For a more generic overview of the types of public transport available in Saga, click here to return to the transport page.
Saga Bus Information
Saga City is serviced by Saga City Buses, Nishitetsu, Showa, and Yutoku. You can now use IC cards on all Saga City and Nishitetsu buses, pay in cash, or use discount ticket packs (sold from a ticket machine at the Bus Center, tickets are valid for all four companies).
The main transportation hub for buses in Saga City is the Saga Station Bus Center, which is right next to the train station. From here you can catch local buses around the city, buses to Tenjin (Fukuoka’s shopping district), Fukuoka Airport or Saga Airport, and highway buses to other cities around Kyushu. The bus is generally a cheaper option than trains, but takes longer.
For highway buses, you will need to make a reservation and pay at the counter inside the Bus Center. These buses board on the north side of the Bus Center. Some highway buses travel overnight so you can maximize your time at your destination. The buses heading in to Fukuoka do not need reservations, you can just get on. If you are making a round trip to Fukuoka Airport or Tenjin, you can save some money by purchasing round-trip tickets at the ticket desk or ticket machine.
Riding the bus
While most highway buses operate like regular coaches and board from the front door, for the local buses around Saga City, you board the bus via the rear door and take a numbered ticket from the ticket machine as you do so. As you travel along, either the driver or an automated voice will announce each stop. When you get to your destination, check the fare board above the driver for your fare – look for the number corresponding to your ticket and the price below is your fare. Drop the exact change plus your paper ticket in the clear box next to the driver. If you don’t have correct change, there is a change machine next to the ticket/money collection box that will change up to 1,000 yen bills. If using prepaid tickets, drop the ticket in as you would change. (You can use a combination of tickets and change as needed.)
For more information and pictures showing how to get a ticket and work out your fare on a local bus, try this document.
Saga City Bus and Nishitetsu have handy tools for checking bus times and routes. Jorudan can also search various bus routes in addition to trains.