If you've ever been on a last train in Tokyo, you know that they can be a bit of a mausoleum on wheels for unfortunate souls who have been taking out by their bosses, or taken on all-you-can-drink challenges and lost. Usually in the case of sleeping beyond one's train stop, or simply not making it to the train at all, many opt for affordable capsule hotels or surprisingly comfortable internet cafes to crash until morning. Sometimes, however, the appeal of sleeping in your own bed is so strong, only an intimidating taxi fee dampens it. Fortunately, the Nishi Tokyo Bus Company is stepping in with a special emergency bus to pick up passengers who have slept till the end of the Chuo-line.

The "Overslept Rescue Bus" (nesugoshi kyusai bus) will be waiting at Takao Station for passengers who miss their stop and make it all the way out to the end of the line at 12:55 AM, and will then escort passengers back to Hachioji station while making several stops on the way. It will be making departures for those who miss their train on Friday evenings of December 8th, 15th, and 22nd (the next morning, technically). The reasoning for this is that these dates tend to be when many of "end-of-the-year" drinking parties take place in Japan, and the probability of missing your train after a late night drinking session is fairly high.

Although limited to the Chuo-line and arriving only as far as Hachioji, at an 800 yen fee it beats most taxi rides in Tokyo and at least gets weary and possibly drunk passengers to a popular area of Tokyo where they can find cheap accommodation for the night. The bus has been operating for four years, with 75 people making use of the service during the end-of-the-year drinking party season last year, so it looks like it's been saving some stragglers. Check out a time-table here.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.