If you are visiting Kyoto for sightseeing, you should definitely use the free ticket of the fixed route bus! There are various railway and bus routes in Kyoto city, but I recommend the bus which you can ride as much as you like for 1 day for 600 yen as it has many routes.
This time, I would like to see where to buy a free ticket and how to ride a bus in Kyoto.
The railway line is a little difficult to use …
Kyoto City has a well-developed transportation network, but the railway network is surprisingly difficult to use. Even if you look only at the city center, you can see a wide variety of trains running to JR, Hankyu, Keihan, Keifuku and Kyoto Municipal Subway, but all of them are operated by different companies, so it is inconvenient to change trains and the fare is expensive.
There is also a free ticket “Arukumachi Kyoto Rail Kippu” that allows you to ride as much as you like on these 5 railway lines, but it costs 1,300 yen for a 1 day ticket and you can’t even ride a bus, so it is quite inconvenient …
Since most of the major temples in Kyoto are located far from the train station, it will be difficult to make a profit if you buy it.
How to buy an economical route bus “one-day ticket”
That’s why we want to use regular buses. The bus covers the entire city of Kyoto, so you can use it to access many of the world heritage temples, and the 1 day free pass (one-day ticket) is also reasonable at 600 yen!
The bus fare is 230 yen for 1 ride, so if you ride 3 times with a 1 day ticket, you can make a profit. You can buy this one-day ticket at the bus office or information center in Kyoto City, or on the bus.
To purchase tickets at JR Kyoto Station, go out of the central ticket gate and go diagonally to the right, to the ticket window within the “Bus Ticket Center” next to the bus terminal.
This place mainly deals with highway bus tickets, but there is a counter for city buses and subways in the back. Unfortunately, we don’t accept credit cards for ticket purchases, only cash.
There are 2 kinds of free tickets for the route bus, and this time I bought a 1 day ticket for 900 yen which allows me to ride the city subway as well as the bus as much as I want! The base fare of the Kyoto Municipal Subway is 220 yen, so if you get on the subway 2 times, you can make a profit.
Note that there are several bus companies operating route buses in Kyoto City, and occasionally some buses do not accept free tickets.
The 1 day pass can be used for 3 types, “city bus”, “Kyoto Bus” and “Keihan Bus”, but not for JR buses. Also, you can’t use it on some routes of Kyoto Bus and Keihan Bus.
There is a notice at the bus stop for the routes where you can’t use this ticket, so you don’t have to worry if you check it well before getting on.
The bus says, “Get on from the back and get off from the front”
To get on the Kyoto City Bus, take the bus from the back and get off at the front. The fare is a flat rate of 230 yen, so there is no need to issue a numbered ticket, and you don’t need any procedures when you get on the bus.
There is an LCD display inside the car, which shows the bus stops in detail, and also tells you the nearest points to major sightseeing spots, so you can feel at ease! As expected, this kind of place is just a tourist city.
You can use an IC card to pay the fare when you get off. You can use not only ICOCA in Osaka but also Suica and Pasmo in Tokyo, so it is convenient!
When you use the one-day ticket, the date is displayed like this when you put the ticket through the machine when you get on the train for the first time, so you only need to show it to the driver when you get on the train for the second time or later.
In addition, on some routes such as Route 102, the way to get on is different, so you may get on from the front and pay the fare in advance. In recent years, in order to deal with the increasing number of foreign tourists, various social experiments have been conducted to reduce congestion, but in the future, the rules may be changed in other lines.
Google MAP is convenient!
It’s a route bus in Kyoto, but I recommend using Google MAP to search for destinations and routes. Just tap the destination and search for the route, you can find the detailed route from the current location to the destination, which is convenient.
This should be enough without having to see the PDF map.
However, when I used it at the beginning of April, there were some bus stops that said “Quiesced” but it wasn’t reflected in Google MAP and I had a hard time.
If the timetable is revised, it may be different from the search results for a while, so I recommend you to check the Kyoto City Transportation Bureau website in advance.
So, it is a convenient route bus in Kyoto that you can get a good deal. Please make use of it for visiting the world heritage temples and walking around the town!
♪The list of articles about sightseeing in Kyoto is here → “Kyoto“