COVID-19 Precautions From Willer Express

Ensuring the health of passengers onboard

By Kim B    - 2 min read

Willer Express offer a range of bus services across Japan, and their cost-effective night bus services are particularly popular with both local residents and travelers alike. In the post COVID-19 era, the company are taking extra precautions to ensure the health and well-being of their passengers and staff when getting from A to B.

The full list of precautionary measures can be found on the Willer Express website, but you may have heard of the Japanese Government's "Three C's" approach when it comes to preventing the spread of coronavirus. The three C's to avoid are:

  • Closed spaces with poor ventilation
  • Crowded places with many people nearby
  • Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations

The measures taken incorporate those points before you even board, with socially distanced queuing enforced, hand sanitizer provided to use, and temperature checks carried out. If you register a temperature over 37.5 degrees Celsius, you'll be asked not to board. The buses at the moment are only offering window seats, with all aisle seats blocked off to ensure a level of personal space for each passenger. Face covers are attached to the seat canopies to prevent any spread of droplets, and it's also expected that passengers will wear masks on board - so bring one along.

Blankets used to be provided for passengers to use on-board, but this practice has ceased for the time being. As a result, it's recommended to wear clothing which is easy to layer and remove, such as a zip up sweatshirt over a t-shirt. Luggage used to be loaded on the bus by the driver, but this has also ceased, and you'll have to lift your own luggage onto the storage cabins under the bus - bear this in mind when you're packing!

The bus drivers are taking the same precautions as passengers (temperature checks, hand sanitizing, wearing a mask), and they've also fitted the buses with a curtain separating the driver and the passengers for an extra level of protection.

Getting there

A full list of Willer Express bus routes can be found on their website.

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Kim B

Kim B @kim.b

I'm an Australian who has lived abroad for almost a decade, including 7 years in Japan - specifically Tokyo and Niigata. I've  visited 44 of 47 prefectures, with only Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Kumamoto left to check out. I'm particularly fond of exploring off the beaten path destinations, gardens, and tea houses, and have a real interest in Japan's growing vegan scene.

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Sander van Werkhoven 2 weeks ago
Also good to know: if you have traveled before with Willer and collected points that would have expired this spring, those are now valid until 2021. Lucky me, now I can still get a 44 yen discount on my next trip!
Sleiman Azizi 2 weeks ago
Sleiman Azizi 2 weeks ago
Better.... safe.... than.... sorry.
Kim B Author 2 weeks ago
Absolutely! I'm always appreciative of places that take the risk seriously. Can't put a price on health!