Kyoto Styudy

Transportation

We will now introduce the means of transportation in Kyoto.
There are a few points that must be noted, so please be sure to check them before using transportation in Kyoto.

The use of bicycles

Bicycles allow you to experience the atmosphere of the city as well as feel the breeze and the murmur along the riverside; they are a popular way of getting around Kyoto.
Riding a bicycle also allows you to pass through narrow alleys and may allow you to reach your destination faster than a vehicle or motorcycle depending on the distance.

●Points to note

  • □ Ride along the left side of the road as a general rule and remember that you must always turn on your bicycle lamp when riding at night.
  • □ Riding under the influence of alcohol, tandem riding and the like are prohibited by law.
  • □ Do not ride while using a mobile phone, earphones, headphones or an umbrella.
  • □ Always lock your bicycle when leaving it unattended.
  • □ It is necessary to complete bicycle theft prevention registration to guard against bicycle theft.
  • *When purchasing a new bicycle at a bicycle shop, you can register the bicycle for five years for the additional fee of 500 yen
  • □ Do not park your bicycle in areas other than the prescribed areas.
  • *Bicycles left unattended in areas other than prescribed bicycle parking areas may be removed in accordance with regulations. Removed bicycles are stored in a storage facility, so confirm the details on the nearby signboard or posters if your bicycle has been removed. When you collect your bicycle from the storage facility, you will need to bring your bicycle key, ID and the storage fee of 2,300 yen.

Trains

Eight types of train run through Kyoto.

Subway Two subway lines run through Kyoto city – the Karasuma Line that runs north-south and the Tozai Line that runs east-west.
JR You will have to use JR trains to get to the north of Kyoto Prefecture as well as the Tango and Tamba regions. The JR trains can also be used to travel outside Kyoto to anywhere in Japan.
The regular fare is charged for conventional lines and extra charges apply for limited express trains, the Shinkansen, first-class carriages and sleepers.
Keihan Railway The Uji line runs to the Uji and Yamashiro area, the Keihan Main Line runs to Osaka, and the Ishiyama Sakamoto Line runs to Shiga.
Hankyu Railway The Hankyu Kyoto Line runs from Kawaramachi Station to Osaka and Hyogo (Kobe, Takarazuka).
Kintetsu The Kintetsu Kyoto Line runs from Kyoto Station to Nara Prefecture.
Keifuku Electric Railroad (Randen) The Keifuku Electric Railroad runs between Arashiyama Station, Kitano-Hakubaicho Station and Shijo-Omiya Station.
Eizan Electric Railway The Eizan Electric Railway provides convenient access to the Rakuhoku Area of Kyoto (Mount Hiei, Kurama and Kibune). You can transfer to the Eizan Electric Railway from Keihan Demachiyanagi Station.
Kyoto Tango Railway The Kyoto Tango Railway runs to the Tamba and Tango regions in the north of Kyoto Prefecture as well as to the Tajima area in the northeast of Hyogo Prefecture.

●How to ride the train and fares

Purchase a ticket from the ticket vending machine before boarding the train. The fare to each destination will be displayed in a table, so please confirm the fare and purchase the correct ticket.
Rechargeable smart cards such as ICOCA and PITAPA can also be used as an alternative to purchasing tickets. These cards are issued at the cost of 500 yen. They can be used throughout Japan and are very popular. However, please note that these cards cannot be used on the Eizan Electric Railway.

●Timetable

Each station has its own timetable which is distributed at the station. You can also check the timetable online, etc. Japan trains run on time.

Buses

There are multiple bus services operating in Kyoto including Kyoto City Buses operated by Kyoto City and the privately-operated Kyoto Kotsu, Keihan Kyoto Kotsu, Kyoto Bus, Kyoto Keihan Bus and JR Bus.

●How to ride the bus

When the bus arrives, board through the rear door.
Push the stop button near your seat when the bus approaches your stop and exit from the front door after placing the bus fare or your ticket in the fare box next to the driver’s seat.

●Bus fare

The fare for Kyoto City Buses is 230 yen, regardless of your destination.
The fare for privately-operated buses is calculated according to distance, so be sure to check the fare table at the front of the bus.

●Timetable

Each bus stop has its own timetable and buses will arrive at each stop in accordance with the timetable. It should be noted that buses may be early or late depending on the traffic conditions.

Special passes

There are handy travel cards available if you plan to use buses or the main trains in the Kansai area a certain number of times for sightseeing purposes.

●Kyoto City Bus / Kyoto Bus one day pass (adult: 500 yen; child: 250 yen)

This ticket will save you money if you will ride at least three buses within the flat-fare area. If using a bus that travels outside the flat-fare area, you will have to pay the normal fare from the stop at the boundary of the flat-fare area. The one day pass can be purchased at bus information offices, sales offices and inside buses.

●KANSAI THRU PASS 3 day ticket

This ticket is sold in limited periods in the spring, summer and fall, and allows the unlimited use of buses and the main trains in the Kansai area for three days (note that the ticket can be used on three non-consecutive days). The ticket also allows you to benefit from complimentary discount promotions at about 350 major tourist facilities along the railway lines. The limited-edition KANSAI THRU PASS 3 day ticket (adult: 5200 yen; child: 2,600 yen) is only available for purchase in the Kinki area, but other consecutive three-day passes allowing unlimited travel can be purchased nationwide and overseas all year round.

●Other

You can also purchase special bus and train passes from ticket offices and ticket stores. In fact, the passes purchased at such stores will be up to several hundred yen cheaper than if purchased elsewhere, so it is worth making the trip. These stores also sell various tickets in addition to tickets for each railway and bus. Business hours are relatively short, so be sure to confirm whether the store is open first.