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What’s the difference between 乗(の)り越(こ)す and 乗(の)り過(す)ごす?

The Main Meaning

In Japanese, “乗(の)り越(こ)す” and “乗(の)り過(す)ごす” both involve riding or being on a public transportation system, but they have slightly different meanings.

First, let’s break down the two phrases.

Kanji Vocabulary



  • 乗: ride, power, multiplication, record, counter for vehicles, board, mount, join
  • 越: surpass, cross over, move to, exceed, Vietnam



  • 乗: ride, power, multiplication, record, counter for vehicles, board, mount, join
  • 過: overdo, exceed, go beyond, error


This simply refers to the act of riding beyond the destination where you’ve paid to go on a public transportation system, such as a train or a bus. It’s like going past the point that your ticket allows you to go, either on purpose or by mistake, which often involves paying an additional fare afterwards. There is a phrase: “乗(の)り越(こ)し精算(せいさん)” which means “fare settlement for the extra ride”. You need to have this done after you get off the vehicle so you can pay the extra fare you owe, and this fee is called “乗(の)り越(こ)し料金(りょうきん)” (fare for the extra ride).



Translation and Vocabulary

today | as for | always | of | station | (direct object) | ride beyond | delicious | restaurant | exists | station | until | let’s go

Today, let’s go past the usual station and go to the station where there is a very good restaurant.

  • 今日(きょう) today
  • いつもの usual, regular
  • 駅(えき) station
  • 乗(の)り越(こ)して to pass (a station), to go past
  • 美味(おい)しい very good (restaurant); delicious
  • レストラン restaurant
  • ある there is, is located
  • まで until, to
  • 行(い)きましょう let’s go [行(い)く to go; 行(い)きます to go (polite); 行(い)きましょう let’s go]


Translation and Vocabulary

this | as is | continuously | station | (direct object) | ride beyond | to do and | go | upon doing | ocean | able to see | become

If you continue riding the train like this, you will see the sea.

  • このまま like this, in this way
  • ずーっと continuously, all the way
  • 駅(えき) station
  • 乗(の)り越(こ)して to pass (a station), to go past
  • 行(い)くと if you go
  • 海(うみ) sea, ocean
  • 見(み)えてきます can see, becomes visible
  • よ a sentence-ending particle for emphasis or assurance

Grammar notes: The phrase ずーっと駅(えき)を乗(の)り越(こ)して行(い)くと implies going past multiple stations continuously. The verb 見(み)えてきます is used to indicate something becoming visible gradually.


Translation and Vocabulary

long distance | of | train | ‘s | trip | with | as for | one station | ride beyond | did | only | even | ride beyond | fee | many | cost | matter | exists

When you are on a long-distance train trip, even if you miss only one station before getting off the train it can cost you quite a bit for the extra ride.

  • 長距離(ちょうきょり) long-distance [長(ちょう) (long) + 距離(きょり) (distance)]
  • 電車(でんしゃ) train
  • 旅(たび) travel; journey
  • では in the case with (long travel); で (with); は (as for)
  • 一駅(ひとえき) one station
  • 乗(の)り越(こ)し(を)する to pass, skip a station; を is often omitted especially casual talk
  • 乗(の)り越(こ)し料金(りょうきん) surcharge for passing a station
  • たくさん many; a lot
  • かかる to be incurred; to be charged
  • ことがあります there are times when…; it is possible that…

Grammar notes: The phrase ことがあります indicates that such situations can occur but isn’t absolute.


This refers to missing your intended stop because you didn’t get off the vehicle by mistake or for other unintended reasons. This could be because you were distracted, asleep, or for any other reasons that resulted in you not exiting at your destination.



Translation and Vocabulary

night | tired | time | as for |sleep and | station | (direct object) | ride overdo | in order to | warning | let’s

When you are tired at night, be careful not to fall asleep and miss the station.

夜疲(よるつか)れている tired at night

時(とき) when

眠(ねむ)って fell asleep and

駅(えき) station

乗(の)り過(す)ごさない not to miss (a station)

ように in order to, so as to

注意(ちゅうい)しましょう let’s pay attention

Grammar notes: The phrase 夜疲(よるつか)れている時(とき) indicates a specific time when one is tired from the night. The verb 乗(の)り過(す)ごさない is in the negative form to express not missing a station.


Translation and Vocabulary

cell phone | with | game | (direct object) | doing and | two | even | station | (direct object) | ride past | did unfortunately

I was playing a game on my mobile phone and accidentally missed two stations.

  • 携帯(けいたい) mobile phone. 携帯 is normally used for 携帯電話(mobile phone)
  • ゲームをしていて while playing a game
  • 二つも even two; も (“even”; emphasis)
  • 駅(えき) station
  • 乗(の)り過(す)ごしてしまった accidentally missed (two) stations

Grammar notes: The phrase 二(ふた)つも indicates the surprising number of two missed stations. The verb 乗(の)り過(す)ごしてしまった is used to convey the accidental nature of missing the stations.


Translation and Vocabulary

bus stop | (direct object) | ride past | did unfortunately | bus | (direct object) | got off and | from | house | until | one hour | even | walked

I missed the bus stop and ended up walking for one hour until I got home.

  • バス停(てい) bus stop
  • 乗(の)り過(す)ごしてしまって accidentally missed (the bus stop)
  • バスを降(お)りてから after getting off the bus
  • 家(いえ)まで to my house; 家(いえ) (house; home); まで (until; to)
  • 1時間(じかん)も even 1 hour; 1時間(じかん) (1 hour); も (even)
  • 歩(ある)いた walked

Grammar notes: The phrase バス停(てい)を乗(の)り過(す)ごしてしまって indicates the accidental act of missing the bus stop. The expression 一時間(いちじかん)も歩(ある)いた implies walking for a considerable period of time.

In Conclusion

So, while both terms involve going past a particular point while riding a vehicle, 乗(の)り過(す)ごすmeans “accidentally or unintentionally missing the stop”. On the other hand, “乗(の)り越(こ)す” can be used for situations that are both intentional and also unintentional.

Let’s practice!

Choose the right word between 乗(の)り越(こ)す and 乗(の)り過(す)ごす; be sure to conjugate it properly:

友達(ともだち)がとても落(お)ち込(こ)んでいたので、自(じ)分(ぶん)の駅(えき)を _____ 彼(かれ)に会(あ)いに行(い)きました。

Answer Key


My friend was feeling very down, so I went past my own station and went to meet him.

  • 友達(ともだち) friend
  • 落(お)ち込(こ)んでいた was feeling down
  • 自分(じぶん)の one’s own
  • 駅(えき) station
  • 乗(の)り越(こ)して passed, skipped
  • 彼(かれ) him
  • 会(あ)いに行(い)きました went to see

この電車(でんしゃ)が今(こん)夜(や)最(さい)後(ご)の電車(でんしゃ)なので、駅(えき)を _____ と大変(たいへん)です。

Answer Key


This train is the last train tonight, so it will be troublesome if you miss the station.

  • この this
  • 電車(でんしゃ) train
  • 今夜(こんや) tonight
  • 最後(さいご) last
  • 駅(えき) station
  • 乗(の)り過(す)ごすと if you miss, pass
  • 大変(たいへん) troublesome; big trouble; not good

仕(し)事(ごと)の後(あと)、電車(でんしゃ)の中(なか)で急(きゅう)に渋(しぶ)谷(や)のラーメンが食(た)べたくなって、8(やっ)つも駅(えき)を _____ 渋(しぶ)谷(や)に行(い)きました。 

Answer Key


After work, I really wanted to eat ramen in Shibuya, so I ended up going past eight stations and went to Shibuya by train.

  • 仕事(しごと)の後(あと) after work
  • 電車(でんしゃ) train
  • 中(なか) inside
  • どうしても really, absolutely
  • 渋谷(しぶや) Shibuya (a neighborhood in Tokyo)
  • ラーメン ramen (Japanese noodle dish)
  • 食(た)べたくなって wanted to eat
  • 8つも as many as eight; even eight
  • 駅(えき) station
  • 乗(の)り越(こ)して: passed, skipped
  • 行(い)きました: went

Grammar notes: The phrase どうしても indicates a strong desire. The verb 食(た)べたくなって expresses the longing to eat. The number 8つも emphasizes the large number of skipped stations.

東京(とうきょう)都(と)内(ない)で駅(えき)を _____ も 逆方向(ぎゃくほうこう)の電車(でんしゃ)もたくさん走(はし)っているので、すぐに戻(もど)れます。

Answer Key

東京(とうきょう)都(と)内(ない)で駅(えき)を乗(の)り過(す)ごしても 逆方向(ぎゃくほうこう)の電車(でんしゃ)もたくさん走(はし)っているので、すぐに戻(もど)れます。

Even if you miss a station within Tokyo, there are plenty of trains running in the opposite direction, so you can quickly go back.

  • 東京都内(とうきょうとない) within Tokyo
  • 駅(えき) station
  • 乗(の)り過(す)ごしても even if you miss, pass
  • 逆方向(ぎゃくほうこう) opposite direction
  • 電車(でんしゃ) train
  • たくさん many
  • 走(はし)っている running (used with trains as well as feet!)
  • すぐに quickly
  • 戻(もど)れます can go back

Grammar notes: The verb 走(はし)っている indicates the ongoing action of trains running.

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