Getting to Kyoto

By plane
Kyoto does not have its own airport. The nearest international gateway is Kansai International Airport, 73 minutes away by the fastest train. Most domestic flights land at Osaka's Itami Airport, one hour away by bus.

By train
Most visitors arrive at JR Kyoto Station by Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo, 2 hours and 14 minutes away. For connections to nearby cities, you can also take the private Hankyu or Keihan lines to Osaka, or the Kintetsu line to Nara.

By bus
The cheapest way of travelling from Tokyo or other distant points to Kyoto is by night bus, which terminate at Kyoto Station.

Get around Kyoto - Kyoto Transport

The city transportation is centered around Kyoto Station (京都駅, Kyoto-eki). The station is the 2nd largest in Japan and holds a shopping mall, hotel, movie theater, Isetan department store, and several local government facilities under one fifteen-story roof. The Tōkaidō Shinkansen Line (see below) as well as all local rail lines connect here. For many travellers its is a hub of travel and a good place to catch all the buses the city has to offer.

The sheer size of the city of Kyoto, and the distribution of tourist attractions around the periphery of the city, make the city's public transport system invaluable.

The Kansai Thru Pass (Surutto Kansai) stored-value card can be used on all means of transportation in Kyoto (and the rest of the Kansai region), with the notable exception of JR trains. You can purchase the cards in denominations starting at ¥1000 at any train or subway station.

By bus
The bus network is the only practical way of reaching many attractions. Most city buses have a fixed fare of ¥220, but you can also purchase a one day pass (¥500 for adults and 250 yen for children under 12) with which you can ride an unlimited number of times within a one day period. The day passes can be bought from the bus drivers or from the bus information centre just outside the Kyoto Station. This is especially useful if you plan on visiting many different points of interest within Kyoto. You can also buy a combined unlimited train and bus pass for ¥1200.

Unlike most Japanese buses, Kyoto's buses have announcements and electronic signs in English. The municipal transport company publishes a very useful leaflet called Bus Navi. It contains a route map for the bus lines to most sights and fare information. You can pick it up at the information center in front of the main station where you will also find an English/Japanese computer terminal to assist you to find the correct route and stop for your intended destination.

One further tip: do not confuse the Kyoto City buses (green) with the Kiehan buses (red and white).

By train
The Keihan train line can be useful for travelling in eastern Kyoto, while the two Keifuku tram lines are an attractive way of travelling in the northwest.

By subway
Kyoto's subway network has two subway lines, the north-south Karasuma Line and the west-east Tozai Line. Both are useful for travel in the city center but not really suitable for temple-hopping.

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(Article based on Wikitravel article by Wikitravel users Nzpcmad, Jose Ramos, John Grillo, Brian Kurkoski, Howard Banwell, Mary and Yann Forget, Jpatokal, Huttite, Miknon and MykReeve. Artilce used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0.)
(Plus content based on Wikipedia article and used under the GNU Free Documentation License)



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