I was living in Japan during some month for studies. I learned and saw a lot of new things. One of those things was the bus system, it fascinated me. It differs from Sweden and the rest of Europe, I think.
The university I studied at was located in the mountainous area so I needed to take a bus to get downtown.
And the bus system works like this; when you enter the bus you take a ticket from an orange box. I don’t know if it´s orange in all other buses. You drag a small ticket; depending on where you step on the bus you get a number. At front, above the bus driver, there is a plate or a sign where numbers from one to around sixteen is placed and under each number you have a digital box. So if I for example get on the bus when it´s on its second stop the box on the sign is going to say 140, which means 140 yen. So the minimum price to take the bus is 140 yen.
Then you can see that on the first box it doesn’t say 140 yen anymore, it says something else maybe like 170 yen. How much it increases depends on where the bus is going. For example it can sometimes be one minute between two bus stops and sometimes it can be up to ten minutes between the stops, therefore the money doesn’t change after every stop. The ticket you take in the beginning of the ride and the number on that ticket represent the bus stop you got on and helps you to know how much you are going to pay. Really easy and for me, weird. There are two different buses here in Beppu, one blue and one red. The quickest way to downtown is the red bus, 25 minutes and the blue bus takes around 40 minutes. The two buses’ route differs a lot.
The road down to the town is filled with bridges and mountains, beautiful. So the red bus takes the road filled with bridges straight down to Beppu while the blue bus takes its time. The blue bus has more stops on the way but it also shows you another side of the city. It takes you through the hot springs, some small restaurants and small houses. When you are traveling with the red bus you have to buy so called triple ticket, which cost 1000 yen. With this triple ticket you can ride to the town and back to the university. The blue bus is cheaper, only 600 yen. Even though the blue bus takes longer it’s still my favorite.