City Buses, Kyoto
We used local buses to travel to some of the temples and sights in Kyoto. We found the buses from the Central Bus Station (right opposite the railway station) to be very convenient, and the terminal itself well-organised and signposted. We took a 73 from there to Arashiyama - the journey lasted about 45 minutes and cost 240¥ per person. You take a ticket on boarding and pay as you exit, according to the distance travelled - the fare for your stop is displayed on a screen above the driver. Bus stops for major sights are announced in English but those likely to be of interest only to locals are not. But don't worry - if the announcement is in Japanese only, you can be pretty sure this isn't your stop.
We also used buses for a couple of shorter journeys to save a bit of time (and energy) when sightseeing. Fares are low compared with what we are used to so it made sense to pay the bus to take the strain! Short journeys though are slightly less of a bargain as there's a minimum fare of 220¥ - but still not bad.
You can get a day pass for most of the city buses for 500¥ which seems like a bargain, but be careful. Some of the routes, including the one we took to Arashiyama, are operated by a different company and I believe the passes aren't valid.
We got off the bus in Arashiyama right by the banks of the picturesque Hozu River.
Getting to all the site in Kyoto looks almost impossible at first, but after buying a all day transportation pass getting to the sites become a breeze .......
All day passes come in 2 cards .......a 1 day all day Metro and Bus for 1,200 Yens about $18 US or a 2 day metro and bus pass for 2,000 Yens about $30 US .... Well worth it .... on the second day we must have jump on the bus and metro about 15 times .... if you jump on the bus without the card it cost 220 yens each time ........
The passes are sold at the Tourist Information Center in Kyoto Station .... they give you a map with all the bus routes making it very easy to navigate.
Don't be scared to jump on the busses .... the signs are in English and all the stops are announced .... even during the rush hour we never waited no more than 10 minutes ... The busses go to all the major sites around Kyoto.
Highly recommend it !!!!!!
Kyoto City Bus is quite convinient for most of the touristic sites. 220 Yen, longer distances are more (these longer distance buses have black numbers). Ypu can get a One Day Pass for 500 Yen (for longer distances you pay a suplement, to Arashiyama for instance 220 Yen).
Raku Bus: three routes (100, 101, and 102) which are specifically designed for foreign tourists. Raku Bus 100 and 101 leave from platform D2 before Kyoto Station. 220 Yen per ride, but the day passes are accepted as well.
Getting around Kyoto is easy with the efficient bus network. It is even more convenient than the subway at times as buses stop you right in front of the places of interests whereas the subway station may be further away.
There are certain bus routes which are most convenient for tourists and visitors. The most convenient "tourist bus" being Bus 100.
A trip costs 220 Yen (kids pay 110 Yen) no matter where you board and alight. If you intend to use a lot of the bus, I would urge you to purchase a daily Bus Travel Pass which will cost only 500 Yen. For a travel pass which allow subway travel, it will cost 1000 Yen. You can purchase it from Kyoto Station where there is a Kyoto City Bus Information Counter and they will also give you a user friendly comprehensive bus map (NAVI Bus Map).
How to ride the bus
Enter at the rear,and put cash (or card) in the fare box next to the driver's seat as you leave. When you take the Numbered tickets car seiri-ken-sha),take a numbered ticket (seiri-ken) from the machine at the rear entrance and put it in the fare box with cash or bus ticket as you leave. Please ring the bell to indicate that you are alighting.
Use these one-day bus passes for cheap sightseeing that won't leave your legs in cramps and toes with blisters!
The nifty day-pass for 500 yen allows thrifty passengers unlimited rides, letting you hop on and off at many different locations within Kyoto using ONLY City Bus.
Alternatively, you might want to purchase the Kyoto Sightseeing Card for 1,200 yen (adults) for one day or 2,000 yen for two days. This pass is also valid for unlimited rides but can be used on ALL buses and subways.
Depending on your situation and where you want to travel, these passes are a great, cheap option to walking around Kyoto - especially in the summer time!
In Kyoto it is convienent to travel by bus. You can buy a buspass for 500 Yen (April 2003 price) which is valid for one day on the city busses. There are also passes that can be used on both bus and subway but they are much more expensive.
The best way to get around Kyoto is using the city bus. Definitely get a CITY BUS PASS good for ONE DAY, ALL DAY. The bus pass is 500 yen and can be purchased at the BUS TICKET OFFICE right outside JR KYOTO STATION.
If you don`t get the pass, you have to pay 220 yen, per ride. If you want to spend the whole day sightseeing, the bus pass is the best and cheapest option.
Also pick up a bus map (English available) at the ticket office. It is wonderfully made and easy to read and find your way around from one place to another.
Most travelers in Kyoto will find themselves taking the bus at some point. If you know you will be taking the bus at least 3 different times per day, you can save money by purchasing the Kyoto bus pass for 500 yen (otherwise it costs 200 yen per ride).
Be aware that the pass will NOT work for buses to Arashiyama, the Takao area, the Ohara area, or Shugakuin area. If you're going to travel to these areas, you will have to pay to ride the bus even if you have the pass.
The bus passes can be purchased when you get on the bus OR at the Kyoto Bus Center. If you get your pass at the Kyoto Bus Center (just outside Kyoto Station), you will also be given an excellent map of Kyoto with all of the bus routes AND many of the city's attractions, so you can figure out which buses will take you to or near your destination! If you arrive via Kyoto Station, I highly recommend buying the pass and getting this map at the Bus Center before you go on to tour the city!
The city buses are easy to use, rather frequent and can take you almost to any tourist spot in this city. In the evening the buses are not so frequent so be aware of that. In Japan you pay the bus when you leave and you better have the exact money in cash.
Going around in kyoto is easy with the bus. Just get yourself the one day pass.
Howvere, one memory i cannot forget is taking the bus from Kyoto station. they try to cramp in as many people as they can. It was quite an experience, I felt like sardines in a can.
But nevertheless, i still recommend the bus. :)
Buy the day pass at the Kyoto Station, near north exit and you would be provided with a map of the bus routes and the map has a broad white (not so obvious) ring band which indicates all bus stops within/on the ring band are free with the purchased day pass.
If you travel beyond the white band, extra fees may be incurred.
A pdf copy of the map is available for download on the below mentioned website.
Recommended to spend a whole day in Kyoto for sightseeing.
After the Golden Pavilion, we wanted to get on to Bus No 101.
Big mistake, take forever for Bus No 101 to arrive. In the meantime, many buses of other numbers have came and gone a number of times before the next Bus No 101 appears. Bad experience of having to wait for about 1/2 hour or more.
Hopefully, this is a one-off incident. But do consider other buses should the same thing occurs again.
Kyoto is the only city where I preferred moving around with busses than with underground.May be because I stayed close to the railway station where most busses leave from.
You can take the bus without ticket and pay when you get down, just near the driver and usually the ticket is 210 yen.
The best option anyway is buying a daily ticket wich is 500 yen, youvalidate it the first time you use the bus during the day and then just show it to the bus driver.
When you are travelling in Kyoto City by a bus, make sure to know how to get on and off the city bus. They have a different way of taking the bus.
When you get on to the bus, get on the bus from the back or middle door and get off at the front. Pay the bus fare when you get off.
The bus fare is 220 Yen for adults and 110 Yen for children (6-12 years old) within the central city. For further travelling, the fare will be added depending on the distance.
You will see the bus number and final destination in the display at the front, back and the side of the bus,
Bus is the most economy transportation for Kyoto due to well planned network reaching almost every attraction and cheap: Yen 220 per single journey for adult, but with Yen 500 you get a day ticket. (2008 price)
The downside is that it is time consuming: 1) bus is not very frequent, sometime 20mins waiting time. and 2) it is slow due to many stops.
Besides, after 3pm, traffic could become horrible in Kyoto, I once in a bus moved on 5 km in 40 mins!! almost missed my train.
TAXI is a good alternative, cheaper than Tokyo, but many of them dont take credit card.