Getting Around Kyoto, Japan In Different Transportation Modes

Kyoto, Japan offers irreplaceable transportation modes to help many get around the interesting city. For first time travelers around the place, the Hyperdia and Kurage websites can help as a good starting point in learning and planning ideal routes that refer to the public transportation options in Japan.

The ICOCA smart card is very useful and popular in Kyoto and other western parts of the country. It can be used for transport networks of buses, subways and railways. They can be availed in vending machines at the stations which cost about ¥2000 along with ¥500 as deposit which can eventually be refunded upon return of the card right at the JR West Station.

Other practical tickets to use in Kyoto include the Kyoto Sightseeing Card and the Traffica Kyoto Card.


Kyoto, just like the rest of Japan can be a bit confusion too with its intersecting train lines. However, for starters, it can be best to know about which trains to ride depending on the section of the city to head to. For those traveling in the eastern part of the city, the Keihan line is the one to ride. The two Keifuku lines are for the northwest bound travel of Kyoto while other worth mentioning train lines include the Eidan Eizan, Hankyu, and the JR lines.


The city offers two subway lines but only serve a small section. The Karasuma Line is for the north-south bound while the Tozai Line is the linking train which is near the center of the city. Both can be very practical to take if headed for the city center but not useful for those who aim to go visiting the temples. The subway also offers one day passes which can cost ¥600.


Buses in Kyoto are perfect to be taken and enjoyed by tourists. They display information on board in both English and Japanese and they are the pragmatic option to see the city’s attractions.

The bus companies sometimes have line numbers that overlap such as the Kyoto City Buses in green and white colors while the other Kyoto Buses are set in red and white. Those in green and white are the buses to ride when only traveling within the heart of the city but the red and white buses are for those who are headed to the suburbs.

Majority of the buses around the city have the ¥220 fixed fare rate but there are also passes that can good to consume for one day at around ¥500. Get the Bus Navi to serve as manual for the listing of fare and sights published by Kyoto’s municipal transport company.

For foreign visitors, the best bus to take is the Raku Bus since its route will take its passengers straight to the tourist spots and skip the not so interesting destinations.


The bicycles are considered a primary form of personal transportation of locals in Kyoto. This transportation option is preferable especially during seasons of fall and spring. There are many spots to rent bikes and make sure to steer away from heavy traffic roads by going after the back alleys.

Many of those bikes for rent offered in Kyoto come with lights, baskets, bells and even locks for added security. Some affordable bikes for rent can be found at the stations of Saiin, Katsura and Rakusaiguchi. Rates can start at 320 yen each day but should be returned the following morning.

They also offer electric bicycles for a rate of 430 yen per day.