Check out the answers to some of the questions that we get asked the most.
Quotations & Reservations
1. How can I get a quotation from Social Bus?
Quotations can be made through our website, or you can send us and email directly at info@and we will get back to you within 24 hours.
We can also arrange consultations by Skype or phone, so please don’t hesitate to drop us an email.
2. How far in advance should I place my reservation?
Especially at peak seasons, our availability is always changing and we recommend that you place your reservation with as much notice as possible. However, please feel free to get in touch with us at any time and if at all possible we will try to accommodate you.
3. What types of vehicles can I reserve?
We currently offer two types of vehicles for hire.
Hiace – can accommodate up to 12 passengers
Coaster – can accommodate up to 24 passengers
Please ask us regarding the availability for your dates.
*The vehicle capacity mentioned above does not include your luggage and the driver.
4. Where are Social Bus services provided in Japan?
We provide vehicles that can operate throughout Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan.
5. What type of information do I need to provide for the reservation?
We need the name of the lead party member, a contact number, time and place for pick-up and drop-off, the number of passengers and the form of payment. Please also let us know if you have any special travel needs, such as car seats, wheel chair storage etc, at the time of booking.
6. How are charter bus trips priced?
The overall amounts that we can charge for charter bus trips are controlled by Hokkaido Bus Association, who set minimum and maximum fares according to vehicle size, kilometers traveled and hourly rate. We will always try to offer you the most fare and reasonable rates possible for our services and give you a full breakdown of the price calculations at the time of booking.
1. Can Social Bus provide a meet and greet service at the airport?
Yes. Our staff or driver will be waiting at the arrival lobby of your arrival airport holding a signboard with your name on it and our company logo, and they can then take you to your vehicle. Our team speak Japanese and English. If none of your party are able to converse in either of these languages, please let us know, and we will do our best to communicate with you.
2. Is there an additional cost for the meet and greet service?
Sometimes parking fees will be payable, but you will always be informed of these in advance by email.
3. If my flight is early or delayed, what will happen?
Social Bus will check your flight time based on the information that you send us with your booking. When you arrive at the airport, we will be there waiting for you. If there are any problems at all, we will also provide you with an emergency contact number that you can use to get in touch. Please note that additional charges may occur if your flight is delayed by many hours or into a subsequent day, as we’ll need to rearrange drivers and buses.
4. How will I meet my driver at the airport?
We will arrange an airport pick-up location with you in advance. Our staff or driver will be holding a signboard with your name and our company logo at the agreed location.
5. What should I do if I cannot meet my driver or staff at the airport?
We will provide you with an emergency contact number, so if for some reason you cannot find your driver or our staff, please call us as soon as possible. There is also free wifi in the airport so you can email us or use online calling to get in touch. We will give you some guidance and call you straight back. Please wait at the place you are advised to until the staff or driver finds you at the airport.
Please also note that if you leave the airport before meeting the driver, even though they have come to meet you as planned, there will be no refunds.
6. Does Social Bus provide airport pick up from any airports?
We can provide airport pick up, and meet and greet services at any airports in Hokkaido. The most common airport to arrive into is New Chitose.
Costs & Payments
1. What is not included in the fare?
All quoted fares do not include parking fees or highway tolls. We will give you full separate quotations for these fees ahead of time, but some parking or highway fees will need to be paid in cash by your party on the day of travel in Japanese yen.
2. Do I need to book hotel rooms for the driver?
No. If accommodation is required for your driver, we will inform you of this and the associated costs at booking, but we will make the reservation ourselves.
1. Does Social Bus accept credit cards?
Yes. We accept all major credit cards. We will arrange suitable payment of your invoice prior to your travel dates according to our terms and conditions.
2. How can I get a receipt for my trip?
We will send all receipts by email. Please ask us if you require more detailed or specific documentation and we can also provide this with no problems.
3. Can we pay fares/fees in US dollars or other foreign currency?
If you are paying by international bank transfer, it is possible to make a payment in a conversion from your own currency. If there is an under payment or over payment through this method, we will inform you of this in advance and arrange a balance of this in cash on the first day of your trip.
1. Does Social Bus provide car seats for children?
Yes – although we sometimes have limited availability. Please consult with us at the time of booking and we’ll do our best to get you everything you need.
2. Do all charter buses have air conditioning?
Yes. All vehicles have air conditioning and appropriate heating for the winter season.
3. Does Social Bus allow smoking in the vehicles?
No. All our vehicles are non-smoking. However, if members of your party smoke, we are happy to factor in smoking break stops when you require and can plan these into your itinerary if necessary.
4. Can I request a non-smoking vehicle?
Don’t worry! All our vehicles are non-smoking.
5. Does Social Bus allow alcohol on the bus?
Yes – however, please note the damage policy in our terms and conditions. Passengers are responsible for any damage caused to the bus over the course of the hire. Please also note that our drivers’ requests to passengers regarding their own behavior must be respected at all times.
6. Does Social Bus allow pets in the vehicles?
If you require a guide or support dog, please consult with us for further guidance.
1. Can you provide English speaking staff or drivers?
Yes. Our office staff are native English level, and our drivers can speak conversational English.
2. What other languages can your team speak?
Besides English and Japanese, we do have some Chinese speaking staff on our team. However, these are not driving staff, but can provide assistance if necessary.
Please read our terms and conditions for full information about our services.