Keys to the Use of Charter Buses

[1] Create a bus journey that is fun and reassuring for everyone
Leave plenty of leeway in your trip itinerary.
If your itinerary is unreasonable, such as leaving too little time between destinations, there is a risk of causing an accident. We recommend you plan your itinerary with plenty of leeway.
Secure spaces for the bus to wait at the pick‐up point and at destinations along the route.
Boarding the bus on the side of the road can cause traffic congestion and accidents, and if the bus is waiting on the road for long periods, it may attract penalties under the Road Traffic Act. Please specify a pick‐up point that will keep disruptions to other traffic and operations to a minimum, and cooperate with the driver to ensure a prompt departure after boarding.
We appreciate your understanding of our idling‐stop policy.
We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with our policy of shutting off the engine while waiting, to protect the environment and prevent noise.
Seatbelts for peace of mind and a safe bus journey.
The Road Traffic Act has been revised, making it compulsory for bus passengers to wear a seatbelt.
Our bus guides may stand and move around the bus to perform their duties, but for safety’s sake, there may be times when they need to sit down while guiding. We appreciate your understanding.
Road Traffic Act Article 71‐3 (2) The driver of a motor vehicle must not carry a person unrestrained by a seatbelt on equipment, other than the driver's seat, that is meant to carry a person as a passenger in the motor vehicle.
Order within the sales zone.
When choosing a bus company, please choose one that has a sales zone either in the area of departure or the area of your final destination.*
*(1) Road Transport Act, Article 20
(Operators) must not transport passengers who are located outside both the point of departure and arrival.
(2) Administrative disposition: Transport outside sales zone
[1] For a first breach: 20 vehicle‐days x number of breaches
[2] For a second breach: 40 vehicle‐days x number of breaches
Prohibition of charters of buses with white license plates.
The act of shuttling passengers for a fee and the act of providing sightseeing guiding for no fee in a private bus (white license plate) are prohibited by law and will attract penalties.
It is also against the law to rent a rental bus with driver.
*(1) Road Transport Act, Article 4 (1)
Those who wish to manage a passenger transportation business must obtain the permission of the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
*(2) Penalties Road Transport Act, Article 96
Those who manage a business without permission. Imprisonment with work for not more than three years or a fine not more than three million yen or cumulative imposition thereof.
[2] Total hours spent working in a day kept to within 13 hours in principle, and to within an average of 9 hours over two days
For charter bus services, Ministry of National Land and Transport guidelines (effective August 1, 2013) set out the following standards for the deployment of bus drivers for conductorless bus services.
For services that exceed these guidelines or that exceed the maximum driving hours per day (9 hours), two drivers will be assigned in principle.
Daytime conductorless bus driving
Up to 600 km (500 km for Sakura Kotsu drivers) if a rest break of at least one (1) hour is provided during operations
Continuous driving of occupied vehicle on expressway of up to about two (2) hours. A rest break of at least 10 minutes (at least 15 minutes for Sakura Kotsu drivers) must be provided for every two (2) hours.
Nighttime conductorless bus driving
Up to 500 km in the following cases
・ For working hours of up to 10 hours or occupied driving of 100‐400 km, the driver must be provided with a nap break in a space where the driver can stretch out and sleep.
Continuous driving of an occupied vehicle must be no more than about two (2) hours, and a rest break of at least 20 minutes must be provided for every two (2) hours of driving (if driving an occupied vehicle for a single operation for 400 km or less, the rest break may be at least 15 minutes) .
Other standards
Mandatory reporting of physical condition during driving (effective August 1, 2013)
For nighttime conductorless driving exceeding 400 km or conductorless driving exceeding 500 km per day, the driver is required to report on his or her physical condition to his or her manager, and the manager is required to record and store the results.

Mandatory operational management through digital operation recording device (January 1, 2014)
For nighttime conductorless driving exceeding 400 km or conductorless driving exceeding 600 km per day, operations management through the use of a digital operation recording device is mandatory.