1. Operation Area / Route & Attractions
JR Bus is formally called “West Japan JR Bus” in Kyoto.
We usually call it just “JR bus”.
So, in this article, please understand that those two are the same meaning.
The map below is the route of JR Bus in Kyoto.
Where in Kyoto dose the JR Bus operate ?
Actually, JR bus has only one route in Kyoto city.
It connectes Kyoto station and Takao (upper northwest area in Kyoto) which is famous for autumn leaves.
The number of JR Bus operated is basically every 30 minute.
So you can go to some famous spots, but can not visit all over the Kyoto city only by JR Bus.
On Apr. 1st, 2020, the names of some bus stops of JR Bus were changed to the same ones as Kyoto City Bus.
And, on May. 2021, the route between Kyoto station and Togano-o in Takao area comes to be a flat fare (only ¥230 for an adult), and covered by Bus One-day Pass and Subway & Bus One-day Pass released by Kyoto City Bus. (Unfortunately, only Bus One-day Pass is discontinued at the end of September 2023.)
1-1 Main Attractions along the Route
What attractions are accessible by JR bus ?
«Attractions near the bus stops»
You can go to…
Kyoto Aquarium, Ryoanji temple (world heritage, the picture above), Ninnaji temple (world heritage) and Kouzanji temple (world heritage) directly.
• Kyoto Aquarium :
near Nanajo-Omiya bus stop
• Ryoanji temple :
near Ryoanji-mae bus stop
• Ninnaji temple :
near Omuro-ninnaji bus stop
• Kouzanji temple :
near Togano-o bus stop
«Attractions by bus plus walk needed»
If you don’t mind walking from bus stop, and don’t worry about time, it is possible to visit some other attractions by JR bus.
For example, you can visit Nijo Castle (world heritage), Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Kinkakuji Temple (golden pavilion, world heritage, the picture above) and Jingoji Temple.
• Nijo castle :
15 min walk from Nijo station bus stop
• Kitano tenmangu shrine :
7 min walk from Kitano (Kitano Hakubaicho from the date, Ari. 1st) bus stop
• Kinkakuji temple :
10 min walk from Waratenjin-mae bus stop
• Jingoji temple :
20 min walk from Takako bus stop
1-2 From Kyoto Station to the Attractions
How long dose it take actually from Kyoto station to attractions by JR Bus ?
♦ Kyoto Aquarium : at least 12 min
(bus ride 7 min, get off at Nanajo-Omiya bus stop, walk 5 min)
♦ Nijo castle : at least 31 min
(bus ride 16 min, get off at Nijo-ekimae (JR Nijo station) bus stop, walk 15 min)
∗If you have JR Pass, train (JR sagano line) is better than JR bus to visit Nijo castle.
(7 min to Nijo station)
But if you don’t have the JR Pass, Kyoto City Bus or Subway is much better to visit because the nearest bus stop or station is available. (refer Kyoto station to Nijo Castle)
♦ Kitano tenmangu shrinen : at least 30 min
(bus ride 25 min, get off at Kitano (Kitano Hakubaicho from the date, Apr. 1st) bus stop, walk 5 min)
♦ Kinkakuji templ : at least 37 min
(bus ride 27 min, get off at Waratenjin-mae bus stop, walk 10 min)
♦ Ryoanji temple : at least 31 min
(bus ride 31 min, near Ryoanji-mae bus stop)
♦ Ninnaji temple : at least 33 min
(bus ride 33 min, near Omuro-ninnaji bus stop)
♦ Kouzanji temple : at least 51 min
(bus ride 51 min, near Togano-o bus stop)
♦ Jingoji temple : at least 69 min
(bus ride 49 min, get off at Takao bus stop, walk 20 min)