using pu GenkiJACS - Getting around in Kyoto
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getting around in kyoto

  • Location
  • Kyoto
  • City guide
  • Getting around

Using the public transportation in Kyoto

Kyoto, though a traditional city, offers a great number of ways of getting around. It is incredibly easy to find your way around the city and almost any point in town is reachable by using a number of transport options available.

If you are staying with us for a short time, the best way is to invest in an IC card as these pre-paid cards can be used on most buses, subways and trains. These cards can be bought at almost all stations, either from vending machines or with a little help from the station staff. The initial price includes a travel credit and a deposit that can be refunded when you finish using the card. However, if you are planning to come back to Japan we recommend keeping the card for the future! Each time you use the card (by tapping it on the gates as you enter and leave a station), the cost of your travel is deducted from the card. You can top up your card (charge) at any station using the machines. There are several cards to choose from but don’t worry, our staff will be more than happy to help you out.

If you have a smartphone, we recommend installing a route search app that can be used even without internet access. One such app is Navitime

If you have internet access on your phone, Google Maps is very accurate and should give you some idea of where you are and how to get to your destination!

You can use the Following:


Kyoto subway system is not as extensive as Tokyo or even Fukuoka underground systems, as it only has 2 lines. It makes it incredibly easy to operate, but they do not go to as many places. However, they can save you quite a bit of time since you won`t have to think about the traffic.

Have look here for more information about the public transport system of Kyoto:

Official subway website in Japanese (English translation available) Download the subway map


Most places in Kyoto can be reached by taking one of many busses. It can be a little confusing at first, but once you have gotten used to it, buses could become your best way of getting around!

Official bus website in Japanese (English translation available)


There are six train lines in Kyoto and you are welcome to use these for your daily commute and to get around the surrounding area!

Official site of Kyoto station (English)

Getting from Kansai or Itami airport to the city center

Once you have landed in Osaka (Kansai or Itami) you have a number of options available to you!

Airport transfer service

Leave it up to us

Not sure how to get where to go, don`t worry we are happy to arrange for you to be picked up right from the arrivals gate and taken directly to your accommodation. You will meet a driver at the arrivals gate. They will be holding a signboard with your name and our name! (GenkiJACS)

  • one way
Public transport

Itami and Kansai airports are of course very well connected by public transport.


By train

There is a direct line from Kansai International Aiport to Kyoto Station. It is called HARUKA and it will take you around 75 minutes.

By bus

You can take a limousine bus from the airport and it will take you to Kyoto Station's Hachijo Exit. Please expect to be on the bus for about 85 minutes.


By Bus

There is a bus going straight to Kyoto station and it will take you about 50-55 minutes


You can take a taxi from either of the airports of course! It is a little far, but it is one of the most convenient ways to travel. You will also get to experience Japanese taxis!

Some companies you might consider using:

Sogo Taxi

MK Taxi

Hankyu Taxi

Getting a taxi by yourself from the airport can often be cheaper than asking us to book an airport transfer for you!

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Accredited and award-winning Japanese school in Tokyo, Kyoto, Fukuoka and Nagoya. Learn real-world, communicative Japanese in small, intimate classes. Kickstart the journey of a lifetime in Japan, or bring your existing skills to new levels.

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