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Isuzu QQG-LV234L3 Erga Hybrid Non-Step #E165

14 september 2018 - Tōkyō-to, Edogawa-ku, Naka-kasai 5-chōme (東京都江戸川区中葛西5丁目), bus terminal adjacent to Kasai metro station. I wasn`t in Japan for even two weeks at that point, but I made use of the still free days, and I went to the annoyingly located Tokyo Metro museum. I recommend it by all means - for an acceptably priced ticket of 200 yen (approx. €1.50) one can (try to) learn the history of Tokyo`s subways, their methods of construction, methods of power, or make attempts at a number of simulators.
Keisei Bus operates a wide network of bus services to the east of Tōkyō, reaching as far as Chiba. In the Tōkyō area itself they`re biting into Toei and Tōbu areas.



Mitsubishi Fuso QKG-MP37FMF Aero Star #1352

19 february 2019 - Nagoya (Aichi Pref.), Naka-ku, Sannomaru 3-chōme (愛知県名古屋市中区三の丸3丁目). Oh the irony, I caught a private operator right in front of the city hall that houses the municipal operator! The world`s ending...
There are seven possible routes that the bus in photo may be operating - numbered from 30 to 36. I have absolutely no idea which one however, as the scrolls are showing something completely different (all seven routes share the same route from the closest located terminus, so that`s probably why), but I put in 30 based on the current schedule. Such passenger information of course goes against logical practice, but as I just mentioned, the operator can afford to do so if the variations operate a common route, especially given that it`s the only service they operate in this spot.



Hino PKG-KV234N2 Blue Ribbon II Non-Step #NH-259

19 february 2019 - Nagoya (Aichi Pref.), Naka-ku, Sakae 3-chōme (愛知県名古屋市中区栄3丁目), one of the multiple parts of the bus terminal adjacent to Sakae metro station. On the second day of my stay in Nagoya, the weather went downhill altogether - it was the only day so bad during my 10 days of wandering halway across the country. Nagoya`s city buses use the typical route numbering scheme, that is, a kanji character and some number. Noticeably however, Nagoya is not afraid to use two characters (see NH-264 to the right on rte 高速1 or my previous photo of NH-144), which is for example rather rare in Tokyo if it`s not the Latin alphabet. I only used the buses a few sparse times, using the subway more to move around the city. The municipal operator has a flat fare, and thus passengers board at the front.


Comments: 10

Hino QPG-KV234N3 Blue Ribbon II Non-Step #1365

19 february 2020 - Nisshin (Aichi Pref.), Akaike 1-chōme (愛知県日進市赤池1丁目), near Akaike station. Akaike is a through-operations border station - Nagoya Subway Tsurumai Line ends here, and Meitetsu Toyota Line starts here, and mutual through-operations take place here. Not too far are the Nisshin metro depot and Nagoya City Tram and Subway Museum. In the background, 1386 on rte either 46 or 47.
In contrast with the previous shot from the city hall, here I was able to at least deduce the route number from the digitless scroll. Routes 51 and 53 form an alternative route to Meitetsu Toyota Line between Akaike Station here and Toyota city centre. And yes, it`s the same Toyota City where the car manufacturer by the same name is headquartered. The conglomerate`s name was not a result of the city name by any means however - quite the opposite, it was Koromo-shi in 1959 that took on the name of the manufacturer that was established in 1937.
This photo is the last from the core of my 10-day trip across half of Japan that took place in February 2019. Any further photos from the Land of the Rising Sun will be perhaps filling in gaps from this trip, or photos from areas closer to my then-home around Tōkyō.



Hino PJ-KV234N1 Blue Ribbon II None-Step #NH-144

18 february 2019 - Nagoya (Aichi Pref.), Nishi-ku, Nagono 2-chōme (愛知県名古屋市西区那古野2丁目). Some 16 months after the trip itself I finally got around to photos from Nagoya. I don`t have anything from the subway, considering that the network itself is not really good for photography. To start off a few shots of the municipal operator - much like in Tōkyō, Nagoya has a Transport Bureau attached to the city hall. Worth nothing is that there are 26 local administration units with such a Transport Bureau, most often called kōtsu-kyoku like here.


Hino PDG-KR234J2 Rainbow II Non-Step #39-1305

17 february 2019 - Ōsaka, Kita-ku, Umeda 3-chōme (大阪府大阪市北区梅田3丁目). Since a comment from @empi asked for a Hino Rainbow in front of the rainbow, I will not fail to deliver! I was afraid the photo wouldn`t be good enough for publication, but I managed something out of it - even though it wouldn`t hurt if it was a bit more focused.
To the left, JR West`s 641-15930 (なにわ200か19-85), a 2015 Isuzu Gala.



Hino PDG-KR234J2 Rainbow II Non-Step #39-1305

17 february 2019 - Ōsaka, Kita-ku, Umeda 3-chōme (大阪府大阪市北区梅田3丁目), Ōsakaeki-mae (大阪駅前) bus terminal. Once again it`s 39-1305, but simply because it`s the best seen bus here. One of the indispensable elements of Japanese bus networks is these small bus terminals located at railway stations. In this case 21 different routes depart from here. Aside from the titular bus we also have: to the left on rte 97 20-2866, a 2010 Isuzu Erga, to the right on rte 36 36-0806, a 2006 Hino Blue Ribbon II, and in the background on rte either 8 or 53 39-1307, a 2009 Hino Rainbow II. One will notice that they are barely any different from each other - after all, Hino Rainbow is merely a rebranded Isuzu Erga. To finish off, above all of them is an eight-car JR West 323 series set.


Hino PJ-KV234L1 Blue Ribbon II Non-Step #36-0803

17 february 2019 - Ōsaka, Kita-ku, Umeda 3-chōme (大阪府大阪市北区梅田3丁目), right beside Ōsaka (JR) and Umeda (back then still, currently Ōsaka-Umeda - private railways) railway stations. The topic of Latinization of public transport information in Japan is as broad as the archipelago itself. In the Tōkyō area it`s pretty much an obligatory element on the vehicles, and it`s quite similar in Kyōto. Other areas of the country are quite varying. The scrolls here are likely to remember the bus` introduction into service in 2006, so I`m not overly surprised by the lack of Latin transciption (Itakano-shako, or Itakano Depot, for those curious). However, one should expect even less Latin transcriptions at bus stops, but even that will depend on the area and the company.


Comments: 3

Isuzu PDG-LV234L2 Erga Non-Step #20-2859

16 february 2019 - Ōsaka, Kita-ku, Ōfukachō (大阪府大阪市北区大深町). I spent the most time in Ōsaka during my ten-night long journey - a whole three nights. It was also the only city that I reached without using any Shinkansens - I decided that the conventional railway offer was more than satisfactory for just fraction of the price.
I`m not entirely sure what is happening with the city buses in Ōsaka. The city department finished their operations on 31 March 2018 and since then the entire network has been operated by a supposedly private, but not really private company. Its shareholders are Ōsaka City and Ōsaka Metro Co., Ltd., or rather, also Ōsaka City.
Completely unrelated, but route 34 seen in the photo was 214.5 mln yen in the black in year 2006 (about 1.83 mln euro by today`s exchange rates), and so it was on top of the rankings in the back then municipal operator`s records.



Comments: 2

Hino LKG-KV234N3 Blue Ribbon II Non-Step #奈良200か724

16 february 2019 - Nara (Nara Pref.), Kasuganochō (奈良県奈良市春日野町), or something like that. Nara is known for its deer walking around the area surrounding the temples, which happily accept special wafers from tourists` hands, however risky it may be for sometimes they try to eat the entire tourist (ekhm). As for the bus, I have completely no idea what it`s meant to be running as (there are some 11 routes operating along that street). It definitely won`t be one of the mutually countered circular routes 1 and 2 that operate around Nara`s city centre.


Miscellaneous vehicles #29573

15 february 2019 - Himeji (Hyōgo Pref.), Ekimaechō, Ōtemae-dōri extension (兵庫県姫路市駅前町). As far as I noted, Shinki Bus is the main bus service provider in Himeji. Its network of over 50 routes is concentranted on the main Himeji railway station. The network is accessible insofar that route numbers don`t contain kanji characters - however, to counterbalance, the company employs a particularly strange fleet number system. For example here, the combination of the first digit (2) and the bus being a Hino means that the 95 in the middle stands for a bus... produced in 2005.


Hino KL-HU2PMEE Blue Ribbon City Non-Step #6672

15 february 2019 - Himeji (Hyōgo Pref.), Honmachi, Otemae-dōri (兵庫県姫路市本町大手前通り). In the background we have the world-famous Himeji Castle (姫路城). Built between 1333 and 1346, it has been associated with the Japanese government since 1580, and on the UNESCO World Heritage index since 1993. It`s located bang on in the city centre - a mere 15 minute walk from the main railway station. The highest-located spaces offer an excellent panorama view of the city. As for the photo itself, what else could have arrived than an out of service bus...


Isuzu 2PG-LV290N2 Erga Non-Step #A8-726

16 may 2019 - Niiza (Saitama Pref.), Higashi 2-chōme (埼玉県新座市東2丁目), at around Rikkyō-mae (立教前) stop. This photo may seem random, but it`s mostly for the sake of trivia. For the first time in 67 years, Seibu Bus is changing its route bus livery. You can see the new template at these URLs: sides, front and back. I dare say it`s nothing more than the sprayman`s nightmare, but I imagine they have already come up with a solution for that. The paintjob needs the refreshment (the current template is showing its age), and you can also see the grey and blue which have recently dominated the mother company`s rail stock.


Isuzu QKG-LV234L3 Erga Non-Step #広島200か17-78

14 february 2019 - Hiroshima (Hiroshima Pref.), Naka-ku, Hashimotochō (広島県広島市中区橋本町). I did not delve deep into the bus network details during my stay in Hiroshima, mostly because I was focusing on the tramway network instead. I did note three main bus operators, however. One positive point for Hiroshima is a somewhat more normal bus route numbering system, without kanji characters.


Hino KL-UA452MAN / NSK 96MC #206

14 february 2019 - Hiroshima (Hiroshima Pref.), Naka-ku, Hachōbori (広島県広島市中区八丁堀). The line-up for the lights offers a small cross-section of cars used in Japan. Meanwhile, rte 25 is the most convenient connection between Hiroshima station and the Peace Memorial Park area, at least in terms of walking distances as the stops are located just in front of the park.


Eidan 7000 #7110

4 july 2019 - Kawagoe (Saitama Pref.), Tōbu Railway Kawagoeshi station (埼玉県川越市・川越市駅). Yūrakuchō/Fukutoshin/Tōyoko circulation no. 93S. Unit 7110F pulls into platform 3 to form train C2193S, 12:40 Kawagoeshi - 13:07/09 Wakōshi - (as A1293S) - 14:03 Shin-kiba - a local train via the Yūrakuchō metro line.
Speaking of the Yūrakuchō line - despite the 10-car formation, for the first seven stations it will be under one-man operation. The section from Wakōshi to Kotake-mukaihara has been in complete one-man operation since 28 March 2015. Conductors only get on in Kotake-mukaihara. Hence there is no longer a conductors` office in Wakōshi - only the drivers` office remains, since the conductors` office was moved to Kotake-mukaihara, where it is alongside the Fukutoshin line drivers` office.



Comments: 1

Alna Sharyo 3950 #3955

14 february 2019 - Hiroshima (Hiroshima Pref.), Minami-ku, Matobachō 1-chōme (広島県広島市南区的場町1丁目). On the other hand, articulated cars (which only run on two routes: 1, and the quasi-railway 2) are crew-operated. The conductor is located by the last door, and they handle the doors and help with payment. Regardless, doors for boarding and alighting are still set (enter by the middle doors, leave by the doors by the cabs). Furthermore, crew-operated trams stop at all stops regardless, whereas one-man cars only on request.


Alna Sharyo 801 #814

14 february 2019 - Hiroshima (Hiroshima Pref.), Naka-ku, Hashimotochō (広島県広島市中区橋本町). The Hiroshima tram network is 35 km long (therein 18.9 km operate under the Tramway Act, and 16.1 km under the Railway Business Act). There are seven lines in terms of infrastructure, and eight service routes (numbered from 1 to 9 without a rte 4). Miyajima Line (the sole Railway Business Act line) is operated solely by rte 2 (served with articulated cars), which is also the longest route in terms of journey time. Worth noting is the relatively uncommon in Japan standard 1435 mm track gauge. Single cars are all one-man operated.


Alna Sharyo 801 #814

14 february 2019 - Hiroshima (Hiroshima Pref.), Minami-ku, Kōjin Bridge (広島県広島市南区荒神橋). There are of course short articulated cars as well (as you can see on rte 5 in the back), but these are one-man operated - given they have just two sets of doors. Payment as per usual in Japan - upon alighting, and as per usual one can pay in cash or the whole plethora of IC cards. There are also day tickets available, where the passenger scratches off the validity date and just shows it to the driver.


Osaka Sharyo 2601 #912

13 february 2019 - Hiroshima (Hiroshima Pref.), Naka-ku, Ebanishi 1-chōme (広島県広島市中区江波西1丁目). After two nights in Nagasaki I arrived in Hiroshima, taking four hours on the limited express by JR Kyūshu and on the shinkansen by JR West combined.
Perhaps I was just somehow mentally ready for it, but Hiroshima`s atomic bomb museum did not turn down my mood as much as the Nagasaki one did. Nevertheless, the still-standing memorial-ruin of the old Hiroshima Prefecutre Industrial Promotion Hall continues to remind of what took place nearly 75 years ago.
Worth noting that the previous photo of this car also found it on rte 8. I would not be surprised if it was marked in for the 8+7 interworked services (cars work in an Eba -8- Yokogawa -7- Hiroden-honsha-mae -7- Yokogawa -8- Eba pattern).



Miscellaneous vehicles #1714

11 february 2019 - Nagasaki (Nagasaki Pref.), Shinchimachi 3-ban (長崎県長崎市新地町3番).
I would like to wish everyone a positive and successful New Year!
I originally intended to upload this nearly a year ago, but my spring semester didn`t agree with that idea, so I`m only getting to it now... yet the photo`s been laying around ready for all that time. The scroll is showing perahps the most popular destination in Japan - 回送 (kaisō) being any sort of deadhead/empty journey. There`s plenty of those to be seen around in Japan due to a lot of duties (from what I`ve seen) having to finish or start in the garage. And there you go, empty mileage left, right, and centre.



Isuzu QPG-LV234N3 Erga Non-Step #1584

11 february 2019 - Nagasaki (Nagasaki Pref.), Dejimamachi 13-ban (長崎県長崎市出島町13番). A Japanese city bus operator without an Isuzu Erga? I probably mentioned it, but it`s like a British operator without an ADL.
Nagasaki city buses irritated me with their lack of Latin transcription on the scrolls - something I`d only seen in Kōbe other than here. On top of that, the timetables on stops were done in the "one table for all routes" style with the different variations in separate rows - without knowing the city I could only be guessing where goes what, given the lack of any route diagrams on the stops, something that`s a blessed standard elsewhere in the country.



Niigata 320 Series #21

13 may 2019 - 東京足立区西新井大師西, 日暮里・舎人ライナー (Tōkyō-Adachi, Nishiaraidaishi-nishi, Nippori Toneri Liner)

A to jedyny pociąg serii 3200.



Niigata 300 Series #15

13 may 2019 - 東京荒川区熊野前駅, 日暮里・舎人ライナー (Tōkyō-Arakawa, Kumanomae, Nippori Toneri Liner)

Oprócz autobusów, dzielonej z innymi operatorami sieci metra oraz "wiśniowego" tramwaju Toei może się pochwalić jednoszynową kolejką w zoo oraz takim bezobsługowym premetrem na estakadzie (a ja spodziewałem się, że to będzie... tramwaj). Obsługiwane jest 18 pociągami, z czego 16 serii 3000 i po jednym z późniejszych serii 3200 i 3300.



Comments: 6

Tōkyō Toden 7700 #7702

13 may 2019 - 東京, 荒川車庫前駅, 都電荒川線 (Tōkyō, Arakawa-shakomae, Toden Arakawa-sen)

A ten wagon robił najwyraźniej za jakieś zasilenie szczytowe. Włączył się od stacji Otsuka, gdzie się na niego przesiedliśmy, dojechał jedynie do zajezdni i po krótkim w niej postoju właśnie manewruje, żeby wrócić do Otsuki.



Alna Sharyo 9000 #9002

13 may 2019 - 東京, 荒川車庫前駅, 都電荒川線 (Tōkyō, Arakawa-shakomae, Toden Arakawa-sen)


Tōkyō Toden 7700 #7708

13 may 2019 - 東京, 荒川区, 西尾久, 都電荒川線 (Tōkyō, Arakawa, Nishiogu, Toden Arakawa-sen)


Comments: 4

Alna Sharyo 9000 #9001

13 may 2019 - 東京, 都電おもいで広場 (Tōkyō, Toden Omoide Hiroba)

Wynalazek w zajezdni. Nie widzę pantografu...



Tōkyō Toden 7700 #7702

13 may 2019 - 東京, 都電おもいで広場, 都電荒川線 (Tōkyō, Toden Omoide Hiroba, Toden Arakawa-sen)


Tōkyō Toden 7700 #7702

13 may 2019 - 東京, 飛鳥山駅, 都電荒川線 (Tōkyō, stacja Asukayama, Toden Arakawa-sen)


Comments: 2

Tōkyō Toden 7700 #7702

13 may 2019 - 東京, 大塚駅前駅, 都電荒川線 (Tōkyō, stacja Otsuka, Toden Arakawa-sen)


Alna Sharyo 8800 #8804

13 may 2019 - 東京, 鬼子母神前駅, 都電荒川線 (Tōkyō, stacja Kishibojimmae, Toden Arakawa-sen)


Comments: 2

Tōkyō Toden 7700 #7708

13 may 2019 - 東京, 鬼子母神前駅, 都電荒川線 (Tōkyō, Kishibojimmae, Toden Arakawa-sen)

A tak wagony serii 7000 prezentują się po przebudowie na 7700.
Gdy próbowałem ustawić mapę Google, w miejscu, z którego fociłem, w pierwszej chwili wydawało mi się, że Japończycy zdołali w ciągu pół roku zakopać tramwaj pod ziemią. Tymczasem widok "streetview" ustawił mi się na stacji metra, która znajduje się pod spodem.



Alna Sharyo 8900 #8908

13 may 2019 - 東京, 早稲田停留場, 都電荒川線 (Tōkyō, stacja Waseda, Toden Arakawa-sen)


Comments: 1

Alna Sharyo 8900 #8908

13 march 2019 - 東京, 早稲田停留場, 都電荒川線 (Tōkyō, stacja Waseda, Toden Arakawa-sen)


Alna Sharyo 8900 #8906

13 may 2019 - 東京, 都電おもいで広場, 都電荒川線(Tōkyō, Toden Omoide Hiroba, Toden Arakawa-sen)

Jedna z najnowszych serii tokijskich tramwajów; stylistycznie coś jak... "stopiątka".



Scania N280UB 4x2 EB / Volgren Optimus #P-D923

13 may 2019 - 東京, 新宿駅西口 (Tōkyō, stacja Shinjuku), linia 品97

A to tył pojazdu, przy którego powstaniu udział mieli Polacy, Szwajcarzy, Szwedzi i Australijczycy. Nie miałem okazji i zbyt wiele czasu na lepsze ujęcia, ale jak dla mnie to kompletna porażka. Ostatnie siedzenia znajdują się na pierwszym piętrze, a do przedostatnich (tych pojedynczych) czeka dalsza wspinaczka. Nie chciałbym się potknąć wychodząc stamtąd. Inna rzecz, że w Japonii wstaje się z miejsca dopiero wówczas, gdy autobus się zatrzyma. Podobnie mieszane uczucia mam w niby w 100% niskopodłogowych manach czy scaniach. Mam wrażenie, że jeśli nie ma wieżowego silnika i zabudowy a la Solaris, w pełni niska podłoga mija się z celem.



Scania N280UB 4x2 EB / Volgren Optimus #P-D923

13 may 2019 - 東京, 新宿駅西口 (Tōkyō, stacja Shinjuku), linia 品97




Comments: 10

Scania N280UB 4x2 EB / Volgren Optimus #P-D925

13 may 2019 - 東京, 新宿駅西口 (Tōkyō, stacja Shinjuku), linia 品97

Japończycy są dumni ze swoich nowych autobusów, których podwozia przyjechały ze Słupska. "Full Flat Bus" - niby jest to skok jakościowy, ale ja mam wątpliwości, czy pogoń za płaską podłogą ma sens, kosztem takiego układu wnętrza.



Scania N280UB 4x2 EB / Volgren Optimus #P-D923

13 may 2019 - 東京, 新宿駅西口 (Tōkyō, stacja Shinjuku), linia 宿91


Comments: 5

Nissan Diesel Space Runner RM Non-Step #A9-371

13 may 2019 - 東京, 新宿駅西口 (Tōkyō, stacja Shinjuku), linia 宿20


Comments: 5

Tōkyū Sharyō-seizō Toei 10-300 #10-429

9 april 2019 - Sagamihara (Kanagawa Pref.), Hashimoto station, Keiō platforms (神奈川県相模原市・京王橋本駅).
Shinjuku circulation no. 23T. Train 1423T/2839 (Motoyawata 14:56 - Hashimoto 16:44) in the process of forming train 2848/1622T (Hashimoto 16:47 - Motoyawata 18:26). Neither has an exact weekend equivalent running in the same hours.
Eight-car set 10-420 of the Metropolitan subway is seen here at Hashimoto station track 1. Hashimoto station is a two-track terminus of the nearly 23-km long Keiō Sagamihara line. Once again it`s an example of through train operations between different companies and networks. The Toei Shinjuku line and the Keiō network form a nearly 96-kilometre long through train operations network...
...as well as the largest 1372 mm gauge track network in the world, as well as the only heavy rail network set in this gauge (also called Scotch gauge, set at 4 ft 6 in). The entire network is just above 99 kilometres long and has a fleet of 28 Toei sets (10-300 series) and 111 Keiō sets (series 5000, 7000, 8000, and 9000)
The reason for the 1372 mm gauge is somewhat interesting. The Tōkyō city tram network was build in this gauge since 1903. When the current Keiō lines were being built, they were built in the same gauge with the intention of through operation. In the 60s and 70s the tram network started disappearing bit by bit, and when the metropolitan government was planning to build the 10th subway line (i.e. Shinjuku line), they intended to build it to 1435 mm gauge and have Keiō regauged instead. For the better or for the worse, the ability to use equipment common with the 1435 mm Asakusa line lost to the risk posed by taking the Keiō lines out of service - at that point the areas served were already highly populated. And thus this curiosity remains until today.



Alna Sharyo Nagasaki Denki Kidō 500 series #504

11 february 2019 - Nagasaki (Pref. Nagasaki), Ōbashimachi 3-ban, near Urakami-shako stop (長崎県長崎市大橋町3番). For administrative purposes, the Nagasaki tram network is split into five lines, and fundamentally services operate on four routes: 1 (blue), 3 (red), 4 (yellow), and 5 (green). The timetable also mentions the existence of a route no. 2, which operates only one lap in the evening, around 11 pm. On top of that, there are unscheduled extras operating between the depot and Shinchi-chūkagai (the latter being a major stop in the city centre). Both route no. 2 and the extras are branded in white. The least frequent route is no. 4, which operates every ca. 12 minutes. The other routes operate every 5 to 8 minutes, but in reality the timetable is very theoretical.


Hitachi Nagasaki Denki Kidō 211 series #212

11 february 2019 - Nagasaki (Nagasaki Prefecture), Kawaguchimachi 12-ban, Urakami-kaidō, near Genbaku-shiryōkan stop (長崎県長崎市川口町12番・浦上街道). Two days after returning to Tokyo from the freezing north with the Japanese version of Ryanair (although the opinion didn`t come from my own flight as much as my dormmates`... or rather the cancellations. One of my friends was supposed to return only 5 hours later, she didn`t fly until two days later, the others none the better.), I jumped on another flight - to Nagasaki...
City which one cannot have not heard of. As it stands today, it is the second and last atomic bomb attack target. Nonetheless, it`s just as important for having been the only city in Japan which conducted international trade for over 200 years. The city lies in a valley and can be divided into two major portions. For us the enthusiasts, however, the more important part will be the tram network. Since its opening in 1914, it has not lost a kilometre in the net total. Aside from moving one line in the 40s or 50s, the network has only been developed since the opening, with a total of 11.5 km of lines today. It`s powered by 600V DC, and runs on 1435 mm gauge tracks - unusually enough for Japan.



Alna Sharyo Nagasaki Denki Kidō 1500 series #1503

11 february 2019 - Nagasaki (Nagasaki Prefecture), Aburayamachi 4-ban, near Sofukuji terminus (長崎県長崎市油屋町4番). The entire Nagasaki tram fleet is based on these single-unit bi-directional mid-to-high-floor cars. Each one is equipped with two doors - the middle/back door for entering and the front door for getting off (you know the drill by now, don`t you?). The fare is paid when getting off, and a single adult is 120 yen (€0.95) - as far as I know that makes it the cheapest tram fare in Japan. There`s also a day pass for 500 yen, which is not available in the cars themselves. And now, a bit of disappointment - Nagasaki does not accept the common nation-wide IC cards, such as Pasmo or Suica, yet. There is a card indeed, however it`s local, accepted only around Nagasaki. This makes it the second city in Japan where I was forced to take out hard currency to travel around the city...


Comments: 11

Mitsubishi Fuso LKG-MP35FMF Aero Star #札幌200か31-82

7 february 2019 - Sapporo (Hokkaidō), Chūō-ku, Kita 1-jō Nishi 3-chōme (北海道札幌市中央区北1条西3丁目). Time to finish off the short series from Sapporo. In saying that, I`m starting to get freaked out seeing just how many photos I`ve accumulated over the past month from across Japan (and beyond). Here`s another key bus operator, Chūō Bus. Their presence around Sapporo is just as noticeable as JR`s.


Comments: 3

Hino KC-HU2MMCA Blue Ribbon City #札幌200か32-37

7 february 2019 - Sapporo (Hokkaidō), Chūō-ku, Kita 3-jō Nishi 3-chōme (北海道札幌市中央区北3条西3丁目). Sapporo`s buses operate on the usual rear-entry front-exit system. Fares are paid when getting off, and as usual in Japan, the fares are based on distance travelled, although fares close to the city centre don`t go above 210 yen, if not 100 in a certain area. All bus operators accept the usual IC card payments that are accepted nationwide. Thus a tourist who has been in Japan for a few days and knows the story shouldn`t have major issues with fare payment... although getting one`s head wrapped around the bus network itself isn`t easy, but that`s a countrywide problem to begin with.


Miscellaneous vehicles #214

6 february 2019 - Sapporo (Hokkaidō), Chūō-ku, Minami 22-jō Nishi 14-chōme, near the tram depot (北海道札幌市中央区南22条西14丁目). For purely documentational purposes here`s a Sapporo tram. The tram network is a loop (which has been completed since the photos previously uploaded here). Thus fundamentally the tram functions as an 内回り uchi-mawari "inner loop" and 外回り soto-mawari "outer loop" - counter-clockwise and clockwise respectively. For scheduling and legal purposes, the terminus is Susukino in the city centre. Much like is the case on buses, passengers also board trams at the rear, get off at the front and pay when alighting, however a flat fare is in place. Most of the fleet is high-floor, from the 50s up until the 80s, however when I took this photo two diagrams were operated by low-floor stock (one on each loop). In Sapporo`s case this means short articulated three-piece cars. Unfortunately, they`re a lot less roomy inside...


Hitachi Tokyo Metro 10000 series #10135

2 january 2019 - Kawagoe (Saitama Prefecture), northern end of Tōbu Railway`s Kawagoeshi station (埼玉県川越市-川越市駅). Yūrakuchō-Fukutoshin-Tōyoko circulation no. 35S. Unit 10135F pulls into platfrom 3 to form train C2135S/A1435S, the 14:40 Kawagoeshi - 15:07/09 Wakōshi - 16:03 Shin-kiba (Sat/Sun/Hol). The exact same train in Mon-Fri is numbered C2179S/A1479S.
One characteristic feature of many suburban and regional railways around Tokyo, but not limited to, is the operational co-operation, that`s to say, through train running. This means that trains enter rail lines owned by completely distinct companies. In a lot of cases this is limited to just two lines and to companies, but here is an example from one of the biggest networks - seven distinct lines (Tokyo Metro Yūrakuchō and Fukutoshin lines, Tōkyū Tōyoko line, Seibu Ikebukuro and Yūrakuchō lines, and finally, as seen above, Tōbu Tōjō line) are operated with stock from five different companies (however, due to the geographical layout and safety system details, not all stock operates over all lines). Thus the double train number - C2135S only as far as Wakōshi, and A1435S from thereafter, once it enters the metro network.
Through train running as seen in Japan is quite convenient and helpful - for example, between the rush hours I have a direct train to Yokohama every 30 minutes. Mind you, Yokohama is 40 km away as the crow flies, but I would have to change trains twice otherwise. Unfortunately, this also means that an accident at one end of the puzzle affects passengers three companies, two hours` worth of travel and 80 kilometres away. That is critical when one considers the typical scheduling and planning methods in Japan, which rely heavily on trains with different stopping patterns, connections and taking each other over. In the most extreme of cases, one can even see stock which should not appear whatsoever on a particular diagram - that`s to say, stock from a different company.



Comments: 1

Mitsubishi Fuso KC-MP717P Aero Star #534-8814

6 february 2019 - Sapporo (Hokkaidō), Chūō-ku, Ōdori nishi-9-chōme (北海道札幌市中央区大通西9丁目). I went to Sapporo for three nights. The main purpose was the 70th edition of the Snow Festival and in general just sightseeing... any photos are more or less accidental, when I was bothered enough to grab my camera from under my coat. The temperature, as you might assume, didn`t rise above -1°C at any time. There was an international presence at the Snow Festival too - a number of teams (incl. a Polish one), as well as the US Navy.


Isuzu PDG-LR234J2 Erga Mio Non-Step #421-7961

6 february 2019 - Sapporo (Hokkaidō), Chūō-ku, Miyanomori 2-jō 16-chōme, near Ōkurayama kyōgijō iriguchi bus stop (北海道札幌市中央区宮の森2条16丁目). For those interested in seeing the Sapporo Olympic Museum, or perhaps the Ōkurayama ski jump, I recommend the 円14 (maru-14) bus departing from 円山公園 Maruyamakōen metro station. For I believe 210 yen the bus takes a short while to reach the stop around where the photo was taken, from where all that`s left is another 10-15 minute climb to the ski jump itself. What`s slightly amusing is the route`s timetable: in the inter-peak it runs every 20-40 minutes, and there`s no point in looking for something else it might be coordinated with, because there just isn`t anything.


Nissan Diesel ADG-RA273MAN / NSK 96MC B-I #札幌200か46-68

7 february 2019 - Sapporo (Hokkaidō), Minami-ku, Kawazoe 5-jō 1-chōme, exit from Kawazoe office of Jōtetsu (北海道札幌市南区川沿5条1丁目). The next major bus company around Sapporo is Jōtetsu, who mostly operate routes towards the south of the city, including rapid services to some popular onsen. I was taken completely by surprise by the unexpected presence of their bus garage pretty much across the street from my hotel, but a quick look around the grounds and I instantly knew that there`s no chance for any photos from the garage without looking overly suspicious...


Isuzu KL-LV280Q1 Erga One-Step #札幌200か15-04

7 february 2019 - Sapporo (Hokkaidō), Chūō-ku, Kita 1-jō Nishi 3-chōme (北海道札幌市中央区北1条西3丁目). I`m not sure why, but walking around central Sapporo I felt as if I was walking around Manhattan... not that I had ever been to the latter.


Comments: 2

Scania K360UA 6x2/2LB / Volgren Optimus #001

27 december 2018 - Niigata (Niigata Pref.), Chūō-ku, Hanazono 1-chōme, Niigata station northside front (新潟県新潟市中央区花園1丁目). Nearly four months after my arrival in Japan and I finally find an articulated bus. Niigata Kōtsū has four of these bendy buses in their fleet, and they operate Rapid journeys on Niigata`s BRT as route B10...
But to be honest to call route B10 a BRT route is kind of an insult towards true BRT systems. The only things that make this route stand out above all the others in Niigata is the relatively high frequency (every 10 minutes for most of the day with peak-hours extras), a flat fare (210 yen unless travelling between Niigata station and Bandai bus terminal, then it`s 100 yen), and the occassional articulated buses. Other than that it`s pretty much the same as everything else - most of the route follows typical streets with only pieces of bus lanes in a few places. It was nice to listen to the European flavour for a change thanks to the Scania chassis, but everything else disappointed me completely given the branding created.



Comments: 1

Isuzu KC-LV380L Cubic #H26-I

30 december 2018 - Niigata (Niigata Pref.), Chūō-ku, Hanazono 1-chōme, Niigata station northside front (新潟県新潟市中央区花園1丁目). Ladies and gentlemen, please do not adjust your receivers. If you`re seeing something that looks like a rather meager copy of the good old Berliet PR, everything is quite alright... the Japanese themselves admit that the design was based off the Berliet PR100. The difference is this, however: Renault finished with the PR100-esque front in 1993, Jelcz did so in 1996, while Isuzu kept the Cubic going on well into the year 2000. Apparently there are versions with somewhat normal middle doors...


Comments: 4

Isuzu LKG-LV234N3 Erga Non-Step #H716-I

30 december 2018 - Niigata (Niigata Pref.), Chūō-ku, Hanazono 1-chōme, Niigata station northside front (新潟県新潟市中央区花園1丁目). Last time, I presented a few buses from Sado island. This time around however I`ll be showing some shots from Niigata itself, the capital of the prefecture by the same name. Niigata is a port city, one of a few sea gates towards Korea, north China, and Russia. Inhabited by some 810 thousand, the first mention of its name come from 1520. The Niigata port was one of the five that were to be first opened to international traffic in 1858 after the first international agreements that were to open Japan to the world after 250 years of closing itself off. One of the characteristic features of the city up until the second half of the previous century was the network of canals, the layout of which forms part of the current street network. Nowadays Niigata is mostly a rular-oriented city - it`s famous for the highest quality white rice across the country, for example. From a tourist`s point of view, I found it just slightly surprising to see tourist information provided in... Russian, although it makes sense given the city`s location.


Nissan Diesel PKG-RA274KAN / NSK 96MC #H398-N

27 december 2018 - Niigata (Niigata Prefecture), Chūō-ku, Bandai bridge (新潟県新潟市中央区万代橋). The company responsible for city and suburban buses in Niigata is Niigata Kōtsū Kabushiki-gaisha, a private company with quite the interesting shareholders (e.g. Bridgestone and Isuzu). The company is also the mother company of two other operators: Niigata Kōtsū Kankō Bus Kabushiki-gaisha, which is mostly in charge of the suburban routes as well as long-distance runs and private hire, as well as the already shown Niigata Kōtsū Sado Kabushiki-gaisha, which runs on Sado island. The fleet operated by the three companies is an absolute mixture, although the mother company seems to have the most of the newest fleet. The network in Niigata itself is sorted out on a sort of "tree" basis. Routes are numbered with three characters: the first, a letter, shows the cardinal direction (B for the BRT routes, more on that later; C for central Niigata; E, W, S are self-explanatory); the second, a digit, is a number distinguishing the particular "tree", and the last, also a digit, distinguishes the individual variation/route. With the exception of the B1x routes, fares are all distance-based. The entire network works on the rear-entry basis. As opposed to Sado island, here one can pay with a smart card.


Comments: 2

Mitsubishi Fuso U-MP218P Aero Star K #G1199-M

29 december 2018 - Sado Island (Niigata Pref.), Sawata (Kubota), Honsha depot near Sawata bus station (新潟県佐渡市佐和田)... to be perfectly honest, I`m not exactly sure what`s up with the address around here.
Public transport on Sado Island is in the hands of Niigata Kōtsū Sado Kabushiki-gaisha, a daughter company of the operator in charge of the prefecture capital`s bus network. Services are comparable with the Polish PKS services of the years gone past. Fourteen routes are in operation, numbered for the public more than anything else as 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, and 22. There are also openly-available school buses as part of some of the above routes as well as routes 15 and 17. The comparison to the Polish PKS is not amiss - the only decently running routes are 1, 2, and 10, and maybe 9 if you push the argument. The rest have no more than 5-6 departures per day each in a given direction. The timetable is split into workday and weekend timetables, and the latter only lacks a handful of departures and the school runs. The wide public can take copies home anyway - the entire network fits on two A3-size double-sided pages, one for weekdays, the other for weekends. The company has five depots on the island - the one seen above is the main one.
Don`t let appearances fool you though. Although yes, you can only pay in exact cash, and the prices are a bit steep (I still regret not having bought a day pass which would`ve paid itself back by the second trip) even for Japan, the passenger information is maintained perfectly. Stops can be in various states and of varying quality, but you`ll always find a timetable, and all buses have next stop announcements - even in English on rte 1. The network is clearly not built with the tourist in mind, but it`s difficult to blame the company given the island`s problems mentioned earlier.



Comments: 3

Isuzu KL-LV280L1 Erga Non-Step #H1068-I

29 december 2018 - Sado Island (Niigata Prefecture), Aikawa, Sado-shi Aikawa-shisho terminus (新潟県佐渡市相川).
I had to dig through tender paperwork from when Yokohama-shi Kōtsūkyoku were selling this bus in order to fill in the data. Thankfully everything was there, if not more.
Sado Island. The sixth biggest island of Japan, counting the four main islands and Okinawa, and not counting territories disputed with the Russian Federation. The population stands at almost 55,000. In times gone past, the island had two purposes: it was the place of exile for the less politically comfortable (the only punishment worse than exile in Sado at the time was death itself), and then a gold mine was established here. The gold dug here pumped a large portion of the Tokugawa shogunate economy. At its best, the island was inhabited by approx. 122 thousand people. Now the island shares the nationwide problem of aging population. Coupled with the lack of third level education, many young people are left with little choice and simply enough just leave.



Comments: 6

Scania N280UB 4x2 EB / Volgren Optimus #P-D902

25 december 2018 - Tōkyō, Toshima, Minami-ōtsuka 3-chōme, near Yamanote line Ōtsuka station (東京都豊島区南大塚3丁目). First of all, I`d like to wish, albeit a bit late, all that`s good - above all I`d like to wish for fellow fans to not walk right into your frames ;) I hadn`t anticipated the number of fans here - these were the first revenue runs of the first fully low-floor city bus in Japan. It was deployed on duty 116 on route 都02 - here it`s just after departing out of service back to the garage for a break after two laps. Toei took deliveries of five of these already - D901 to Shibuya garage, D902 (above) and D903 to Sugamo garage, and D904 and D905 to Waseda garage. Photos on Twitter, however, suggest that up to, or maybe only as far as D921 have been manufactured already.


Comments: 1