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“The Worst Open Bus Tour in the World”
Review of Sky Bus Tokyo

Sky Bus Tokyo
Ranked #11 of 23 Tours in Chiyoda
Type: Bus Tours, Tours
Attraction details
Reviewed September 30, 2013

In general, wherever one travels in the world, the best way to get an overview of a city is on the upper deck of double-decker tour bus, with either a live commentary by a local guide or with a choice of many languages into each tourist's ear-bud earphones plugged into a seat-side jack, or some combination of both. Tokyo's relatively new double-decker "hop-on, hop-off" Sky Hop Bus is the worst we've ever done anywhere in the world. A pretty, young, apparently charming and humorous live tour guide chatters on throughout, drawing laughter and smiles from the few Japanese tourists on board during the weekday we were on board. But the English into our earbuds was so sparse and infrequent that we were tempted to ask for our money back. We paid the same 3000 Yen, cash only, as the Japanese tourists, but we received a really poor product, with only an occasional commentary, mostly drowned out by the live commentary in Japanese. From what we understand, Chinese and Korean are also offered through the earphones, although from the looks of the passengers, almost all of them were listening to the English channel. In such an incredibly sophisticated, civilized, and friendly city, this terrible service will clearly improve radically in the months and years ahead. But, as of today, not good.
Three different routes meet at the Tokyo train station. Either one-day or two-day tickets permit unlimited use of all three lines. The blue line is 1:45, the other two each run 1:20 approximately. At this point, don't expect much more than "hop-on, hop-off" transportation. The recorded tour is largely useless at this point.

17  Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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130 - 134 of 222 reviews

Reviewed September 8, 2013

Don't generally advocate these tacky open-topped bus tours, but worked out well for us. We had less than 24hr in Tokyo, so took a couple of tours (there are three available on a hop on-hop off basis in 24hr) to get oriented and then spent our other time (and evenings) using public transport. I doubt we would have seen so much of Tokyo any other way.

2  Thank W13to2291
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2013

Good value especially if you do the three tours in one day. Need to be aware that when purchasing 24 hr ticket - 24 hr starts when you purchase your ticket and tours don't start until 10:20-am and last tour starts at 6:30 pm so need to plan accordingly. Good idea to get 2 day pass if you want to stop off at sites and catch later tour bus. Great way to get your bearings in new city.
English commentary is awful - after short period all English speaking tourists had removed earphones - it is really bad - company really needs to work on this. Needs to be live English translation to make it interesting for English speaking tourists.

6  Thank Jen O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

I have travelled to many countries that have the Hop on Hop off bus service, and I have to say that the one in Tokyo has to be the worst. Given that the purpose is to help tourists get around Tokyo and be able to get to see some key attractions the only people that it is catering for are the local tourists. Each bus has a guide that over a microphone literally talks almost 70% of the trip. If you listen to the recorded commentary ( only in Korean & English) if the commentary covers 15-20% it would be pushing it, and in most cases it is out of sync with where you are. There are 3 routes but the timing between them dont help because of traffic they don't always meet each other so then you have to wait another hour before the next bus comes past, even on weekends. I was very disappointed especially given the level of the other like operations in other parts of the world. I would suggest save your money and get a guide book and a train pass.

10  Thank BazinSG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2013

To be completely frank, the Sky Bus was a complete waste of both time and money. While they offer 3 tours, after about 10 minutes, it's already incredibly dull. The English language commentary is spartan to say the least and in some of the few places where there was something to say, the commentary often cut off in mid-sentence to say the next thing.... "The imperial palace is considered one of the most interesting ... Cut... On the right is a restaurant where Brad Pitt ... Cut... Etc. Mostly it's elevator music with the sound of the Japanese mattering on at great length and in obvious detail about the buildings. Rather pointlessly, one must admit, since it was largely non-Japanese on the bus.

If you like being stuck in traffic jams or driving on motorways, this is a great tour. For everyone else, spare yourself the pain. Maybe the Sky Bus company will read the reviews here and realise they need to up their game. Tokyo is a city of 30 million people: there must be more to say than where Brad Pitt once chopped his fingernails, or whatever he did, since they never finished the sentence.

10  Thank Neil_London_78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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