At a bus exchange in Kyoto

Between Arashiyama in the west of Kyoto and Kinkaku-ji in the north of Kyoto, we had to transfer to a different bus at a bus exchange.  Only a transit-minded me would really find it interesting, but I thought it was interesting how this bus exchange worked.

In Vancouver, we’re used to bus loops where buses tend to come right up to the curb and park at the bus stop.  Then the driver goes somewhere for a rest.  It’s not too different in Kyoto, but this is what I saw.

We all had to get off the bus at one unloading area.  There is a bus exchange director or captain who directs the bus traffic in and out of the exchange.  All the buses had to park neatly within the bus exchange.  Then the drivers went into their little resting room and chatted with one another and drank cups of tea.

For the passengers after they unloaded, we all had to line up for the loading area.  We just had to wait until our connecting bus was ready to go.  The first bus to come out of the exchange was not for us.  The road outside the exchange was only two lanes wide, so the bus exchange captain had to come out with his red baton to direct the bus out when there was a break in traffic.  I thought that was pretty different from what I usually see.

Then we finally had our bus exit the bus exchange as well with the bus exchange captain ensuring that all was clear before proceeding.  Our wait at the bus exchange was only 10 minutes at most, but it’s fun to notice the small things in life, especially for a transit nut like me.


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