September 10, 2003
Busman Stops at Nothing
* After 9/11, Kazuhiro Nakagawa's business was reduced from $10,000 luxury tours to $40 trips up and down the coast, but he doesn't give up.
By Ronald D. White, Times Staff Writer
It was almost departure time, but Kazuhiro Nakagawa's 55-seat tour bus still had that "Not in Service" look as it sat outside the Wilshire Grand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Slowly, a handful of passengers assembled: two teenagers from Altadena, a frugal twentysomething couple just back from Israel and a 19-year-old German woman touring the country.
A few years ago, Japanese tourists paid Nakagawa $10,000 each for whirlwind tours of the Western United States on his luxury bus. With that market ruined by the sour Japanese economy and the lingering effects of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Nakagawa sought a new niche running a nonstop luxury bus service from Los Angeles to San Francisco, $40 one way.