Trains in Kyoto : JR line


1. Route & Station guide

There are 2 kinds of JR line in Kyoto, one is the Shinkansen (bullet train) operated by JR Central, and the other is conventional trains operated by JR West.

In this article, “JR line” means conventional trains (JR West).

The map below is the route of the JR line in Kyoto.

The JR line in Kyoto has 4 different named lines, Sagano line, Nara line, JR Kyoto lien and Biwako line.
Those lines spred out to the north, south, east and west from kyoto station where the Shinkansen also stops.

Sagano line :
   Kyoto station ⇔ Arashiyama area in the northwest of Kyoto. 

Nara line :
   Kyoto station ⇔ Fushimi-inari shrine, Uji city and Nara city (to the south of Kyoto). 

JR Kyoto line :
   Kyoto station ⇔ Osaka city (to the southwest of Kyoto).

Biwako line :
   Kyoto station ⇔ Yamashina area in the east of Kyoto and Lake Biwa area (to the east of Kyoto).

You don’t need to change trains between JR Kyoto line and Biwako line becouse of  the same train running.

But Sagano line and Nara line are completely separated, so if you transfar to / from those lines, you need to change trains at Kyoto station.

It saves time to use JR lines when you move between remote attractions such as Arashiyama and Fushimi-inari shrine.


«Transfar Station & Pass»

JR lines connect with some of other railway lines.

You can transfar :

Kintetsu railwaySubway Karasuma line at Kyoto station

Subway Tozai line at Nijo station (JR Sagano line), Yamashina station (JR Biwako line), Rokujizo station (JR Nara line)

Keihan railway at Tofukuji station

 Keihan Keishin line at Yamashina station.

You can use any IC cardsKansai One Pass and Japan Rail pass for JR line.

But you can not use Subway & Bus One-Day Pass or Kansai Thru Pass.

2. How to use JR line for sightseeing in Kyoto

2-1 JR Route Map & Attractions

There are some famous spots you can visit only by JR line plus less than 15 minutes walk.

For example, you can go to Arashiyama, Kyoto studio park, Umekoji park, Kyoto Railway Museum, Kyoto Aquarium, Fushimi-inari shrine, Tofukuji temple,Toji temple and Nijo castle.

Moreover, by changing trains or buses, you can also visit other famous attractions such as Kiyomizu temple, Kinkakuji temple (golden pavilion), Heian jingu shrine, Kyoto City Zoo, Yasaka jinja shrine (Gion area), Nanzenji temple and Eikando temple.

The map below shows the way to visit some famous spots from JR line routes.


2-2 Attractions near JR Station

At first, the followings is the list of the attractions near JR station, and walking time from each station.

«JR Kyoto, Biwako, Sagano, Nara line»

  »» Kyoto station

 •Toji temple : 10 min walk

«JR Sagano line»

  »» Saga-Arashiyam station (the picture above)

Arashiyama (Togetsukyo bridge) : 10 min walk

  »» Uzumasa station

Kyoto Studio Park : 5 min walk

  »» Nijo station

Nijo castle 15 min walk

  »» Umekoji-Kyotonishi station (Mar. 16, 2019 open)

Kyoto Railway Museum, Umekoji Park 2 min walk

Kyoto Aquarium : 5 min walk

«JR Nara line»

  »» Tofukuji station

Tofukuji temple : 10 min walk

  »» Inari station

Fuahimi Inari shrine near the station

By using JR line, you can quickly move between remote attractions such as Arashiyama and Fushimiinari shrine without a traffic jam.

So please check beforehand if you can use JR line or not to move beteween your destinations.


2-3 Remote Attractions visited by JR plus Trains or Buses

Next, the followings is the list of major attractions you need to change trains or buses to go to, and shows which station you should change, which trains or buses you should take next, and how long it takes after nearest stations or bus stops.      

»»From JR Nijo station (Sagano line, the picture above) or JR Yamashina station (Biwako line) to

Heian Jingu shrine :
take subway Tozai line to Higashiyama station, plus 10 min walk from exit No.1

Yasaka Jinja shrine / Gion area :
take subway Tozai line to Higashiyama station, plus 10 min walk from exit No.2

Nanzenji temple :
take subway Tozai line to Keage station, plus 5 min walk from exit No.1

Eikando temple :
take subway Tozai lien to Keage station, plus 13 min walk from exit No.1

Kyoto city zoo (east gate)  :
take subway Tozai lien to Keage station, plus 5 min walk from exit No.1 or No.2

»»From JR Enmachi station (Sagano line) to

Kinkakuji temple (golden pavilion) :
take Kyoto City Bus No.204, 205 from Nishinokyo-enmachi bus stop to Kinkakuji-michi (10 min), plus 4 min walk

»»From JR Tofukuji station (Nara line) to

Kiyomizu temple :
take Keihan line to KiyomizuGojo station, plus 25 min walk∗ from exit No.4. ∗ If you don’t want to walk so long, it would be better to take bus No.86 or 206 from Kyoto station to Gojozaka bus stop, plus 10 min walk.

Yasaka Jinja shrine / Gion area :
take Keihan line to Gion-Shijo station, plus 5 min walk from exit No.6 or 7

»»From JR Kyoto station 

You can go anywhere by bus and city subway.
Let’s check City Subway or Raku Bus page.