Kyoto is most popular destination in Japan. You may visit Kyoto by JR Pass and other JR West Rail Passes. You may be wondering how much you can use your pass to explore Kyoto?
In this post, I explain you about the coverage of JR Pass and other rail passes in Kyoto.
- Explaination by movie
- How to get Kyoto by JR Pass and JR regional passes
- The coverage of JR Pass and JR regional passes
- Around Kyoto station
- The places which are not covered
Explaination by movie
You may watch same content as this post in the movie below as well.
First of all, please see the map below. I put train routes, a bus route and the name of the tourist spots in the map.
These are covered by JR Pass. And also these following other regional JR deal have same coverage:
Kansai Area Pass does not cover West Japan JR Bus line but it covers Kyoto subway and some part of Keihan railway. Please find more information in the post below:
Takayama Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass can take you to Kyoto. But it does not cover any modes of transportation after arrival in Kyoto.
How to get Kyoto by JR Pass and JR regional passes
There are many ways to get Kyoto.
The Tokaido Shinkansen
You can get Kyoto by the Shinkansen from Tokyo, Yokohama, Odawara (near Hakone), Nagoya, Shin-Osaka, Okayama, Hiroshima, Hakata and many more stations. Please find more information of the Shinkansen in the link below:
The limited express Haruka
If you arrive in Kansai airport and move to Kyoto right after, you may take Haruka. It takes you to Kyoto directly.
You may use this train for Tennoji to Kyoto or Shin-Osaka to Kyoto instead of taking a local train.
Special Rapid train
Special Rapid train runs every 15 minutes day time. It offers very frequent and very fast service. It takes just 30 minutes from Osaka to Kyoto. The trip time is same as other limited express train. The Shinkansen is fast but you have to change trains at Shin-Osaka. If you travel from Osaka (Umeda) to Kyoto. This train is the best choice.
From Kanazawa, Amanohashidate, Kinosaki, Nara
Kyoto is connected with these cities as well. You can get Kyoto from Kanazawa by the limited express Thunderbird. From Amanohashidate, you can take the limited express Hashidate. The limited express Kinosaki connects Kyoto and Kinosaki Onsen. And Nara and Kyoto are connected by JR Nara line. You can get Kyoto from Nara by a local train or a rapid train.
The coverage of JR Pass and JR regional passes
There are tree routes are covered.
JR Sagano line
Sagano line is shown in a pink line. You can get these following places by this line:
- Kyoto Railway Museum (from Umekoji -Kyotonishi station)
- Kyoto Aquarium (from Umekoji-Kyotonishi station)
- Nijo castle (from Nijo station)
- Toei Uzumasa Eigamura (from Uzumasa station)
- Arashiyama (from Saga-Arashiyama station)
- Sagano Scenic Railway, a.k.a. Torokko train (from Saga-Arashiyama station)
A local train and a rapid train runs every 15 minutes in daytime.
Sagano Scenic Railway departs from JR Saga-Arashiyama station but this train is not covered by JR Pass and JR regional deals.
This line is shown in a brown line. This line connects Kyoto and Nara. These following places can be accessed by Nara line:
- Tofuku-ji temple (from Tofukuji station)
- Fushimi Inari shrine (from Inari station)
- Uji (from Uji station)
I did not put any stations on the map between Uji and Inari. But there are many stations. It take 5 to 10 minutes to get Tofukuji and Inari from Kyoto. But it takes 30 minutes from Kyoto station to Uji. Uji is located in the middle of Kyoto and Nara.
A local train and a rapid train runs every 10 to 15 minutes in daytime.
West Japan JR bus
There are huge number of bus routes in Kyoto. You can get almost anywhere in Kyoto by a bus. Most bus routes are operated by Kyoto city bus which is not covered by JR Pass and JR regional deals. But there is only one route which is operated by West Japan JR Bus. This is covered by JR Pass and JR regional deals.
This route connects Kyoto station and Takao. There are some tourist spots on the route of this bus service:
- Kitano Tenmangu shrine (from Kitano bus stop)
- Kinkaku-ji temple, a.k.a. Golden Pavillion (from Wara Tenjin bus stop)
- Ryoan-ji temple (from Ryoanji bus stop)
This bus runs every 15 minutes between 8:00 and 18:00.
Around Kyoto station
JR Kyoto station is the biggest shopping area in Kyoto. There are some shopping buildings around the station. And Kyoto tower is located in front of the station.
The places which are not covered
Eastern and northern Kyoto are not covered by JR Pass and JR regional deals. These following popular places cannot be accessed by JR Pass and JR regional deals:
- Kiyomizu-dera temple
- Yasaka shrine
- Nishiki Market
- Imperial Palace
- Ginkaku-ji temple
- Kifune shrine
You have to take Keihan Railway, Hankyu Railway, Kyoto city subway, Kyoto city bus and/or Eizan Railway to get these places. Please refer the post below to find all trains information:
I hope you have foud how to maximize using JR Pass in Kyoto. Enjoy your trip to Kyoto.