I only took the bus in Kanazawa. It was fairly easy to understand since Kate told me the exact buses to take. If it werent' for her it would be next to impossible for me seeing that most of the signage was in japanese exclusively.
This lady and her daughter were randomly nice to me. I was standing next to the mom on the bus and she asked me how my trip was then gave me an all day pass for the buss. They were also sight seeing Kanazawa from Nara i think.