Curzon’s post on spotting a large number of used Japanese trucks and other vehicles in Lebanon reminded me of how many I’ve seen in my visits to the Philippines. In fact, the very first automobile I entered in the country was a former Kyoto City bus, when, upon leaving the airport, I went across the street and grabbed the very first bus that seemed to be going in the general direction of downtown Manila. It turns out that I actually grabbed a few photos of the signage, so here they are. I didn’t get any photos of the outside of the bus, as I had no idea that it was going to be anything special inside; as far as I can recall the exterior had been painted over completely so that it looked like any other heavily used commuter bus.
These were taken on November 25, 2005.
At the time of the trip I was living in Taipei, and had not been to Japan – much less Kyoto – for about a year and a half. Needless to say, finding myself in a transplanted Kyoto City bus in Manila, with all of the accouterments intact, was a surreal experience.
I don’t recall if the stop buttons still functioned.
This badge clearly labels it as a Kyoto bus, with the bus registration number.
This plate is the really interesting one. It reads: “Auto reconditioning, July 12, Heisei year 6 (1996), Hankyu Bus.” Hankyu is one of the major transportation/retail conglomerates of the Kansai region, centered in Osaka, which I discussed in some detail in a previous post. They do run ordinary public buses, but not in Kyoto City. At least not currently; I have no idea about the early 90s. A quick glance at their website did not turn up any information on how they deal with used buses, or if they happen to have a division devoted to reconditioning and exporting used vehicles.