Transport System : Buses & Trains in Kyoto


In Kyoto, several different companies operate buses and trains. So sometimes it is confusing for visitors to understand the transportation system and to use buses and trains.

I’m very glad that this page help you to easily understand the transportation system in Kyoto.

1. Buses in Kyoto

In Kyoto city, bus services are operated  by mainly 4 bus companies, such as Kyoto City Bus, Kyoto Bus, Keihan Bus and West JR Bus.

Kyoto City Bus colored green covers all over the Kyoto city except for upper north area (Ohara, Kurama) and east side area (Yamashina).

Kyoto Bus colored brown covers west side area (Arashiyama), upper norh area (Ohara, Kibune, Kurama) from Kyoto station or downtown area (Shijo-Kawaramachi / Hankyu railway Kawaramachi station).

Recently, this bus company (Kyoto Bus) has been jointly operating with Kyoto City Bus and expanding the range of aavailable free passes. For more details, click here.

Keihan Bus colored red covers east side area (Yamashina) from the downtown area and Kyoto station.

One-day bus pass does not allow you to ride on the Keihan Bus, but One-day subway & bus pass allow you except for some routes. For more information, click here.

West JR Bus colored blue has only one route operated from Kyoto station to Takao, Shuzan (upper northwest area).

Recently, this West JR Bus has been jointly operating with Kyoto City Bus and expanding the range of flat fare sections and free passes that can be used. For more information, click here.

The map below shows the each bus operation area in Kyoto, please check!

2. Trains in Kyoto

In Kyoto, trains are operated By mainly 7 different companies, such as JRKintetsu, Hankyu, Keihan, Keifuku (Randen), Eizan and Kyoto City Subway.

Basically, every time you change to the different company trains, you need to buy the each ticket to ride.

So it is very convenient to use any IC cards (ICOCA, Suica, PASMO…) or some unlimited type passes if you move around by several trains in Kyoto.

JR line is convenient to visit Arashiyama, Tofukuji temple and Fushimi-inari shrine in Kyoto.
JR line operates from kyoto station to all over the Japan.

Kintetsu Railway is convenient to visit Toji temple, and also to visit Nara for one day trip from Kyoto..
Kintetsu railway operates from kyoto station to Nagoya, Nara, Osaka, Ise jingu shrine and Mt.Yoshino.

Hankyu Railway is convenient to visit Arashiyama.
Hankyu railway operates from downtown area in Kyoto to Osaka and Kobe.
At downtown area, Kyoto-kawaramachi station (Hankyu Railwayand Gion-Shijo station (Keihan Railway) are next to each other, so you can transfar on foot.

Keihan Railway is convenient to visit Shimogamo shrine, Gion, Kiyomizu temple, Tofukuji temple, Fushimiinari shrine and Byodoin temple (Uji city).
Keihan railway operates from downtown area in Kyoto to Osaka.
It connects to Eizan Railway at Demachiyanagi station for Kurama.

Eizan Railway is convenient to visit Kurama or Kibune.
It connects to Keihan lien at Demachiyanagi station.

Keifuku Railway called “Randen is convenient to visit Arashiyama.
It connects to Kyoto City Subway at Randen Tenjinngawa station, to Kyoto City Bus at Kitano-hakubaicho station for Kinkakuji and Ginkakuji, and to Hankyu Railway at sai station for Osaka.

Kyoto City Subway is convenient to visit Nijo castle, Kyoto Imperial park, Heianjingu shrine, Nanzenji temple and Daigoji temple.
To make good use of subway and bus together, you can visit most of all attractions efficiently, becouse of saving time for moving.
City Subway connects to JR, Kintetsu, Hankyu, Keihan and Keifuku railway(Randen).

Let’s check the map below for all train routes in Kyoto with some famous attractions.