Hato bus
Photo: パラソル/photo-ac

Tokyo’s empty tour buses are being used to create a giant maze this weekend

With fewer tourists to show around, the Hato Bus company has found an innovative way to use its buses

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

With its bright yellow buses that tour around the city’s most popular attractions, Hato Bus is one of Tokyo’s biggest sightseeing operations. However, due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, the company had to shut down all its usual tours for several months.

While the company has cautiously restarted its operations since June, a majority of its buses have been sitting idly in a car park due to the lack of tourists. As a treat for Tokyo families who are in much need of a proper day out, Hato Bus has devised a special tour package involving a maze of 60 buses. 

Over this long holiday weekend from September 19 to 21, six tours will be going from Tokyo Station to the recently opened Small Worlds Tokyo miniature theme park in Ariake. But before heading to the theme park, however, guests will have a chance to go through a maze made out of 60 3.8m-tall buses at the company’s Tokyo Station car park.

As a coronavirus safety measure, tour capacity is capped at 30 people at a time. For your peace of mind, there will be a special demonstration to show how the buses are sufficiently ventilated. The full tour, including time spent at the miniature theme park and the maze, will take approximately five hours and 20 minutes. 

The price of the tour was originally ¥6,980 for adults but is now discounted to ¥4,980 (or ¥3,980 for children). Admission into Small Worlds Tokyo is included in the price. 

Before heading out, remember to read our guide on going out safely in Japan.

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