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Help: Bus from Morioka to Miyako 2017/7/13 09:10
Hi there,

I'm going to Japan soon and one of the things on my itinerary is a visit to Miyako from Morioka. I've been looking up how to get there on Google Maps, and I was given 2 options: one by JR Yamada Line and one by bus. The JR Yamada Line is the slightly more attractive option, but the first one seems to run from 11 AM, and that's a little late in the day for me since I'd end up getting there at 1. The bus, however, seems to run every half hour from the early morning and is only 20 minutes slower than the train.

But I have concerns about the bus that I was hoping someone might be able to alleviate. Google Maps shows the bus option as this:
https://i.imgur.com/cwXgacF.png

A quick Google search tells me that "盛岡〜宮古" is "Morioka to Miyako" and "船越駅前行" is "Funakoshi Station Line." Straightforward enough, but I have a few questions about the bus:

- I'm aware that Morioka is the capital city of Iwate, and I'm hoping that means that there's some English peppered about. Can I expect to find any English on the busses and timetables, like in bigger cities? Do the busses display the stops in English? I'm worried about potentially missing my stop as a result of losing track of the kanji.

- How much room can I expect to find on these busses? Is it realistic to expect enough room for my backpack and suitcase?

- I'm assuming that this bus wouldn't be covered by my JR Pass, but can someone confirm this?

- According to Google Maps, the closest bus stop to my hotel is Uesokei bus stop, which is just 2 stops after Miyako Station bus stop. How likely would it be for me to be able to get a taxi from a random bus stop? Would I be better off getting off at Miyako Station bus stop and getting a taxi to my hotel from there?

Thank you. I know there are a lot of questions, but any help would be much appreciated! Also, if you happen to know any interesting scarcely-known places to visit in Miyako, I'd love to hear about them!
by Mediamole  

Re: Help: Bus from Morioka to Miyako 2017/7/13 10:57
I made the same trip 2 months ago (May 2017). As of then, there is no JR train that goes all the way from Morioka to Miyako (segments of the rail road were damaged by a typhoon).

If you have a JR Pass, you can use it on the highway bus (Bus #106). Show the JR Pass at one of the ticketing booth (I forgot either north or south, one of them) and they will issue you a bus voucher good for Morioka to Miyako (on the return trip, show the JR Pass at Miyako station ticketing booth to get another voucher).

These are big "touring" buses with lots of room for your luggage (some, not all, even have restroom onboard). Even without a restroom, the bus makes a rest stop around the midpoint so everybody can take a potty break.

The bus stops are in front of the train stations (both ends), they also make other stops on the way from the station to the highway. I will look for the time table, but as I recall, there was at least one departure every hour during business hours (some times 2).
by I. Yuko (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Help: Bus from Morioka to Miyako 2017/7/13 11:05
Thank you so much! I really appreciate it!

I wonder if you could answer another question for me: Are there any coin lockers at Miyako Station that you noticed, or near to it?

Thank you again!
by Mediamole rate this post as useful

Re: Help: Bus from Morioka to Miyako 2017/7/13 12:34
More details:
The bus company web site is (could not find an English page): http://www.iwate-kenpokubus.co.jp/
The time table: http://www.iwate-kenpokubus.co.jp/uploads/290401_106.pdf

Looking at the time tables, right side is for buses from Morioka to Miyako (Bus #106). The originating stop is Morioka Station East Gate Bus Stop #7 (the first shaded row). The first column shows the fare, so if you follow the row where the fare is 2030 yen, that is Miyako Station. So, the first bus departs at 05:45 and arrives at Miyako 08:00, so forth. Three buses (8:40, 15:15, 20:45) have onboard toilet.

Since you have to go to the train station to get the bus voucher, I suggest you board the bus at the station. If you take the 09:40 and 17:45 buses, they continue beyond Miyako and arrive at Uesokei at 12:05 and 20:10 (fare is 2130 yen).

In front of Miyako Station is a tourist information office. I went in and asked how to get to Jodogahama, and she showed me which local bus to take (local buses stop in front of the station, also). On the way to Jodogahama, I saw lots of constructions. Those are reconstruction projects after the tsunami of 2011. At Jodogahama, there is a visitor center and a tourist information center where you can purchase a boat cruise ticket. I highly recommend that boat cruise. That visitor center is built a little up the hill from the coast, but the tsunami flooded its basement which really shows how high that wave was.

If you want a taxi, you can catch one at the train station. In these remote towns, English is less useful than in big cities.

by I. Yuko (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Help: Bus from Morioka to Miyako 2017/7/13 12:39
P.S.
Yes, there are coin lockers at Miyako station.

by I. Yuko (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Help: Bus from Morioka to Miyako 2017/7/13 13:34
"106 Express bus(106急行バス : Hyaku-roku kyuko bus)" is not called "highway bus",
"R106(origin of this route bus nick)" is one of "National road", not Expway(toll road).

Anyway,

JR tain ticket/pass holder's special ticket for this bus :
http://blogimg.goo.ne.jp/user_image/42/33/f375bf39dcecdecb4ad12e8fc42b...
大人(otona) : adult
盛岡 : Morioka
宮古 : Miyako
乗車(jou-sha)/降車(kou-sha) : getting in(fr,dep) / out(to, arr)
Request this at JR's ticket gate ASAP, calling "振替乗車票(furikae-josha-hyou)".
Just say "I(we?) will go to Miyako, 106 bus ticket(s) pls!" with showing Rail Pass.
(If you would like to speak in Japanese, copy to below and click speaker button)
すみません、宮古までバスで行きたいので、振替乗車票をお願いできますか?
http://voicetext.jp/
(Sumimasen, Miyako made Bus de ikitai node, "furikae-josha-hyou" wo onegai-dekimasuka?)

bus color(standard) :
http://blogimg.goo.ne.jp/user_image/3c/6a/06696d554c0883720902c4d1119e...
Already mentioned "106急行バス" is bus route nick,
bus operationg company is "岩手県北バス : IWATE KENPOKU BUS".(calling "KENPOKU BUS" enough)
(EN) Northern Iwate Transportation Inc.

Latest timetables(fr H29.4.1 = 2017. 1 APR) :
http://www.iwate-kenpokubus.co.jp/archives/10823/
WC付(-tsuki) is restroom(toilet) with. (付 means with, added)
Other buses toilet break(about 10 or 15 min?) seems only one time at "やまびこ産直館 : Yamabiko Sanchoku-kan".
https://goo.gl/maps/2JQdEbGbfm72
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CYPw589UEAA1y1f.jpg
やまびこ : echo (reverberatings in the mountains)
産直 : local foods, souvenir and more as direct shop
(short of 地場産品 : jiba-sanpin, and 直売所 : chokubai-sho)
館 : a hall(a building, a larger store)
http://web-server1.sakura.ne.jp/moriokalife/wp-content/uploads/2015/09...
(note) but, you don't have time to shop at ease :)

Bus stops location :
http://www.iwate-kenpokubus.co.jp/_regular/map.html
Morioka : 東口(higashi-guchi/EAST EXIT) No.7
http://travel.watch.impress.co.jp/img/trw/docs/705/232/04.jpg
(timetable is not latest)
https://goo.gl/fcyjip (behind larger building is JR Morioka stn)
http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/stations/e1565.html (stn map)
https://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/adiantum_blue0927/8864267.html
(timetable is not latest)
Miyako : other side of station house No.6(Northern side, No named exit, small staiton)
https://goo.gl/maps/etEYyCa4PCn
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-B2PQ6QcSuPk/Vo1NkYmeMoI/AAAAAAAAiYI/ybuN5h-m...

There is a coin locker at Miyako station, but if you come back to Morioka on a day trip,
lockers at Morioka station are more convenient as there are more numbers.
by Lihtors (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Help: Bus from Morioka to Miyako 2017/7/13 20:56
Thank you so much guys! You've answered my questions perfectly!
by Mediamole rate this post as useful

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