kyoto station

Kyoto train route guide. 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

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:

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 covers 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. If you use JR Pass or other JR West passes, it is covered.

JR Bus service is also covered by JR Pass and JR West deals, such as Kansai area pass. It runs between Kyoto station and Takao.

If you use Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass, you can get Kyoto but you cannot get any places in Kyoto city, like Fushimi, Arashiyama even though these places are connected by JR line. Kyoto is located on the way to Kanazawa. You can stopover at Kyoto, but that is all you can do by Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass.

Kyoto Sightseeing One and Two-day Pass Card and Kyoto subway pass

Please see the map below:

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

These deals cover Kyoto city subway lines. Kyoto city bus and Kyoto Bus (private bus company) are also covered by Kyoto Sightseeing one day and two day cards. 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 Japan-Guide.com

Gion

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.

Kiyomizudera

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.

Arashiyama

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.

Uji

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.

517 thoughts on “Kyoto train route guide. How to choose the best route by train to get the major spots?”

  1. We will be visiting Kyoto from Nov28 to Dec2.
    Planning to do a lot of sightseeing all over Kyoto area. Our hotel is in Shimogyo Ward, very close to Shichijo Station.

    This is our sightseeing plan, a pretty aggressive plan:
    Nov28 – upon arrival in the afternoon (from Tokyo), will be taking Keihan train (Keihan Main Ltd Exp) to Sanjo station to meet a friend and then walking back towards hotel passing thru Gion, Pontocho, Ninenzala & Sanenzaka area.
    Nov29 – visit Northern / Eastern / Central Kyoto such as Nisjiki Market, Ginjakju-ji temple, Nina-ji temple. Kiyomizu-dera temple, Nijo Castle, Maruyama Park and Yasaka Shrine
    Nov30- visit Western / Eastern Kyoto such as Tenruji temple, Arashiyam Bamboo Grove, Daikakuji temple and Kodai-ji temple
    Dec 1- visit Central / Eastern / Southern Kyoto such as Nanzen-ji temple, Ginkaku-ji, Philosopher’s Walk, Tofukuji temple and Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

    Through the ‘ome2rio.com’ site, found out transportation to all these places are mainly:
    Bus – Raku bus and Keihan bus
    Subway – Kyoto Subway Karasuma and Kyoto Subway Tozai
    Train – Kehian Railways (Keihan Main Ltd Exp / Keihan Main Line Sub-Exp)

    My questions:
    1. Is there a transit combo / pass that will provide with all these bus/ subway / train coverage? If not, what is your best suggestions?
    2. Will the JR Rail Pass work in Kyoto, specifically with the following JR bus / trains ( I think)?
    JR Randen Kitano
    West JR Bus
    JR Sagano / JR Sagano Rapid Service
    JR Special Rapid Service
    JR Kyoto Line Rapid Service
    3. With the ‘ome2rio.com’ site, I am able to enter From / To with Kyoto attractions ……but I notice a lot of the transportation are by buses (& I worried about the Kyoto traffic) so is there another site that enable me to find routes by subway from/to the above points of interest?
    4. Are all the above attractions accessible by train? Can you please provide info / link

    Thanks….Looking forward to your reply

    1. Hi Ellen,

      There is no deals to cover subway, bus and Keihan railway. Subway and bus pass, one day bus pass is available. However I don’t think you need it. Becaseu you cannot get the worth of it. In your trip plan, you will take JR line which is covered by JR pass and many walking. As you think, the traffic is very heavy and the bus is very crowded. Sometime walking is faster than taking bus.

      JR pass covers JR train and JR West bus only. You can use it to get Arashiyama area and Nijo. So you will visit these places at same time:
      Arashiyama, Tenryuji, Daikakuji, Nijo, Ninnaji.

      You listed Nijo and Ninnaji with Kiyomizudera, Maruyama park and Yasaka shrine. But these places should be visited with Arashiyama. It is much easier.

      On Nov 28, you will take a train but you will walk bach from Gion. You will take Keihan but you have to pay on the spot. There is Keihan railway deal but the regular fare is much cheaper. One ride is around 200 yen.

      On Nov 29, you mentioned that you visit Ginkakuji but you mention Gingakuji on Dec 1 too. You may visit Nisjiki Market, Ginjakju-ji temple, Kiyomizu-dera temple, Maruyama Park and Yasaka Shrine only on this day. Actually, Maruyama Park, Yasaka shrine and Kiyomizu dera are connected by Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka. You may walk this route on this day instead of the first day in Kyoto.

      On Nov 30, visit Arashiyama area, Nijo and Ninnaji.

      On Dec 1, you may visit Ginakuji and Nanzenji at same time. These are connected by Philosopher’s Walk. And you can take subway and Keihan railway to get Tofuji and Fushimi Inari.

      I have no idea about ‘ome2rio.com’. This site is not accessible. But you can find all info about Kyoto in the link below:
      https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2158.html

      So I reocmmend you to use JR pass and pay a regular fare when you take Keihan, subway and bus as you need.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thanks for your reply and I will revisit my trip plan using your suggestion / recommendations.

        On Nov 29, my trip plan is Kinkaku-ji, not Ginkakuji which is on Dec 1.
        Thanks for pointing out my repeat.

        Based on what you replied:
        ‘JR pass covers JR train and JR West bus only’, please confirm the following:

        1. JR Randen Kitano – NO coverage
        2. West JR Bus – YES, it is covered
        3. JR Sagano / JR Sagano Rapid Service – NO coverage
        4. JR Special Rapid Service – YES, it is covered
        5. JR Kyoto Line Rapid Service – ????
        Don’t know what 5……Please help.

        Do you have a link on JP Rail.com that talked about going to Arima Onsen ?
        – We will be going there after Kyoto.

        Thanks

        1. Hi Ellen,

          1. JR Randen Kitano – NO coverage
          Right. Randen is not JR.

          2. West JR Bus – YES, it is covered
          Yes.

          3. JR Sagano / JR Sagano Rapid Service – NO coverage
          Yes. This is JR line and is covered by JR pass fully.

          4. JR Special Rapid Service – YES, it is covered
          Yes.

          5. JR Kyoto Line Rapid Service – ????
          Yes.

          I believe the following links were already give in the previous reply but I put it.
          https://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/osaka-kyoto-kobe-and-nara/guide-to-take-trains-in-kobe-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

          And you can find some info in Japan Guide which I gave you about Kyoto in the previous reply today. Just check it out there too.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            Thanks you so much for all your helpful suggestions via my various posts your different forum topics.
            I think we are ready for our upcoming Japan trip in late Nov.

            Below I did a recap of what I’ve asked/ what you suggested. Hoping you can confirm I got the correct / best route info (Thanks to you!!!)

            We will be arriving Haneda Airport (International Terminal) on Nov 26 late afternoon.
            Our hotel is between the Nihombashi Station and Shin-Nihonbashi Station.
            We all have JR Rail pass but we will not activate them until Nov 28 …..

            Question:
            1. At Haneda Airpot, we have to exchange the rail pass voucher for a JR Rail Pass, do we activate the pass this same time Or at time when we use the pass?

            To get to the hotel from Haneda Airport, we will be taking your recommendation:
            – Take Keikyu Railway / Toei Subway line, change trains at Singakuji and get off at Nihombashi
            We will get the special (airport / subway 48 hrs deal) that you provided in this link:
            https://www.haneda-tokyo-access.com/en/ticket/discount/tokyo-subway.html
            -We will be taking the from Airport/railway/ subway deal while touring Japan from 2 days.

            On Nov 28, we will be heading to Kyoto, using our JR Pass for JR Shinkansen Hikari
            We will be in Kyoto from Nov 28 to Dec2, doing a lot of touring all over Kyoto, using link you provided:
            https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2158.html
            Also, taking your recommendation, ‘doing walking if possible and using JR pass and pay a regular fare with Keihan, subway or buses as we needed.’

            Questions:
            2. Do you recommend us each get an IC card, so that we don’t have to buy fare one at a time along each transfer point? If so, which one should we get ICOCA card or Kansai One Pass?
            3. If you recommend Kansai One Pass, please provide link to get details of this pass

            After Kyoto, we will be heading to Arima Onsen.
            Again, we are taking your recommendation to go to Arima Onsen via Shin-Kobe.
            First we have to get to Shin-Kobe from Kyoto via Shinkansen Hikari, using our JR Pass.
            You mentioned there is direct bus from Shin-Kobe to Arima Onsen.
            This is what you provided:
            https://www.hankyu-bus.jp/en/?_ga=2.254804173.496218950.1573223889-2032870949.1573223889

            Question:
            4. Can we use the IC card for this Hankyu bus?

            We will be at Arima Onsen for 2 days then we head to Yokohama.
            Hotel at Yokohama is at the Minato Mirai area.

            My research shows this route from Arima Onsen to Yokohama :
            Hankyu Bus Express Line (from Arima Onsen to Shin Osaka 新大阪駅) / Shinkansen Hikari or Kodama (from Shin Osaka to Shin -Yokohama) / Yokohama Subway (from Shin-Yokohama to Yokohama)
            Guess this route will be covered entirely by our JR Pass.

            By then, our JR Pass – 7 days are done and we will be using regular bus fare while touring Yokohama.

            Question:
            5. Any recommendation for bus / train pass for Yokohama area?

            So sorry for these so seemed ‘repeat’ post, I am travelling with 5 others and 4 of them are seniors, I really want the trips to be smooth and without much glitch.
            Really appreciate your help and most of all, your patience.

            Appreciate your answers to my 5 questions within this post! Thanks.

            Best regards.

            Ellen

            1. Hi Ellen,

              1. You can exchange JR pass at Haneda. But you don’t need to start using it there. When you exchange the pass, you can pick the date when you want to start using JR pass. So you can choose the date of day 2 of your trip.

              2,3. You may use Welcome Suica. You can purchase this when you exchange JR pass.
              https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/welcomesuica/welcomesuica.html

              4. You can use IC card (Welcome Suica) to a bus from Shin-Kobe to Arima onsen. But you cannot use IC card to Shin-Osaka from Arima onsen. You have to book a seat online in advance:
              https://japanbusonline.com/en/CourseSearch/12700130011

              5. I think Welcome Suica is okay.

              Cheers,

              Takeshi / JPRail.com

              1. Good morning, Takeshi,

                Just want to clarify your answers to:

                2,3 Your suggestion of ‘Welcome Suica’, can this IC card be used within ICOCO area (i.e. Kyoto) & maybe Yokohama area?
                -I thought Suica card is only good for Tokyo area.

                4. You provide another Japanbus link and with a comment of ‘You have to book a seat online in advance’ :
                https://japanbusonline.com/en/CourseSearch/12700130011
                for our trip from Arima Onsen to Shin Osaka

                In you previous reply you provided Hankyu bus link
                https://www.hankyu-bus.jp/en/?_ga=2.254804173.496218950.1573223889-2032870949.1573223889
                and from here I see that there is Hankyu bus (Express Line) running from Arima Onsen to Shin Osaka as well as from Shin Kobe to Arima Onsen.
                Please provide more details on this bus service.

                All along I thought we can take Hankyu Bus from Shin Kobe to Arima Onsen and then take same bus from Arima Onsen to Shin Osaka when I leave and heading to Yokohama.

                Please provide more details on this Japanbus online service.
                – If this is the route / bus we have to take from Arima Onsen, how advance I have to book the seat on line?

                Thanks

                Ellen

                1. Hi Ellen,

                  You can use Welcome Suica in ICOCA area too. Please see the link below:
                  https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/what-is-ic-card-suica-icoca-pasmo-how-to-use-these-cards.html

                  Hankyu Bus operates express bus and local bus. Shin-Osaka – Arima onsen line is express bus and reservation is required. Shin-Kobe – Arima onsen line is a local bus. It’s like a common commute city bus. So you may have to stand up if the seat is full.

                  So both are Hankyu bus but these are different. You can find the express bus info in the link below. But you will see the link of online booking which I gave.
                  https://www.hankyubus.co.jp/en/

                  There is no other info about Shin-Kobe to Arima onsen which I gave you before.

                  Online booking is available for next one month only. You cannot book it more than 30 days.

                  e.g.
                  If you travel on December 21st, booking is open on November 21st. (in Japan time)

                  You can book anytime within one month. But I cannot say how busy the bus will be.

                  Cheers,

                  Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi, Takeshi-san,
    I will be visiting Japan in end of November to Kyoto and Osaka.
    My plan is to stay 2 nights in Kyoto, 1 night in USJ and 3 nights in Namba Osaka.
    Please advise what is the best way to go between these places.

    (1) Arrive in Kansai Airport (KIX), stay near Kiyomizu-Gojo station in Kyoto
    – What is the best transport to take from airport directly to Kiyomizu-Gojo?
    (2) During my stay in Kyoto, I plan to visit Arashiyama, Kinkaku-ji, Fushimi Inari Taisha, and Nijō Castle.
    – What is the recommended transport or day pass to purchase that cover these destinations?
    (3) From Kiyomizu-Gojo, what is the best transport to go to Universal Studio Osaka?
    As I will be staying in USJ.
    (4) From USJ, what is the best transport to go to Namba Station?

    Best regards
    Calvin

    1. Hi Calvin san,

      There is no direct trains running between Kansai airport and Kiyomizu-Gojo. The easiest way is taking the limited express Haruka from Kansai to Kyoto and take a taxi to get Kiyomizu-Gojo.
      https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/limited-express/kansai-airport-limited-express-haruka.html

      Taxi fare is around 1,500 to 2,000 yen per taxi.

      If you take this choice, you may use Kansai One Pass + Haruka deal:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/icoca-and-haruka-ticket-very-flexible-and-good-deal-for-tourist-who-stay-in-kansai.html

      You cannot use Kansai one pass to take a taxi but you can take any trains, subways and city bus. You may use this when you are in Kyoto and Kyoto to USJ.

      If you want to save your cose, you may take the train from Kyoto to Kiyomizu-Gojo. In this case, you have to take JR train from Kyoto to Tofukuji and change to Keihan railway from Tofukuji to Kyomizu-gojo. The fare is 290 yen. You can save your cost but you have to change trains. If you take a taxi, you can get the place to stay directly. You can choose either one. If you take trains, you can use Kansai one pass. But you have to exit Kyoto station and enter by Kansai one pass. Kansai one pass is a sort of IC card. You have to tap this card to enter the station.

      For the trip from Kiyomizu-Gojo to USJ, take the following route:
      Kiyomizu-Gojo (Keihan railway) Kyobashi (JR Osaka Kanjo line) Nishikujo (JR Yumesaki line) Universal city

      For the trip from USJ to Namba, take the following route:
      Universal city (JR Yumesaki line) Nishikujo (Hanshin railway) Osaka-Namba

      Please see the following links to get some more info:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-transfer-among-kyoto-osaka-and-kobe-compare-japan-railway-and-private-lines.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/guide-to-take-trains-in-osaka-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi-san, Thank you for the detail info and tips. I would like to know what pass suit my plan. Pls also let me know if there are any exceptions to the suggested pass I should buy.

    Day 1 KIX to Osaka
    I stay near Kitahama Station in Osaka
    Day 2 Osaka to Kyoto
    I stay near Karasumaoike station in Kyoto.
    Will go to Nishiki Market + Tofukuji Temple + Fushimi Inari + Gionshijo Station + Karasumaoike station
    Day 3 Arashiyama to Lake Biwa
    Karasumaoike station to Arashiyama
    Arashiyama to Karasumaoike station to Lake Biwa’s Ogoto-Onsen Station
    Day 3 Lake Biwa to Arashiyama
    From Ogoto-Onsen Station to Kyoto Station
    Kyoto Station (take bus #100) to Honen-in Temple + Enko-ji Temple (take bus) + Arashiyama + Kyoto Station
    Day 4 Kyoto to Arima (take express bus)
    I have booked Japan Bus Online.
    Day 5 Arima to Osaka
    I have booked Japan Bus Online.
    Day 6 Osaka
    Shinsaibashi area
    Day 7 Osaka to KIX
    Kuromon Market

    Thank you
    Shirley

    1. Hi Shirley san,

      I don’t think that you need any train pass because you cannot get the worth of it by your trip plan.

      I recommend you to purchase Kansai one pass. This is not unlimited train pass. This is IC card and you can use this card instead of purchasing a ticket one by one.
      https://kansaionepass.com/en/about.html?info=1

      You can use this card to take any trains and any buses in Osaka, Kyoto and trip to Lake Biwa. You can tap your card to go in the station and tap when you exit the station. The fare is deducted automatially. You can add the fund at the vending machine in most of stations.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thanks for your recommendation. May I know if I can use the Kansai One Pass from KIX airport take Nankai Limited Express train to Tengachaya Station , then take subway to Kitahama Station? Or I should buy the Yokoso Osaka Ticket?

        cheers,
        Shirley

        1. Hi Shirley,

          You can use Kansai one pass to take Nankai railway but you have to add the limited express fee. If you want to make the trips by subway other than Tengachaya to Kitahama, Yokoso Osaka Ticket is recommended. But if you make a trip by subway from Tengachaya to Kitahama only, you may use Kanku Webtoku ticket for Kansai airport to Tengachaya by the limited express Rapi:t. For the trip from Tengachaya to Kitahama, you can use Kansai one pass.
          https://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/webtoku.html

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Good morning, Takeshi-san,
    I will be visiting Japan in end of November and I want to spend around in Kyoto-Osaka, but most of days are in Kyoto.

    Day 1: take a night bus from Tokyo – Kyoto (depart from Tokyo Station Yaesu Exit)

    Day 2 : arrive in Kyoto (arrive in Kyoto station Hachijo exit on JR line /bus rotary in front of Kyoto Avanti). Staying in Higashiyama area, based on google the nearest bus station is Higashiyama Sanjo Bus Stop
    – Chion-in Temple (4 mins buy foot);
    – Yasaka Shrine & Maruyama Park;
    – Hanamikoji Alley & Tatsumibashi Bridge;
    – Kamogawa River & Pontocho

    Day 3 : Kiyozumi-dera Temple / Yasaka Pagoda / Kitano Tenmangu / Kinkakuji Temple / Fushimi Inari and if have time, I’d go to Nara or Osaka (Osaka Castle)

    Day 4 : Sagano Scenic Train / Arashiyama Bamboo Forest / Tenruyji Temple

    DAY 5 : Back to Tokyo take a night bus

    DAY 6 : Tokyo

    DAY 7 : Tokyo

    Day 8 : Tokyo

    Day 9 : Narita Aiport morning flight 0900 am.

    Which pass should I take to cover the trains/subway and buses (except the Sagano Scenic Train)?

    I want to visit these places in Kyoto (and Osaka), but it might be changed depends on the situation. I want to use the pass as maximum as I can.

    And in Tokyo, I haven’t decided where should I go. But I think I will use Tokyo Subway 72 hours Pass.

    thank you for your advise.

      1. Hi again, Takeshi-san!

        Thank you for your advice. The cheapest way to explore Kyoto is by bus (Bus Day Pass) but I want to combine public transportation, subway, and bus. Just in case the traffic is hard, especially at the weekend.

        I read your review about the Subway, Bus One-Day Pass (900 yen) and Two-Day Pass (1,700 yen) and was thinking to take this one. It seems the pass doesn’t cover JR Sagano Line (from Kyoto Station to Saga Torokko and/or Kameoka).
        Need your suggestion if I take :

        – 2-day of the subway, bus pass (1,700 yen) and;
        – JR Sagano Line only from Kyoto Station to JR Umahori and using the subway, bus pass from Saga-Arashiyama Station to Kyoto Station

        Thank you again.

  5. Hi, Takeshi-san!

    I’ve traveled to Japan 2 years ago but it was only in Kansai Area, and with your help our train rides were smooth. Next year our family would be traveling again to Japan but now Tokyo is included. Can you please suggest what train/card we should buy? Since my parents are above 60years old, I don’t want them to give them much stress in traveling.

    Day1
    Arrived in Tokyo 10 AM
    Staying in Shinjuku
    Ueno + Yakana + Asakusa + Akihabara

    Day2
    Meiji Shrine + Yoyogi Park + Shibuya

    Day 3
    Travel to Osaka (What time is suitable?)
    We will be staying in Namba area
    Osaka Castle
    Dotonbori

    Day 4
    Travel to Kyoto
    Fushimi Inari
    Kiyomizu Dera
    Nishiki Market

    Day 5
    Nara Park
    Just touring around Nara

    Day 6-7
    We will just be in Osaka area.

    1. Hi Cris san,

      You may find the info in the link below. You can get all info which you need to build your trip plan:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/7to9-days/how-to-make-the-itinerary-of-tokyo-osaka-one-way-trip.html

      You have to take the local train to get Tokyo or Shinagawa for the Shinkansen ride. The local train will be super crowded before 9:00 am. I recommend you to start traveling to Osaka after 9:00.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Hi, Takeshi-san!
    We will be visiting Japan again this second half of October for 10D9N. This time, we will be travelling with the whole family (8adults, 3kids, 2infants). We will be only exploring Tokyo for this journey and we will be staying in Taito-ku near Minowa station. Here is our detailed itinerary:

    Day 1
    Arrival in Narita airport
    Go to accomodation in Taito-ku
    Sengakuji temple
    Senso-ji temple
    Tokyo skytree

    Day 2
    Tokyo Disneysea

    Day 3
    Shibuya
    Shinjuku
    Harajuku

    Day 4
    Tokyo Disneyland

    Day 5
    Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum
    Shinagawa Aqua Park

    Day 6
    Mt. Fuji tour

    Day 7
    Tsukiji market
    Akihabara

    Day 8
    Snowtown Yeti

    Day 9
    Odaiba

    Day 10
    Going back home thru Narita airport

    Do we need to buy one of the unli metro ride tickets? Or will the suica card be more practical? Your advise will be very much appreciated!

    Best regards,
    Meliza

    1. Hi Meliza san,

      I recommend you to use Skyliner and Tokyo subway ticket combo deal:
      http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/tetudou/skyliner/us/tickets/subway.php

      You can take Skyliner to get Ueno and take subway to get Minowa. It’s two stations away from Ueno by Tokyo metro Hibiya line. You can take 72 hours subway ticket but you need Suica as well. Because you will take JR trains to get Disney resort and Yokohama. But other places in downtown Tokyo are covered by Tokyo Subway Ticket. Please find the subway map in the link below:
      https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/subwaymap/index.html

      When you go to Disneyland/Sea, you can take Hibiya line to get Hatchobori. And take JR Keiyo line to get Maihama. JR is not covered.

      There is no deals to get Fuji Kawaguchiko and Yeti. Just purchase a regular ticket.

      Tsukiji market was closed in the last year. There are still lots of stores. But the market moved to Toyosu.
      https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3013_market.html
      https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3021.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi, Takeshi-san!
        Arigatou gozaimasu! As usual, you are very reliable and helpful! We are all looking forward and excited for this trip! Until next time!✌️

        Best regards,
        Meliza

  7. hi Takeshi, I am travelling to Japan with below itinerary an would like to seek your advise on the train pass:
    10/12 – KIX to Osaka
    10/13 – Osaka
    10/14 -Osaka
    10/15- Osaka – Kyoto
    10/16 – Kyoto
    10/16 – Kyoto
    10/17 – Kyoto – Tokyo stopover at Nagoya
    10/18 -Tokyo
    10/19 – Tokyo
    10/20 -Tokyo – Hakone
    10/21 – Hakone -Mt Fuji
    10-22- Mt Fuji – Tokyo
    10/23 – Tokyo disney
    10/24 – Tokyo Haneda airport

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