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New Japanese luxury bus tour seats only 10 passengers

By Scott Wilson, RocketNews24

How do you picture being transported to your fantasy vacation spot? A giant cruise ship? A seat in the first-class section of a jumbo jet? How about… a bus?

Not quite sure about that last one? Well the Japanese company Isetan Mitsukoshi Travel is trying to change your mind by offering luxury bus rides from Tokyo to all over Japan. And we’re not exaggerating with the use of the word luxury here: each bus seats only 10 people, and the ticket will cost you around 150,000 yen.

Can such a price tag possibly be worth it?

Isetan Mistukoshi Travel sells vacation packages all over Japan and overseas. But one problem the company has had is even though the destinations they offer are great, the process of getting to them just isn’t as luxurious as it could possibly be.

Planes can be uncomfortable and trains can get crowded…if only there was a way to ship their high-paying customers off to their vacations as comfortable and relaxed as they would be when they arrived. If only….

And thus the luxury bus tours were born. The buses are said to be modeled after the business class section of airplanes, and it definitely shows. Each bus which could normally hold 45 people (if it were configured like an ordinary public bus) now holds only 10, allowing for each passenger to spread out, lean back, and feel like they’re already on vacation while they’re en route to their destination.

One other thing is also quite reminiscent of business class: the cost. The cheapest bus tours that are only two days and one night cost around 150,000 yen, but some others that are three days long cost 245,000 yen to 330,000 yen. The trips include staying at high-class hotels and a few included outings and meals, but a significant portion of the cost is also just for the privilege of riding the luxury bus.

Isetan Mitsukoshi has put out a promotional video for their luxury bus line, which you can watch here. A warning in advance: some delicious Engrish subtitles await you.

The luxury bus does seem like it could be a fun way to take a vacation if you have the money to spend on it. And apparently a lot of people agree: Isetan Mitsukoshi reports that even with the high ticket prices, they’ve already sold more than half of their summer packages, with most of the customers being older retired couples and groups of women.

The bus tours go all over Japan, with current packages taking passengers on three-day trips to Nagano and Gunma. They vary season by season, focusing on visiting fireworks festivals during the summer, and most likely foliage in the fall and cherry blossoms in the spring.

So what do you think? If you were on the fence about taking an expensive vacation, would a luxury bus (with cupholders!) tip the scales for you?

Source: Isetan Mitsukoshi Travel

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Disney presents the amazing Duffy Bus — a real life teddy bear on wheels! -- Take a Ride on Japan’s New Amphibious Bus and See the Sites of Tokyo! -- Narita Airport shuttle buses – Cheaper than the train, but which bus is best?

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are they looking for a driver. I can drive this coach.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I thought that Japanese people are not particularly wanting luxury.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

150,000¥, what a gyp. The lady was served instant coffee in a paper cup. A luxury bus can still get caught in traffic.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ridiculous! A huge gas guzzling bus for only 10 people...How ungreen can you get?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"the ticket will cost you around 150,000 yen."

I won't be buying that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Looks as if this is one trip where passengers will not have to put up with screaming brats; who would bring along ankle biters on a 150,000 yen/person tour? =p

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I believe the article states the cost includes lodging and meals as well. However, even then 150,000 for a one night bus tour (even if you go high end on everything) is quite outrageous.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Did they really serve coffee in a paper cup in the video? Seriously, that's unprofessional, and a terrible cost cutting method, for something that wants to call itself a luxury tour...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Imagine groups of yakking obachans on your luxury tour- earplugs pls....:

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Your comments about the paper cup are cracking me up! I thought the commercial was quoite good, and the choice of music was right on! .... then, they featured the paper cup. I guess they were trying to highlight the fact that the ride is so smooth, the liquid barely moves. And, I guess they will be revising this commercial soon, only because of the paper cup flop!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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