22 Shorinincho, Ohara, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, 601-1241, Japan
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More about Kyoto


Entokuin's Zen GardenEntokuin's Zen Garden

Buddha Head at Chionin TempleBuddha Head at Chionin Temple

Statues of Ryoma Sakamoto and Shintaro NakaokaStatues of Ryoma Sakamoto and Shintaro Nakaoka

The garden in front of the templeThe garden in front of the temple

Forum Posts

Value of Japan Railpass when many lines are private

by David4174

Greetings, all:

Some years ago I lived in Kobe and remember there were private rail lines in that area. Now, I am contemplating a trip in and around Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and perhaps Nara.

Are there rail lines connecting all of these locations that will accept the Japan rail pass, or will I discover later that I should instead just pay cash, since some are private lines.

Thank you in advance.


Re: Value of Japan Railpass when many lines are private

by heywinks

There are a few lines that can take you around the Kansai area. I would not waste money on a JR railpass. You can take the subways around Osaka, which are cheaper than JR. Going around Kyoto you can get a 1-day bus pass for 500yen. In Kobe you will most likely be in the Sannomiya/Motomachi areas but if you go out of there you can take the local bus or subway.
There are discount ticket shops if you want to take JR or Hankyu subway lines to & from certain station stops, so you don't have to pay full price at the vending machines at the station. You can check my Japan pages for more info on that.

Re: Re: Value of Japan Railpass when many lines are private

by David4174

Thank you, Heywinks:

That sounds like good advice. (I suppose you know that a 4 day JR-West Rail pass is only Yen 6000.

Anyway, generally my idea is to move about quielty and view the temples and such in a relaxed mode, without a lot of travel.

BTW, I have now also learned that this 4-day pass can be purchased in *Japan, without prior arrangments* (unlike the 7-day $260.00 pass) but the 4-day pass can only be bought once.



Cheaper not to get the pass

by heywinks

If you stay in just those 4 cities, I would not get the 6000 yen pass. However, if you go furthur out, like to Himeji, then I would recommend that pass. From Kyoto to Himeji, it's about 1 1/2 hrs on JR Shinkaisoku (express train) and costs 4300 yen about, roundtrip. (If you get the discount tkts at a discount tkt shop near the train station, then it's 3500yen, roundtrip).
In Osaka, you can use JR on the Loop line, but not on the subway lines. The subway line fares depend on distance but it's usually around 300yen, one way.
In Kyoto I think it's best to get around by city bus.
You might want to look at the maps online to see where you want to visit in those cities. I recommend that you go visit Himeji if you haven't been before (I'm a little biased since I lived there). You said you lived in Kobe before. Whereabouts? In Himeji you can visit Mt. Shosha, where they filmed parts of The Last Samurai. It's so beautiful there.
If I remember correctly, you can get a 2000 yen day pass on the Hankyu Line, which can take you to all those places you mentioned. If you can read Japanese, you can take a look at their map:
You're so lucky to be going back to Japan to visit. I am planning to go next year to visit again. I can't wait!

Travel Tips for Kyoto

Ask for extra napkins

by joiwatani

Most restaurants in Japan only give one napkin on the table for each person. They don't give away stacks of napkins. So, if you needed one, make sure to request from the waiter and she will gladly give more.

drinking at somebody's rundown house. kinda.

by brass.buttons about Hoppy

So, you go into Hoppy, and it's like you walked into someone's house. Someone who has been on a bender for about the past three years and decided while they were at it to just put in some tables and let other people join in. The floors are tatami and there are sliding doors just as you'd find in a traditional japanese house, but they are dirty, grafittied, and have holes (eerily the shape of fists). The tables and dishes don't match, there is a random tv and random artwork, and a mannequin in the bathroom that can be seriously creepy if you've had a certain amount to drink. This is starting to sound a bit seedy, but it's actually really kitschy and cute and it works.
The food is cheap and good and various (typical japanese food for drinking... but the portions are huge and it's yummy, so I think it's totally appropriate to come for dinner). The selection of drinks is great as well, and it is also really cheap. This is just a nice place to relax with a friend or two, have some drinks and chat.

Good Pizza

by Rabbityama about Il Pappalardo

Il Pappalardo, not far from Sanjuusangendo, is a delicious Italian pizzeria. The pizzas are not very large, but the taste is really good! It is slightly expensive, but splitting one with a friend makes it a bit more affordable. Although the pizza is most popular, they also offer various pastas, other dishes, and desserts.

Kyomizu at night

by alvinpie

A few times a year, Kiyomizu temple opened at night. The stage is beautifully lit and the streets are alive.

We were lucky enough to catch the last day of this night visit period and though it was drizzeling a little, the whole experience was great.

Sannenzaka & Ninnenzaka

by bladedragon

Sannenzaka means sannen slope (zaka/saka means slope in Japanese).
This slopes are leading to Kiyomizudera and also Kodai-ji temples.
Along the way there are lotsa traditional shop houses, restaurants and also Yasaka Pagoda.
This neighborhood is also specified as the Historic Preservation District due to the many traditional town houses, shrines and temples that makes the traditional scene of Kyoto.


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