This first-of-its-kind tour is designed for bus lovers by bus lovers, or really just anyone who loves riding on buses.

This year, Shachi Bus in Nagoya is offering a new same-day tour called Enjoy Nagoya! Shachi Bus Tour. The tour will be offered exclusively on June 18 at 1 p.m. (passengers must assemble at the Shachi Bus headquarters by 12:50 p.m.) with plans to return around 5:40 p.m. Furthermore, the destination of the tour is “nowhere” and passengers are not allowed to get off of the bus while the tour is in progress.

▼ “Who here loves buses more than anything?”

Here’s an outline of the extremely simple tour route:

Departure from Shachi Bus Headquarters → (driving–no destination) → Shachi Bus Headquarters (enjoy a specially prepared bus time!) → (driving–no destination) → Arrival at Shachi Bus Headquarters

What’s really special about the Enjoy Nagoya! Shachi Bus Tour is that bus enthusiasts will get the chance to ride on two types of buses as well as experience both the local streets and freeways of Nagoya during the span of this one day. First, the local streets highlighted in the plans are ones that regular buses don’t usually traverse and will feature drive-bys of places old and new that are connected to Shachi Bus, including the Shachi Bus Tokai Sales Office.

Meanwhile, the freeway routes will cover the company’s regular commuter bus route as well as all three of Nagoya’s big freeways:

  1. Isewangan Expressway, featuring views of the three bridges known as the Meiko Triton that span the Port of Nagoya
  2. Mei-Nikan Expressway, including the new sections that opened in 2021
  3. Nagoya Expressway, featuring the urban Ring Route that loops around downtown Nagoya

In a special twist, the bus will also make its way along the Tokiri Kaido with its many difficult turns that have caused many a bus driver to cry.

▼ A map of the various routes covered on the tour

…Is anyone scratching their head at this point?

If you thought something about the above tour premise was a little bit fishy, let’s start by looking no further than the fish itself. A shachi is a mythical carp with the head of a lion and the body of a fish (there has never been a confirmed sighting in real life). However, statues of shachi often adorn the roofs of wooden temples because they’re an omen for rain (and will consequently put out any fires). A pair of golden ones on top of Nagoya Castle also serve as a major symbol of Nagoya.

▼ A typical depiction of a shachi

Second, another hint that something suspicious is going on is the price of a ticket for this exclusive tour: 8,283 yen (US$67.60), which can be pronounced in Japanese in a way similarly to “bus company.”

Finally, here’s the biggest clue: tickets for the bus tour went on sale on April 1, 2022. Oof.

Still, we applaud the commitment of Shachi Bus (yes, a real Nagoya-based bus company) in pulling off this April Fool’s Day prank with believable images and a dedicated tour website. Since we can’t go on this tour in reality, maybe we’ll just opt for a moment of zen in Nagoya’s new café with a darkened meditation room instead.

Source: PR Times, Shachi Bus
Images: PR Times
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