Terms & Conditions

Thank you for booking your travel through Social Bus. We ask that all customers take the time to read our terms and conditions fully. These are agreed at the time of confirmed booking.

DEPOSITS
A non-refundable 10% deposit is due within 14 days from the date of confirmed booking and final issued invoice. In circumstances where this is not received, we will contact you in advance, but your bus reservation may be cancelled.
Deposit payment is available through any of our regular payment methods.

FINAL PAYMENTS
The final balance is due to Social Bus a minimum of 30 days prior to your departure date.
The final payment due date will be noted on your invoice, but payments can be made in advance once the invoice has been issued.
Once full payment has been received, refunds in the event of cancellation will be given in accordance with our cancellation policy.

PAYMENT METHODS
Payments can be made by international or domestic bank transfer, Paypal or credit/debit card (credit/debit card payments are processed through our travel company, Travel Hokkaido). Where international bank transfer is used, a separate international transfer fee of 4000JPY will be added to your final invoice. Where domestic transfer is used, there will be no additional charges. Paypal services charge a standard fee of 3.4% of your total invoice plus 40JPY. Credit card fees may vary, so please check with your provider.
If you are local to Sapporo, or making the booking whilst locally, you are also welcome to pay in cash at our offices.

CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS
Refunds will be issued as written below, within the following cancellation timeframe.

Cancellations made more than 30 days before travel 100% fees refundable (minus deposit and any transfer fees incurred)
Cancellations made within 21 to 30 days of travel 80% fees refundable (minus deposit and any transfer fees incurred)
Cancellations made within 11 to 20 days of travel 60% fees refundable (minus deposit and any transfer fees incurred)
Cancellations made within 4 to 10 days of travel 30% fees refundable (minus deposit and any transfer fees incurred)
Cancellations made less than 4 days before travel No fees refundable under any circumstances. Full payment is due.
*Please note that the deposit is always non-refundable, and any bank or transfer charges incurred will be deducted from the refunded amount.
If you are aware that your trip is not materialising, please call or email us to cancel as soon as possible.

ITINERARIES
Social Bus and your group leader should agree a detailed itinerary of plans at least 2 weeks prior to your departure date. We will be in touch with you to discuss and liaise directly about this, but please ensure that you reply within a timely fashion.
This itinerary should include the desired departure point and time, stopovers and any side trips along the way. This will enable us to verify any changes and if necessary, charges quoted, and prepare your driver for the trip.

INCLUSIONS AND EXCLUSIONS
Your invoice fee is completely inclusive of driver services, fuel, insurance, and the kilometres and hours usage as agreed in your itinerary.
Where highway tolls of parking fees are incurred, these will be payable by your group in addition. However, we will give you a quote for these charges at the time we confirm your itinerary and can include them in the total cost.

CHANGES AND ADDITIONAL COSTS
Any change in service at the request of your party that results in an increase of miles/kilometres travelled or hours over that of the contracted service may result in an additional charge. Where no prior notice is given, overuse charges are a standard of 10,000JPY per hour or part thereof.

DRIVER HOURS
Please note that some requests cannot be accepted under the Labor Standards Law of Japan, which protects our drivers. The following limitations are applied to drivers.

As a standard, drivers should keep to a 10 hour day with customers (from time of customer pick up to drop off).
Drivers cannot work for over 13 hours per day (this includes bus preparation, safety checks, and post-usage checks – approximately 2 hours).
Drivers cannot cover more than 600km per day
The total driving limit is 9 hours of driving in total for 1 driver per day.
Please consult with us if you have any questions or special requests. We can advise on potential break spots, or if driver-accommodation or a two-driver service is required.
Driver accommodation is charged at a set additional fee of 10,000JPY per night.

PERSONAL PROPERTY
Neither Social Bus, nor our employees, shall be liable for any personal property which is misplaced, damaged or left in the vehicle.
If you have lost or misplaced and item whilst on a trip with us, please phone our office as soon as you can and we will do our best to check our vehicles and return this to you.

RESPONSIBILITY
Social Bus agree to make every effort to carry out the provisions of our agreement with you, but it is distinctly understood that we shall not be liable for reasonable delays caused by accidents, breakdowns or bad conditions beyond our control.
In the event of mechanical failure, driver illness or any other emergency preventing the operation of a bus, Social Bus will endeavor to make all repairs, or find a replacement of the bus or driver within a reasonable time.
If we cannot fulfill these conditions within a reasonable time, then a full refund will be given to you.

DISCLAIMER
Social Bus bears no responsibility for the following matters:
 If you cannot obtain a passport and/or visa, or if you are, for whatever reason, refused entry into Japan by the Japanese Immigration Bureau.
 If you cannot get your visa in time or extend it after your arrival.
 If there is a disaster, a war, a strike, terrorist activity, or any other equally grave unforeseen circumstance.
 When booking, you accept any possible risks and assume full responsibility for any loss, injury, sickness or damage. It if your responsibility to arrange suitable travel or health insurance to cover these risks according to your needs and the needs of your family or dependents.
 From the time of arrival to Japan, you are responsible for your own actions, and are personally liable for any damages arising from action in breach of law, regulations, or customs. In any of these cases, Social Bus cannot accept responsibility.
 You are responsible for any accidents occurring during activities such as sports, and are responsible for purchasing additional insurance for any sports requiring coverage. In any case corresponding to any of the above conditions, Social Bus will under no circumstances return any fees.

CONDUCT
Your lead party member shall be responsible for the conduct of passengers throughout the trip. The instructions of the Social Bus staff must be followed. Passengers who do not follow the justified instructions of staff, despite warning, may result in the journey being disrupted or cancelled. When the disregard of instructions brings about a danger to the safety of other passengers or damages to the vehicle, no refunds will be given in the event of cancellation.
In cases of damage to our vehicle or where additional cleaning fees are required, you may be subject to additional costs.

JUDICIAL JURISDICTION
These Terms and Conditions are governed the laws of Japan. Any litigation related to the terms of this agreement is exclusively under the jurisdiction of the Sapporo Prefectural Court.

EFFECTIVE DATE
These terms and conditions shall commence on April 12 2019.