reader.
There are two railway companies in Fukuoka City: JR Kyushu and Nishitetsu (Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co., Ltd., which includes the Tenjin-Omuta Line). Nishitetsu operates several lines in Fukuoka Prefecture. JR Kyushu is one of the privatized companies of Japan National Railways—which used to control all major lines in Japan—that provides a network of railway lines to the whole of Kyushu. JR West operates the Sanyo Shinkansen that connects Hakata and Shin Osaka, while JR Kyushu operates the Kyushu Shinkansen that connects Hakata and Kagoshima Chuo. The central station in the city for JR Kyushu is Hakata Station while Fukuoka (Tenjin) Station is the central hub for Nishitetsu.
Train fares are calculated on the distance traveled; however on JR, a surcharge of express fare, reserved seat fare, and others may apply depending on the type of train and car you board. The payment method is basically the same as the subway. Since stations like Hakata Station have multiple platforms, board the correct train by checking its destination, departure time, and platform on the information display available by the gate (in Japanese and English). Please be advised that express and limited express trains only stop at major stations. Tickets and seat reservations on JR can be made at Green Window booking offices (midori no madoguchi) at JR stations, travel agencies, or on the Internet.
- Fukuoka City Subway
Tel: 092-734-7800 (Customer Service Center, General Inquiries)
*Telephone interpretation service is available in English, Chinese, and Korean at every station counter and at the Customer Service Center.
8:00–20:00 7 days a week
- JR Kyushu (for trains within Kyushu and Kyushu Shinkansen)
- JR West (Sanyo Shinkansen)
- Nishitetsu (Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co., Ltd.)
Tel: 0570-00-1010 (Customer Service Center)
(092-303-3333 from PHS and IP Phones)
*Interpretation service is available in English, Chinese, and Korean.
* Fares and train times are searchable in English, Chinese, and Korean
*City Trains & Subway Route Map
Fares and Discounts
Public transportation companies offer discounts with the purchase of prepaid cards loaded with a set amount of credit. The discount rate will vary depending on the card purchased. There are also cards that allow you to travel the same route as many times as you like during a certain time frame for a set price.
<Major Discount Tickets/Passes>
|Booklet Coupons (kaisuken)||JR, Nishitetsu|
|One-day Pass (ichi-nichi-josha-ken)||Nishitetsu Bus: Adults 620 yen, children 310 yen
Holiday Pass: 510 yen
Subway: Adults 620 yen, children 310 yen
*Adults 520 yen, children 260 yen on Sat., Sun. and holidays.
|Commuter Pass||JR Kyushu, Nishitetsu trains, Nishitetsu Buses, Subway:
Commuter passes are convenient for workers and students who take the same route regularly. They are available for periods of 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months, and can be purchased from JR stations, Nishitetsu Bus ticket counters, or major subway stations. ''Notchari Pass'' is also available, which offers access to both the subway and bicycle parking.
|Daytime Pass (hiru pasu)||Nishitetsu Bus: A pass for unlimited travel during a specified time in the daytime.|
|Ecole Card||Nishitetsu Bus: A pass for unlimited travel throughout Fukuoka urban area for students only.|
|Round-trip Discounts||JR Kyushu and Nishitetsu Bus:
A number of discount round-trip tickets to various destinations within Kyushu, as well as Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Tokyo, etc. are offered. Such tickets usually have an expiration date and do not permit stopovers en route to the final destination.
IC Card (Smart Card) ticket
Each rail and subway company in Fukuoka issues rechargeable IC card tickets. They can be used in place of regular tickets within the amount charged and a commuter pass function can also be added on. It also features a prepaid electronic money function for shopping at participating stores, in which points are accumulated based on how much you ride the train or shop, and are redeemable as additional credit towards your IC card ticket.
From April of 2013, in addition to nimoca, SUGOCA, and Hayakaken, all regional IC cards in Japan (Kitaca, PASMO, Suica, manaca, TOICA, PiTaPa, and ICOCA) can be used interchangeably within the service area of each card.
Card Service Areas
nimoca: Nishitetsu trains and Nishitetsu Buses
SUGOCA: JR Kyushu trains
Note: Not all JR Kyushu train stations accept IC cards.
As of November 14, 2015, IC cards may be used in the “Fukuoka, Saga, Oita, Kumamoto” area, the “Nagasaki” area, the “Kagoshima” area, and the "Miyazaki" area. They can also be used on the Kitakyushu Monorail.
IC cards may not be used to straddle the above-mentioned areas.
For details: http://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/sugoca/area/index.html
Hayakaken: Fukuoka City Subway
Bringing Pets and Bicycles onto Public Transportation
Special care must be taken when boarding public transportation with pets or bicycles as there are various rules that come into play.
Subways: Small pets placed inside special carry cages are permitted on subway trains. A bicycle that is placed inside a special bag measuring no greater than 250cm (total of length + width + height) and weighing no more than 30kg are permitted only during non-rush hours (i.e. excludes morning and evening). No surcharge will apply for either.
Nishitetsu Bus: Small pets (excl. wild animals and snakes, etc.) placed inside purpose-built carry cages are permitted on city buses. If you have taken measures to ensure that your pet will not damage or dirty other passengers' luggage, i.e. by using an appropriate cage, then pets may be kept in the lugagge compartment of highway buses running Kyushu routes during the daytime. Pets are not permitted on nighttime routes. Bicycles that are folded and placed inside a bag measuring less than 63cm³, weighing less than 30kg, and measuring less than 2m in length, are permitted. Since there are different rules for carry-on bicycles for highway buses, inquire with your bus company for more details (no surcharge will apply).
Nishitetsu Train: Small dogs, cats, pigeons, or similar small animals (excl. wild animals and snakes, etc.) placed inside carry cages that measure no greater than 70cm in length and 0.025m³, and no greater than 10kg (cage and animal together) are permitted (280 yen surcharge will apply) on trains. Dismantled or folded bicycles placed inside special bags are also permitted (no surcharge will apply).
JR Kyushu: Small dogs, cats, pigeons, or similar small animals (excl. wild animals and snakes, etc.) placed inside carry cases that measure 70cm in length, total size approximately 90cm (total of length + width + height), and weigh no greater than 10kg (combined weight of the pet and the case) are permitted on JR trains (280 yen surcharge will apply). Dismantled or folded bicycles placed inside special bags are also permitted (no surcharge will apply).
To use a taxi, you can flag one down on the street, go to a taxi stand in front of the station or in a downtown area, or call a taxi company to get picked up. Except for occupied taxis or those that are heading to their next customer, all taxis display a “vacant (kūsha)” sign in red kanji characters on the lower left side of the windshield, and can be stopped. The left rear passenger door of the taxi will be opened and closed for you automatically by the driver, so be careful when getting in and out.
Although taxi fares are calculated based on a mileage system of distance traveled and time taken to your destination plus the basic fare, they will also vary depending on the size of a taxi. For most regular cabs, the basic fare of 570 yen will cover the first 1.194km. After that it is 50 yen for each additional 203m travelled. However, in cases where the taxi driver reduces the speed to less than 10km/hr or stops and waits at the request of the customer, a time-and-distance fare system that converts time into distance will apply in which 50 yen will be charged for every 75 seconds. Fares increase by 20 percent between 23:00 and 5:00. The fare is indicated on the meter by the driver. As tipping is not customary in Japan, only pay the amount shown on meter when leaving the cab.
<Fares for Other Classes of Taxis>
|Basic fare: 590 yen for first 1210m.
Additional fare: 50 yen is charged for every additional 195m traveled.
Time-and-distance fare: 50 yen for every 75 seconds.
|Basic fare: 770 yen for first 1600m.
Additional fare: 60 yen is charged for every additional 165m.
Time-and-distance fare: 60 yen for every 60 seconds.
*Note that the above fare system is regulated by the Fukuoka City Taxi Association, with which approximately 100 organizations and roughly 1600 private taxis from the city and the suburbs are affiliated. There are also other taxi companies that provide their own fare system different from that above.
* Fukuoka City Taxi Association
According to the Fukuoka City Taxi Association, at present there are almost no registered medium-sized taxis in Fukuoka City (only small and large taxis).
There are three domestic terminals and one international terminal at Fukuoka Airport and as of February 2016, there are 26 domestic routes and 20 international routes in operation. For more details, consult each airline company.
The best way to reach the airport is by subway; it takes 11 minutes from Tenjin or 5 minutes from Hakata Station, and costs 260 yen, respectively. Since it only stops at the domestic terminal, you need to transfer to a free shuttle bus—departing every 10 minutes, taking 10-15 minutes—to get to the international terminal. A direct bus route linking Hakata Station and Fukuoka Airport International Terminal Building takes 15 to 20 minutes and costs 260 yen. In the case of taking a cab, it will take approximately 35 minutes from Tenjin (2000 yen) or 20 minutes from Hakata Station (1500 yen), although depending on the traffic condition, the fares and travel time may vary greatly.
* Airline Companies
* Fukuoka Airport Bldg.
At the Port of Hakata, there are Hakata Pier (Bayside Place) with domestic passenger routes and Hakata Port International Terminal with international passenger routes. Passenger ferries bound for Shikanoshima and Genkaijima and long distance ferries to Iki, Tsushima, and Goto in Nagasaki Prefecture depart from Bayside Place, while high-speed jet foils (approx. 3-hour travel) and regular liners (approx. 6-hour travel) bound for Busan, Korea, both depart from the International Terminal. In addition to the above, there are also ferries bound for Nokonoshima and Oronoshima from Meinohama, and Umi-no-naka-michi from Momochi, respectively. For the schedule of each route, contact each company.
You can take a Nishitetu Bus to get to each terminal: to Bayside Place, take bus 90 from Tenjin, or take bus 99 from Hakata Station; for getting to the International Terminal, take bus 80 from Tenjin or take bus 88 from Hakata Station.
* Ship Line Companies