Guide to take trains in Kyoto. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?

Click to enlarge. (C) JP Rail
Click to enlarge. (C) JP Rail
Toji temple is just 10 minutes away from Kyoto station. © Q.Sawami/© JNTO
Toji temple is just 10 minutes away from Kyoto station. © Q.Sawami/© JNTO

Train system in Kyoto may be complicated for you. There are three types of railway, JR, Kyoto City Subway and Private company’s railways. Actually it’s a key to travel in Kyoto smoothly and avoid wasting your valuable time. Of course city of Kyoto has city wide bus service. But during peak season, bus service runs behind the schedule sometimes due to traffic congestion.

And also, there are many types of deals, such as ICOCA, Kansai Thru Pass, JR Pass, Kansai Area Pass, Kyoto city pass. Each pass has different conditions. You have to understand which train system is covered by your pass.

In this post, I tell you about using these deals and explain all train systems in Kyoto.

Which train services that are covered by ICOCA, Kansai Thru Pass and other JR deals

Many deals are available in Kansai area. But each pass have different coverage. I tell you about major passes and deals.

For the travellers who use ICOCA, Kansai one pass, Suica, Pasmo or other IC cards

You can take all trains on the map above except Shinkansen and Sagano Scenic Railway. When you travel in Kansai area, don’t try to take Shinkansen for such a short transfer. Please see the post below to find more information:

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Regarding Sagano Scenic Railway, it is not a public transportation but an attraction. This is the reason why it is not covered by any rail pass.

By the way, ICOCA does not cover Kyoto city bus service either. In sometimes 2014, Kyoto city bus will accept ICOCA.

For the travellers who use Kansai Thru Pass

Please see the map below:

Click to enlarge. (C) JP Rail
Click to enlarge. (C) JP Rail

You can go anywhere in city of Kyoto. Most of places can be accessed by train. And this pass covers Kyoto City Bus too. Bus services cover all part of city of Kyoto. If you access from Osaka (Umeda) to Kyoto station, you cannot get a direct transfer by this pass. This is only things that you may care.

JR Pass, Kansai Area Pass, Kansai WIDE Area Pass, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass, Sanyo Sanin Area Pass, Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass, Hokuriku Arch Pass

Please see the map below:

Click to enlarge. (C) JP Rail
Click to enlarge. (C) JP Rail

You can get direct access from Osaka (Umeda) to Kyoto station. Uji, Fushimi-Inari, Nijo castle and Arashiyama can be accessed by JR trains. But it is very inconvenient to access to Higashiyama area, such as Kiyomizudera, Gion, Sanjo and Kifune.

If you intend to take Sagano Scenic Railway and take JR train to come back to Arashiyama or Kyoto, Kansai Area Pass and Sanyo Area Pass cover only to Hozukyo station. The nearest station of Torokko Kameoka station is JR Umahoti station. But this station is out of coverage area of Kansai Area Pass and Sanyo Area Pass. If you use JR Pass or Kansai WIDE Area Pass, it is covered.

If you use JR Pass, JR Bus service can be used by only JR Pass. Please see the post below to find more information:

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Other JR passes, such as Kansai Area Pass and other JR West deals do not cover any bus services.

If you use Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass, you can get Kyoto but you cannot get any places in Kyoto city, like Fushimi, Arashiyama. Kyoto is located on the way to Kanazawa. You can stopover at Kyoto, but that is it you can do by Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass.

Kyoto Sightseeing One and Two-day Pass Card

Please see the map below:

Click to enlarge. (C) JP Rail
Click to enlarge. (C) JP Rail

This deal covers Kyoto city subway lines, Kyoto city bus and Kyoto Bus (private bus company). If you will take bus, you can go almost anywhere in city of Kyoto. Only place where is not covered by this pass is Uji.

How to access to major spots in Kyoto by train

As I mentioned above, sometimes bus services are affected by heavy traffic. And there are too many lines of bus in city of Kyoto. You may be confused by too many choices. Therefore I recommend you to use train service as much as you can.

If you need more info about bus, you may be able to find it at


If you see Maiko in Gion, you are very lucky.  © Y.Shimizu/© JNTO
If you see Maiko in Gion, you are very lucky. © Y.Shimizu/© JNTO

You can get there by both Hankyu Railway and Keihan Railway. Hankyu’s Kawaramachi station is located 5 minutes away from Keihan’s Gion-Shijo staiton. There is Kamo river between these two stations. One of most popular market, Nishiki market is located bear Kawaramachi station. This area is one of the busiest area in Kyoto.

If you access from Osaka, take Hankyu if you stay in Umeda (JR Osaka station) and take Keihan if you stay in Namba or Shinsaibashi area. Yodoyabashi is connected by Osaka subway Midousuji line.


It is Must-See spot in Kyoto. ©Sue Ann Simon/©JNTO
It is Must-See spot in Kyoto. ©Sue Ann Simon/©JNTO

Actually it’s a bit away from the station. But you can get there from Keihan’s Kiyomizu-Gojo station. The distance is 1.7 km and takes about 20 minutes.


Togetsukyo is the icon of Arashiyama. ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO
Togetsukyo is the icon of Arashiyama. ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO

There are three stations, Hankyu, Randen and JR. Randen’s Arashiyama station is located in the heart of Arashiyama. But you will be okay with other two stations. JR’s Saga-Arashiyama station is about 15 minutes away from Randen’s Arashiyama station. Hankyu’s Arashiyama station is located at other side of Katsura river. Togetsu bridge connects these two stations.

If you get Arashiyama from Umeda, obviously Hankyu Railway is the best choice. But there is no direct train service from Umeda to Arashiyama. You have to transfer at Katsura.

If you get Arashiyama from Kyoto station or using JR deals, JR Sagano line is the best choice.

If you get Arashiyama from Gion and Kawaramachi area, I recommend you to take Hankyu to Omiya and transfer to Randen. Randen is not very well known. This rail service is like street car and it runs on the street at some part of this line. This 20 minutes ride will be nice experience in your Kyoto visit. Hankyu’s Omiya station is located underground and Randen’s Shijo-Omiya station is on the ground. But it’s just cross the road and only 3 minutes away.

If you stay in Sanjo area and get Arashiyama, take subway to Uzumasa-Tenjingawa station and transfer to Randen. Randen-Tenjingawa station is located on the ground and subway’s station is underground. But it’s same place.

Kinkakji (Golden Pavilion)

I recommend you to drop by Ryoanji temple before visit Kinkakuji.  	©JNTO
I recommend you to drop by Ryoanji temple before visit Kinkakuji. ©JNTO

It can be accessed from randen’s Kitano-Hakubaicho station on foot. It takes about 20 nminutes. Of course you can catch the bus at Kitano-Hakubaicho station. It is three bus stops away from Kinkakuji and takes about 5 minutes.

If you access there from Arashiyama, Randen is a good choice. But if you get there from Gion, Kyoto station and other places, Randen is considerable. You have to change the train at Katabiranotsuji. It takes about 30 minutes from both Shijo-Omiya and Arashiyama. But Kinakakuji can be accessed by direct bus from many places in Kyoto. Even though I consider traffic, bus service may be faster than Randen. And also Kinkakuji can be accessed from subway’s Kitaoji staion by bus. If you get there from Kyoto station and Gion, this route is the fastest.

Nijo castle

Nijo castle is located in the heart of Kyoto. It is very easy to access there.  ©JNTO
Nijo castle is located in the heart of Kyoto. It is very easy to access there. ©JNTO

The nearest station is subway’s Nijojo staton. But you can access there from JR Nijo station too. So you can choose the trains by you pass/deal.

Fushimi Inari

Fushimi Inari Shrine is very famous as thousands of torii gates. ©Kyoto Convention Bureau /©JNTO
Fushimi Inari Shrine is very famous as thousands of torii gates. ©Kyoto Convention Bureau /©JNTO

It can be accessed by both JR and Keihan. JR’s Inari station is the nearest station. But Keihan’s station is only 5 minutes away from the shrine. You can choose it by your pass/deals.

If you combine this place with Nara, JR’s Inari station is on the way to Nara.


Byodoin Hououdou is the highlight in Uji. © JNTO
Byodoin Hououdou is the highlight in Uji. © JNTO

It is not located in city of Kyoto. So you cannot get there by city bus.

Both JR and Keihan can take you there. The biggest spot, Byodoin is located between JR Uji and Keihan’s Uji stations. It take about 10 minutes from both stations.

If you get there from Osaka, Keihan Railway is the best choice. But there is no direct train to Uji from Yodoyambashi. You have to change the trains at Chushojima.

Kyoto subway line goes to Rokujizo station. This is located at same place as JR’s Rokujizo station. You can change the trains very easily there. But Keihan’s Rokujizo station is a bit away from subway/JR stations. So if you access there from the heart of Kyoto, subway and JR combination is a good choice too.

435 thoughts on “Guide to take trains in Kyoto. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    Re-sending my query since there was an error when I tried to post it earlier. Please disregard if you already read my earlier post.

    I would like to consult you if there is a pass/deal that we can avail for our trip to Nagoya & Osaka this weekend. Mainly, I am interested in the route, Kansai -> Nagoya -> Osaka (main base is Tennoji) -> Kansai.

    Since we are travelling with elderly people, we will be visiting 2-3 sites per day only so I plan to use the Icoca card for these visits.

    Previously, you advised me to purchase the Haruka + Icoca deal when we first visited Kyoto & Osaka last year. I am trying to research if there is a similar deal for Nagoya.

    Also, is there any direct train from Kansai to Nagoya? Based on my research, we have to first go to Shin-Osaka then purchase another set of train tickets there for the Nagoya part of our trip.

    Many thanks for your inputs.


    1. Hi Van,

      There is no deals and no direct trains between Kansai and Nagoya. The easiest and the fastest way to get Nagoya from Kansai is the following:
      Kansai (Haruka) Shin-Osaka (Shinkansen) Nagoya

      You may use ICOCA and Haruka for Kansai to Shin-Osaka and Tennoji to Kansai. However you need to purchase regular fare ticket for Shin-Osaka to Nagoya. You may use Platt Kodama for Nagoya to Shin-Osaka. You cannot use this deal because you need to purchase at least one day before trip date.

      You cannot use ICOCA to take Shinkansen but you may use ICOCA in Nagoya to take a local train and subway.


      Takeshi /

    1. Hi Dick,

      You may use Kansai wide area pass. It covers Haruka between KIX and Kyoto. You also can take limited express train to Kinosaki by this pass.

      You may take JR local train by this pass in Kyoto. But you may need to add bus pass as you read the post above.


      Takeshi /

  2. Hi Takeshi,
    We need your help in choosing what rail pass is best.
    here is out itinerary:
    (1)Arriving KIX late 10 pm local time Nov.9
    so we plan to stay in hotel near airport
    (2) Nov.10 take morning train ( Haruka Express?) from KIX to Kyoto station,
    stay for 2 nights ( have 2 full days for Kyoto attractions )
    (3) Nov.12 Sunday , go to Kinosaki Onsen for 1 night
    (4) Nov.13 return to Kyoto after checking out @10am
    (5) train ( Haruka express?) to KIX to catch a flight 10 am. Nov.14 Tuesday

    Is there a rail pass that covers KIX-Kyoto , & Kyoto-Kinosaki
    return from Nov10-Nov14 (5 days total) ?
    Do we need to buy a separate Kyoto sightseeing 2 days pass?
    Thank you very much?

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    We will be travelling to Kyoto via Osaka next month.
    It will be our first time visiting Kyoto and my tentative itinerary as below.

    Day 1:
    1) touch down at Osaka International Airport early morning, and will buy a ICOCA + Haruka card to board the
    JR Haruka Express Limited train to Kyoto station
    2)Check in Airbnb near Kyoto station, and followed by Sightseeing to include, in sequence:-
    – Kiyomizu-dera Temple
    – Sannen-Zaka/Ninen-Zaka Preserved Neighborhoods
    -Maruyama-koen Park
    -Daimaru Department Store ( Food Floor)
    -Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine

    Day 2:
    1. Sightseeing at Arashiyama area including:
    – Tenryu-ji Temple
    – Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
    – Lunch at Arashiyama town area
    – Kinkaku-ji temple)
    – Nishiki market
    – Gion area

    Day 3:
    1. Check out Airbnb and head back to Osaka (Namba area)
    2. Departing from Kyoto station:-
    2 options:
    1) travel by JR Kyoto line, special rapid service (platform 4&5) to Osaka Station in 23mins at 560yen. Take a taxi from Osaka Station to airBnB in Nippombashi area
    2) Kintetsu Kyoto Station to Osaka Namba Station. Take a taxi to the AirBnB in Nippombashi area

    I have several questions:
    1. Can you please advise which kind of transportation pass that I should get for my 2 days in Kyoto?
    2. Which is the best way to reach Namba area in Osaka from Kyoto station? Our airBnB in OSaka is near Nippombashi station, Namba area.
    3. Does the sequence of the 2 days itinerary in Kyoto looks ok to you? Is there any adjustments needed?
    4. If I don’t have enough time, since will be travelling with 2 young children aged 4 and 2, which sightseeing spot should be my least priority?

    Thank you so much in advance

    1. Hi Kirsten,

      1. You may use Kansai one pass and all day bus pass for day 2 only.

      For day 1, you will take a bus to near Kiyomizudera, and then walk to Maruyama koen via Saneizaka area. After that you will take Keihan railway to Fushimi Inari and JR train to Kyoto from Inari. There is no passes available to cover all. You need 3 ride to get the worth of bus pass but you will ride only once.

      Kansai one pass is same type of card as ICOCA. But it gives you discount at many attractions. This card does not give you unlimited ride but you can use this card to take any trains and city bus. You can add this card instead of ICOCA when you purchase ICOCA and Haruka.

      On day 2, when you need to take trains, you can use Kansai one pass. You will ride the bus three or more in this day. So you can use bus pass and do not use Kansai one pass to take a bus and save your fund in the card.

      2. Kintetsu is better option. There is Nippombashi station on Kintetsu line. It’s just one station before reaching Osaka-Namba on Kintetsu line.

      3. It looks good.

      4. Probably Sanneizaka and Ninenzaka area are removed. There are lots of stores and so much fun. But it’s far if you walk from Kiyomizudera to Maruyama park via this area with small children. There are lots of slopes and many tourists. It’s not a good idea to use stolorer. Both parents and children may be tired. You may visit just beginning part of this area after Kiyomizudera and catch the taxi to Maruyama koen. There are lots of taxi around Kiyomizudera. It’s much easier for your family. Taxi fare may be around 1000 to 1500 yen. Kansai one pass cannot be used for taking taxi.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thank you for the reply. Just some additional questions to your answers:

        1. For day 1, you will take a bus to near Kiyomizudera, and then walk to Maruyama koen via Saneizaka area.
        (May I have the bus no?)

        2. Do you mean that it’s better for me to purchase ICOCA + Haruka + Kansai One Pass, or just Haruka + Kansai One Pass when i reach Kansai International Airport?)


          1. Hi Takeshi,
            Thank you so much for your reply.

            May I know all public transportations (subway, train, bus) are chargeable for a 5 years old and 2.5 years old?


  4. Hi Takeshi,

    as previous u recommend me added one kyoto sightseeing pass at 1,200, do you mind to tell me which type of ? because i searching there is got few type of kyoto sightseeing pass, i’m not so sure which one you recommended..



      1. Hi Takeshi,
        Thanks for your info.
        This is my Kyoto day trip as below , kindly suggest is it ok for it ? Correct me if i’m wrong. Thanks.
        Get : Kansai Area Pass 1D & Kyoto sightseeing Pass 1D ( 1,200Y)
        Tennoji – Kyoto Station (Hakura Express)
        Kyoto Station – Kinkakuji (Bus101、 205)
        Kinkakuji – Nishiki Market (Bus 12 、 59 、 101 )
        Nishiki Market – Fushimi Inari (Karasuma Line & JR Nara Line)
        Fushimi Inari – Kiyomizudera (Inari Station->Tofukuji Station
        -> Tofukuji Bus Stop -> Bus 202、207)

        is it ok above the route?
        or u think need go Nishiki Market first then Kinkakuji more better?



          1. Hi Takeshi,

            Oh.. so get bus ticket pass will do.

            how about Nishiki Market –> Fushimi Inari (Karasuma Line & JR Nara Line)

            for this route i need take Subway Karasuma Line by Kansai one pass ? or i just need walk to or by bus?



          2. Hi Fela,

            Karasuma line is the best way. But you will take only one ride. It’s not enough to use subway and bus pass. You just use Kanasi one pass or taking bus if you want. You don’t need Kyoto sightseeing card anyway.


            Takeshi /

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    This will be my first time to Kansai area. I went to Nagasaki & Tokyo before .

    This time my trip with my husband and my 2 year old consists of::

    18th: from KIX to Okayama (start Kansai Wide Area pass)
    20th: Okayama -> Osaka (will make day trips to Nara & Wakayama to make full use of the Kansai Wide Area Pass) but cant do much since 1 full day will be spent at Universal Studios 🙂

    23rd : Buy a separate ticket to Kyoto. (Should we get Kansai Thru Pass for this? We will only be spending all the time in Kyoto

    25th : Start using the Hokuriku Arch pass to Kanazawa

    27th : With the same Hokuriku Pass, off to Minami-Otari? and get another ticket to Hakuba .

    29th : Go back to Minami-Otari -> off to Nagano

    30th : from Nagano straight to Tokyo

    Do you think I make full use of these two passes (Kansai Wide Area Pass 5days and Hokuriku Arch Pass 7days) ?
    Or do we need to add the Kansai Thru Pass 3Day ticket instead of getting the separate ticket to Kyoto?

    Hope you could reply me 🙂

    Have a good day!

    1. Hi Ellina,

      You have picked the right deals. Kansai wide area pass and Hokuriku arch pass are the right deals for your trip.
      But Kansai thru pass is not required. Single ticket is okay from Osaka to Kyoto. You may get Kansai one pass instead. It will offer you the discount at many attractions:

      In Kyoto, you can use Kansai one pass when you take train or subway. But don’t use this to take bus. You can get bus pass for one day at 500 yen. Only three rides of bus give you the worth.

      When you take train to Minami-Otari, please check the timetable. Train does not run very frequently. And if you travel in winter time, the segment between Itoigawa and Minami-Otari is closed when it’s heavy snowing. If it’s closed, you can get the bus from Nagano to Hakuba. It’s not covered by Hokurku arch pass but keep it in your mind for your backup plan. Please see the link below. It shows the summer timetable now. But you will see winter one soon.

      At last, I traveled this segment before. You can find my trip report in the link below:


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thank you for your reply.
        I forgot to tell you that our trip will be on next month from 17th Oct -> 4Nov (still Autumn correct?)

        Will there be infrequent trains from the Oito Line to Hakuba? Infrequent meaning less train or no train at all?

        One more questions, the all the passes are valid for non-reserved seats, so we could just validate the passes once we start without paying anymore fares? Or do we have to pay extra even for the ‘unreserved seats’ ?

        Thanks lots!

        1. Hi Ellina,

          Train runs 5 to 6 trips a day between Itoigawa and Minami-Otari. The season is still fall. Train operation is no problem in this period.

          As long as you take a seat in non reserved seat car, you don’t need to pay any extra.


          Takeshi /

  6. Hi Takeshi,

    is it possible covere all area by using JR Kansai wide area in Kyoto? Do you mind to give me some advise for 1 day trip for it ?
    1) Kinkanjuji Temple
    2) Fushimi Inari Shrime
    3) Kiyomizudera
    4) International Manga Museum
    5) Nishiki Market.

    Thank you

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Can give me some suggestion whether the passes worth to use my itinanery? i plan Day1-Day5 using Kansai Wide Area Pass and Osaka Amazing Pass 2 days , and last day planning to get Rinku Premium Outlets Stopover Ticket, is it worth for it ?

        Day 1 = Kansai -> Stay near Imamiya / Daikokucho -> Shinsaibashi / Dotonbori (Walk Around)
        Day2= USJ
        Day 3=Namba OCAT -> Tottori (By Bus) -> Yura (Day Trip)
        Day 4 =Kyoto (1) Kinkanjuji Temple 2) Fushimi Inari Shrime3) Kiyomizudera 4) Nishiki Market (Day Trip)
        Day5 = Osaka Area
        Day6= Osaka ( Osaka Amazing Pass 2day)
        Day7= Osaka ( Osaka Amazing Pass 2day)
        Day 8 = Rinku Outlet -> Kansai (10pm Depart)



        1. Hi Fela,

          If you take a train to Tottori, Kansai wide area pass is recommended. But you intend to take a bus. Kansai wide area pass is way too much for your trip.

          I recommend you to use Kansai area pass one day for day 4. You still need to add the fare for taking bus in Kyoto but this pass give you direct train from Tennoji to Kyoto which is Haruka.

          Osaka amazing pass and Rinku deal are okay. Single ticket is enough for other trips. You may get Kansai one pass instead of single ticket:


          Takeshi /

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            Oh. so u not recommend using Kansai Wide Area Pass.

            your recommend right? as below :
            Day1 – Kansai , Namba – Icoca
            Day2 – USJ – Icoca
            Day3- Tottori – Icoca + Bus
            Day4 – Kyoto – Kansai Area Pass (1day)
            Day5- Osaka – Icoca
            Day6 – Osaka Amazing Pass
            Day7- Osaka Amazing Pass
            Day 8 – Osaka, Kansai – Rinku Passover one way Ticket

            Just want to ask …..are you recommend for Kansai Thru Pass 3 days for selected day ?



          2. Hi Fela,

            Kansai wide area pass is not recommended.
            You cannot use ICOCA in Tottori. Just buy regular ticket after arrival in Tottori.

            Kansai thru pass is not recommended either. If you have another trip to Kobe or Nara, you can use it. But in your plan, you can use it for only trip to Kyoto. It’s one day only but Kansai thru pass is minimum 2 days.


            Takeshi /

          3. Hi Takeshi,

            How about if Kyoto use Kyoto Sightseeing Pass (1-day), is it better then Kansai Area Pass?
            Day5 – if get Kansai Area Pass for this day or remain ICOCA more worth around Osaka area?

            Sorry if i’m too much question …..:)



          4. Hi Takashi,
            Sorry that i think i mix up Kansai One Pass and Icoca card.
            Previous i mention Icoco is actually mean Kansai One Pass. Let’s forget Icoca.

            you said when in arrive Tottori can’t use Icoca, how about Kansai One Pass ,can use??

            Kyoto u recommend Kansai Area Pass+ Bus Single ticket.

            how about Day 5- Osaka ,is it using Kansai Area Pass or Kansai One Pass more convinient and better???



          5. Hi Takeshi,
            Now i totally clear to plan my trip.
            really many thanks for your helping and give lots of advise.
            Thank you so much. 🙂


          6. Hi Takeshi,
            sorry that need your help again.

            As previously you recommended Day4 – Kyoto using Kansai Area Pass one day pass as need Haruka from Tennoji to Kyoto.

            1)is it possible the Kansai Area Pass can covered all the place as below?
            2) which area do need take bus ? is it need buy one day pass for bus ticket ? any advise?
            3) Will it rush to complete my place as below? or need cancel one places ? like kinkankuji? or need change the route more suitable?

            Tennoji -> Kinkanjuji Temple –> Kiyomizudera -> Fushimi Inari Sharime -> International Manga Museum -> NIshiki Market –>Tennoji



          7. Hi Fela,

            Only Fushimi can be accessed from JR Kyoto station by this pass. Other places cannot be accessed by train. One day bus pass is required.
            Your trip will be very busy. And also I recommend you to change the route as follows:

            Tennoji – Kinkakuji – Manga museum – Fushimi – Kiyomizudera – Nishiki market – Tennoji

            Please see the bus route in the link below:

            If you add Kyoto sightseeing pass at 1,200 yen. You can take subway too. It may help you to save your trip time.


            Takeshi /

          8. Hi Takeshi,

            oh…as previously u also recommend me get Kansai One Pass .
            So if i have Kansai One Pass is it still need kyoto sight seeing pass? Do kansai One Pass cover subway at kyoto ?

            regarding route , I thought Manga Musuem and Nishiki Market is nearby only. By walking about 15mins.



          9. Hi Fela,

            You don’t need to add it if you don’t want. You didn’t mention Manga museum in your first inquiry. It’s located on subway line. Subway is better way to get there but bus covers whole part of Kyoto. You can go there by bus too.

            And Kansai one pass does not give you any unlimited ride. When you get the card, it has 1,500 yen e-money. You will spend almost whole amount for KIX to Imamiya and trip to USJ. You can add more fund. But basically this card gives you only convenience. It gives you same value as regular fare ticket.

            You can visit Nishiki Market after Manga museum. If you do so, your route is Kinkakuji, Manga museum, Nishiki market, Kiyomizudera and Fushimi Inari. Manga museum and Nishiki market are located between Kinakkuji and Kiyomizudera. But you can visit these places as you want. You can do your plan. It’s totally up to you.


            Takeshi /

          10. Hi Takeshi,

            Ok. Noted. Totally clear for it.
            So sorry for so many question as really confuse those passes and transport. Abit worry.

            But now got your advises i feel more safety now.

            Thank you very much.


  7. Hi!
    Is it possible to cover Arashiyama Bamboo Groove, Golden Pavillion and Fushimi Inari in one day? We are coming from Namba. Can you advise how we should plan our itinerary and the transport also? Please?

    1. Hi Pam,

      Yes, you can. Basically try to get the Kyoto station first.

      And then take JR train to Inari station to visit Fushimi Inari. And then take JR trains with transfer at Kyoto to Saga-Arashiyama. And then take bus to Kinkaku-ji. Please see the bus route in the link below:


      Takeshi /

  8. Hi Takeshi,
    There are a lot of choices on travel pass as you listed above. I am still having difficulties to choose the best one for myself and my travel partner. I am really appreciate your help to recommend the best one for us. We will spend 6 days 3 days in Kyoto, 3 days in Osaka. Below is our itinerary.

    1. Arriving at Kansai airport on Oct 13 afternoon, heading to Kyoto for 3 days.
    2. Staying at Hotel Gimmond near Karasuma Oika subway line from Oct 13 Fri till Monday
    3. After Check in hotel will visit Fushimi Inari, Gion and Nishiki Market
    4. Oct 14 will visit Arashiyama Sargano, Amanohashidate
    5. Oct 15 will visit Ginkakuji, Kiyomizudera Higashiyama

    Kyoto to Osaka
    6. Oct 16 check out hotel heading to Osaka, staying at Hotel Chisun Inn Osaka (near Shinsaibashi subway)
    Mainly city tour in Osaka, Dotonbori, Tsutenkaku, Shinsekai, Umeda, Shinsaibashi, Osaka Castle
    7. Oct 18 check out hotel heading to Kansai airport

    A. Which travel pass will be the best for my trip?
    B. If I don’t purchase travel pass, will it be cheaper to pay as we go?
    C. What is the best price option from
    I/ Kansai airport to Kyoto,
    II/ Kyoto to Osaka
    III/ Osaka to Kansai

    D. Is there pass which cover airport transfer to city such as Kansai to Kyoto or Oaska to Kansai?

    E. There is amazing pass for Osaka. Will it be cheaper for me to get this pass instead of pay as we go?
    Which is more benefit for us – one day or two day pass?

    Your recommendation is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks and you have a wonderful day!


    1. Hi Brenda,

      Basically you can follow my sample itinerary in the link below:

      So your choices are ICOCA & Haruka, city deal in Kyoto and Osaka.

      You may add Kansai one pass instead of ICOCA.

      In Kyoto, you can use Kyoto city bus pass and when you need to take train or subway, you can use Kansai one pass. Kansai one pass is valid to take bus too but city bus pass is quite cheap. So don’t use Kansai one pass for riding bus.

      If you intend to visit 3 or more attractions on the list of amazing pass, you can go for it. Otherwise subway pass is okay.

      For Osaka to airport. please see the link below:


      Takeshi /

  9. Hi Takeshi,

    We will be visiting Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kobe for 7 days this coming September.

    Can I please ask:

    1. Can we take Haruka Train from Kyoto to Tennoji using JR west Kansai Pass?
    2. Is Sagano Line Umahori station covered under JR west Kansai Pass? As from the coverage map from JR West official website, it shows Umahori station is covered but from the text above it says Umahori station only covered by JR Kansai WIDE area pass only.

    Hope to hear from you soon! Thank you so much! =)

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