By Jaime Wong
Along with trains, riding the bus is one of most common forms of transportation in Japan, carrying thousands of people every day. With so many people using them, various problems are bound to occur.
In this article, I would like to share one of the problems that you might face on a bus in Beppu City and how to deal with it: the coin exchange machine.
Paying with cash
If you don’t own a bus card or haven't purchased a day pass, you'll need to have your coins available to pay the fares before getting off the bus. Sometimes, though, you don’t always carry enough coins to pay and so have to convert your notes at the coin exchange box.
But after inserting your ¥1000 bill into the box by the driver's seat (the machines won't accept any other notes), you note that it doesn't convert the entire amount, giving you less than you put in. In this case, you might expect the bus driver to give you the deficit. However, they do not.
The exchange voucher
Instead, Japanese bus drivers will offer you an exchange voucher like the one pictured below:
These vouchers are known as a 'tsurisen hikikae sho' and are divided into basically two parts, how much you are owed and where you can go to collect your money.
1. The amount which you are supposed to get back.
2. The places where you can go to exchange the voucher for your money in Beppu.
Where to go to collect your money
The four places listed on the above exchange voucher are:
- Kitahama Bus Centre (北浜バスセンター) Contact them on: 0977-23-5170
- Yufuin Ekimae Bus Centre (由布院駅前センター) Call them on: 0977-84-3145
- Beppu Sales Office (別府営業所) Contact them on: 0977-23-0141
- Kanawa Bus Waiting Area (鉄輪待) Call them on: 0977-66-0028
It might seem annoying to have to travel to these places to claim your money but that is the system. Remember to take care of your voucher. If you lose it, the office will not reimburse you.
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