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Getting Around Kyoto by Bus

Getting Around Kyoto by Bus

    Kyoto has many bus routes, and they run throughout the city. Buses are used not only for sightseeing, but also as daily transportation for residents.
    Plan to use a combination of subways, trains and buses while sightseeing.

    Types of buses running within Kyoto City

    In Kyoto, there are two main types of buses: "fixed route buses" and "sightseeing buses".
    Fixed route buses provide convenient transportation between tourist destinations and other parts of the city.
    Sightseeing buses take you around famous spots and are especially recommended for first-time travelers to Kyoto, as they allow you to tour around various sights efficiently without having to transfer even if you are not familiar with the area.

    Things to be careful about when riding the bus

    •Buses tend to be especially crowded during the cherry blossom season in spring, the fall foliage season in autumn, and during commuting hours (7:00 to 9:00 and 18:00 to 19:00). You can travel smoothly by researching the available means of transportation to each destination in advance.
    •Transportation IC cards can be used on buses within Kyoto City. (Scheduled to be introduced on the Yasaka Bus in 2024)
    •No change will be given for the fare on the bus. The money changer inside the train only accepts 1,000 yen bills. Please have some change ready before boarding or use a transportation IC card.
    •We recommend using baggage storage or delivery before boarding the bus. Click here for information on hands-free sightseeing.
    •All buses have priority seats. Please offer your seat to the elderly, people with disabilities, people with infants, etc.
    •Please refrain from loud conversations or phone calls on trains or buses.

    (1) Fixed route buses

    Kyoto City Bus

    • One-Day Pass
    • IC Card

    Key points about Kyoto City Bus

    1. Able to go to the main tourist spots in the city
    2. Adults can ride for 230 yen within the flat fare area! (The Express sightseeing bus is 500 yen per person)
    3. Take advantage of the Subway & Bus 1-day Pass and travel around with subways as well
    Kyoto city bus operates mainly in the suburbs of Kyoto City.
    Buses run frequently and connect to many tourist spots and stations.
    As shown in the photo, Kyoto city buses are green. (Some vehicles have advertising wrapping).
    •Key Piece of Advice
    Fares are the same in the city center, but outside of the flat fare section, fares vary. If you use a Subway & Bus 1-day Pass, you can ride all city bus lines.
    Buses numbered in the 200s circulate on the main roads. Please be aware that should you take the bus to the wrong direction, it will be a detour so be sure to check the bus station and destination before boarding.
    Bus stations are divided into multiple locations at major bus stations including in front of stations and in downtown areas. Be sure to check the location of the bus station in the direction of your destination in advance.

    Kyoto Bus

    • One-Day Pass
    • IC Card

    Key points about Kyoto Bus

    1. Used for access to Ohara and Kibune in Rakuhoku, and to the Arashiyama and Sagano areas
    2.  The Subway & Bus 1-day Pass is also available within the flat fare section and up to Yase and Ohara
    3. Take the train to the nearest station and then take the bus to save time
    It operates mainly in the suburbs of Kyoto City. Fares within the flat fare section are the same as those for city buses.
    The body of the bus has contrasting colors of red and beige.
    •Key piece of advice
    Fares are the same in the city center, but outside of the flat fare section, fares vary.
    The Subway & Bus 1-day Pass cannot be used in some areas, such as towards Kibune and the summit of Mt. Hiei. Separate fare is required. Section where boarding is not allowed

    Keihan Bus

    • One-Day Pass
    • IC Card

    Key points about Keihan Bus

    1. Mainly operates in the Yamashina/Daigo areas and Mt. Hiei area
    2. Convenient access from central Kyoto to the Yamashina area
    3. The Subway & Bus 1-day Pass can be used! *Excluding some routes
    It operates mainly in the Yamashina district in the eastern part of Kyoto City, as well as in the Daigo, Mt. Hiei, and Hieidaira areas. Flat fare sections and fares are the same as city buses. 
    The body of the bus has red and white stripes.

    •Key piece of advice
    The "Keihan Bus IC 1day ticket" is available for unlimited rides for one day. Unlimited one-day rides in the Osaka-Kyoto-Shiga area are available at a discount.
    (Please note that this service is not available on some sections of the Kyoto-Hieizan Line, Kyoto-Hieidaira Line, etc.)

    West Japan JR Bus

    • One-Day Pass
    • IC Card

    Key points about West Japan JR Bus

    1. Used for access to the Takao (Sanbi) and Keihoku (Shuzan) areas
    2. JAPAN RAIL PASS and JR-WEST RAIL PASS* (*excluding some products) can be used!
    3. Many sections run parallel to city buses, which helps avoid congestion
    4.  The Subway & Bus 1-day Pass can be used! *Excluding some routes
    5. If you are going to Keihoku, the “Shuzan free ticket” is a great deal!
    It mainly operates in the northwestern part of Kyoto City, toward Takao, Toganoo, and Keihoku (Shuzan). The flat fare section from Kyoto Station to Toganoo can be used at the same fare as the city bus.
    Provides convenient access to sightseeing spots, and you can take the Kinukake-no-Michi (Kinukake Path), a sightseeing route that takes you to the three World Heritage Sites of Kinkaku-ji Temple (The Golden Pavilion), Ryoan-ji Temple, and Ninna-ji Temple without having to transfer to another train.
    The body of the bus is white with blue lines.
    •Key piece of advice
    Depending on the time of day, buses are available "via Ritsumeikan University," "via Ichijo-dori Street," or "via Karasuma". When getting on and off the train between Kyoto Station and Omuro Ninnaji (Omuro Ninnaji Temple), please be careful about the transit points.
    JAPAN RAIL PASS can be used on JR buses.

    Night bus (Yoru Bus)

    • One-Day Pass
    • IC Card

    Key points about the Night bus (Yoru Bus)

    1. Connects Kawaramachi Gion to Kyoto Station at night in 10-minute intervals
    2. The Kawaramachi Yoru Bus runs from 22:00 to 22:50, and the Gion Yoru Bus runs from 20:00 to 21:30
    3. The fare is 230 yen, the same as for city buses. You can also use a Subway & Bus 1-day Pass.
    To improve convenience at night, the following sections are operated.
    Kawaramachi Yoru Bus: Connects Kawaramachi Sanjo/Shijo Kawaramachi and Kyoto Station
    Gion Yoru Bus: From Gion, Shijo Keihan, Shijo Kawaramachi and Shijo Takakura to Kyoto Station via Shijo Karasuma
    Fares and bus bodies are the same as the Kyoto City Bus.
    •Key piece of advice
    Only operates from the Kawaramachi/Gion areas. There are no departures from Kyoto Station.
    The only bus stops where you can board and disembark are Yoru Bus bus stops.
    The Yoru Bus has its own bus stops at the "south side of the Kawaramachi Sanjo intersection" and the "north side of the Shijo Kawaramachi intersection".

    (2) Sightseeing buses

    OKOSHI Bus (regular Kyoto sightseeing bus)

    Key points about OKOSHI Bus (regular Kyoto sightseeing bus)

    1. You can quickly reach tourist spots that are difficult to access while sitting in the bus
    2. You can also enjoy the scenery from the bus window with a guide while traveling
    3. All bus fares, admission fees, etc. are included in the set for a discount price!
    A variety of seasonal courses are available, including standard courses that take you to famous sightseeing spots such as Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Kinkaku-ji Temple (The Golden Pavilion). 
    Perfect for those traveling to Kyoto for the first time or those who want to sit and move around easily.
    •Key piece of advice
    Reservations can be made at the Karasuma Gate Information Center in front of the station or via the Internet.

    SKY HOP BUS Kyoto (Hop On Hop Off Bus)

    • One-Day Pass

    Key points about SKY HOP BUS Kyoto

    1. Enjoy unlimited rides on the double-decker open bus
    2. There are bus stops in front of major tourist spots in Kyoto City, making it convenient for sightseeing
    3. You can get on and off as many times as you like at all dedicated stops within the ticket validity period.
    Please purchase a SKY HOP BUS ticket online or on board (the Subway & Bus 1-day Pass cannot be used).
    All seats are non-reserved seats. (If the bus is full, you may not be able to board.)
    The body of the bus is red with "SKY" written in blue.
    •Key piece of advice
    You can use voice guidance linked to GPS.
    In case of rain, you will receive a poncho (you cannot use an umbrella while the bus is in motion)