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The Highway Bus

The Iwate-ken Kōtsū bus company runs two types of bus routes. The first is the highway bus, which is used for those who wish to travel long distances quickly. This system connects Rikuzentakata and its neighboring cities Kesennuma and Ōfunato to the major hub city Sendai to the south. Unlike the local bus, the highway bus requires reservations to be made prior to boarding. The highway buses are equipped with a storage compartment under the seating cabin, so passengers with heavy or unwieldy luggage need not worry about finding space to put their belongings.

Note that the highway bus is intended only for those wishing to travel from Rikuzentakata and the surrounding area to Sendai and vice versa. The first several stops that the bus makes are for boarding only, and embarking is not allowed until the destination city is reached. For example, if a person wished to travel from Rikuzentakata Shiyakusho Mae (City Hall) to Kesennuma station, they would not be able to go by highway bus as those are both designated as boarding-only stops. The specifics of which stops are boarding-only and which are-embarking only are covered in the rules and regulations section of this document, following the bus timetables and fare chart.

In addition to the Iwate-ken Kōtsū highway bus there is also the Miyagi Kōtsū highway bus; however, they share the same stops, fare and rules, and are both covered in the below charts. Passengers need not worry about which company they choose, and should reserve their bus based on whichever departure or arrival time best suits their needs.


Example of a Miyagi Kōtsū bus

Example of an Iwate-ken Kōtsū bus

Ōfunato, Kesennuma (& Rikuzentakata) → Sendai

Fare
Group
Stop name Iwate-ken
Kōtsū
Iwate-ken
Kōtsū
Miyagi
Kōtsū
C サンリアショッピングセンター前
Sun Lia Shopping Center
6:32 8:32 15:25
盛駅前
Sakari Eki mae
6:33 8:33 15:26
商人橋
Shōnin-bashi
6:40 8:40 15:33
陸前高田市役所前
Rikuzentakata Shiyakusho mae (City Hall)
7:03 9:03 15:56
B 大沢
Ōsawa
7:17 9:17 16:10
八幡大橋
Yahata Ōbashi
7:25 9:25 16:18
気仙沼市役所前
Kesennuma Shiyakusho mae
7:37 9:37 16:30
気仙沼駅前
Kesennuma Eki mae
7:40 9:40 16:33
新月公民館前
Niitsuki Kōminkan mae
7:43 9:43 16:36
一関市役所室根支所前
Ichinoseki Shiyakusho Murone-shisho mae
8:12 10:12 17:05
千厩バスターミナル
Senmaya Bus Terminal
8:23 10:23 17:16
千厩体育館入口
Senmaya Taiikukan iriguchi
8:26 10:26 17:19
西小田工業団地入口
Nishioda Kōgyō Danchi iriguchi
8:28 10:28 17:21
薄衣
Usuginu
8:36 10:36 17:29
A 一関社会保険事務所入口
Ichinoseki Shakaihoken Jimusho iriguchi
8:58 10:58 17:51
岩手病院前
Iwate Byōin mae
9:00 11:00 17:53
N/A 広瀬通一番町
Hirose-dōri Ichiban-chō
10:18 12:18 19:11
仙台駅前
Sendai Eki mae
10:25 12:25 19:18
県庁市役所前
Kenchō Shiyakusho mae
10:31 12:31 19:24

Sendai → Kesennuma, Ōfunato (& Rikuzentakata)

Fare
Group
Stop name Iwate-ken
Kōtsū
Iwate-ken
Kōtsū
Miyagi
Kōtsū
N/A 県庁市役所前
Kenchō Shiyakusho mae
7:10 13:20 17:40
仙台駅前
Sendai Eki mae
7:20 13:30 17:50
広瀬通一番町
Hirose-dōri Ichiban-chō
7:23 13:33 17:53
A 岩手病院前
Iwate Byōin mae
8:41 14:51 19:11
一関社会保険事務所入口
Ichinoseki Shakaihoken Jimusho iriguchi
8:43 14:53 19:13
B 薄衣
Usuginu
9:05 15:15 19:35
西小田工業団地入口
Nishioda Kōgyō Danchi iriguchi
9:13 15:23 19:43
千厩体育館入口
Senmaya Taiikukan iriguchi
9:15 15:25 19:45
千厩バスターミナル
Senmaya Bus Terminal
9:18 15:28 19:48
一関市役所室根支所前
Ichinoseki Shiyakusho Murone-shisho mae
9:29 15:39 19:59
新月公民館前
Niitsuki Kōminkan mae
9:58 16:08 20:28
気仙沼駅前
Kesennuma Eki mae
10:01 16:11 20:31
気仙沼市役所前
Kesennuma Shiyakusho mae
10:04 16:14 30:34
八幡大橋
Yahata Ōbashi
10:16 16:26 20:46
大沢
Ōsawa
10:24 16:34 20:54
C 陸前高田市役所前
Rikuzentakata Shiyakusho mae (City Hall)
10:38 16:48 21:08
商人橋
Shōnin-bashi
11:01 17:11 21:31
盛駅前
Sakari Eki mae
11:08 17:18 21:38
サンリアショッピングセンター前
Sun Llia Shopping Center mae
11:09 17:19 21:39

Fare

Fare Group One-way
(children age 5 and under pay half-price)
Roundtrip
(there is no discount offered for children for round trip tickets)
A \1,600 \2,900
B \2,000 \3,700
C \2,500 \4,400

Rules and regulations:

When heading toward Sendai, the bus is boarding-only until Iwate Byōin Mae, and embarking-only after Hirose-dōri Ichiban-chō. When heading toward Kesennuma/Ōfunato, the bus is boarding-only until Hirose-dōri Ichiban-chō, and embarking-only after Iwate Byōin Mae.

There will be restroom breaks at the Kannari Rest Stop and the Niitsuki Rest Stop.

All seats are reserved. Reservations for buses leaving in the morning must be made by 11:00PM on the night before departure. Reservations for buses leaving in the afternoon or evening must be made one hour before the first departure of the day. You will not be able to board without a ticket. Please make reservations as far in advance as you can manage. Understand that you cannot reserve a seat on a bus that has already been filled.

The Miyakō Sendai Highway Bus Center will accept reservations by phone from 9:00AM until 7:00PM at 020-261-5333. Those wishing to make a reservation outside of that time period may use Japan Bus Online or make a reservation at a nearby convenience store (Lawson or Family Mart).

The Rikuzentakata Shiyakusho Mae bus stop has moved to a new location as of May 10th, 2016. The bus stop that was directly in front of the Rikuzentakata Tourism Association has now moved directly to the other side of the street. This bus stop will be used both for boarding and embarkation.

In order to pay the roundtrip rate, you must purchase a roundtrip ticket before boarding the bus. A roundtrip ticket covers an outward and returning journey made within the span of ten days.

For infants, a ticket (child’s price if applicable) will have to be purchased only if the child needs his or her own seat.

We do not accept any responsibility for forgotten or lost tickets. In the case of a forgotten ticket, a new one must be purchased and discounts will not be applied.

In the event that a lost ticket is found, the cost of the second ticket will be returned with the exception of a service charge that varies by location.

Customers are welcome to take valuables on board, but we do not accept any responsibility for damaged or lost goods.

With the exception of service animals, pets are not allowed to take up a seat or be loaded into the trunk.

There is no smoking allowed.

Please refrain from speaking on the phone while on the bus as it is a distraction to other passengers.

For your own safety, please fasten your seatbelt while the bus is traveling on the highway.

Arrival time depends on the daily weather and road conditions, so there are occasions when the bus may be late. In the winter, the bus will often have to drive more slowly due to falling snow or icy road conditions. Traffic, accidents, and inclement weather are also a possibility; however, no refunds will be given in the event of late arrival. We also cannot accept any responsibility for damages incurred by missing connecting transportation or overnight arrangements.


Rikuzentakata Shiyakusho Mae (City Hall) bus stop:
The Rikuzentakata Shiyakusho Mae (City Hall) bus stop has moved locations as of May 10, 2016. It is now across the street from the City Hall, next to the police station (koban). The same stop is used for buses going in either direction, and is used for both highway and local buses.


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