It's extremely convenient to take buses from Kyoto Station to your sightseeing destination. However, there are many bus lines, so it might be a little confusing for first-timers. Here is a guide to taking the bus from Kyoto Station.
While Kyoto has many bus companies, they all share the same general rules. You board from the back and alight from the front of the bus, and you pay when you're getting off. The City Buses have the highest usage frequency, so they will be the example in this article of how to take the bus from Kyoto Station. Each bus line has a system number attached to it, so if you look up the bus numbers you have to take beforehand, your trip will go more smoothly.
1. Find your bus stop
Head to the bus terminal in front of Kyoto Station's Chuo exit. If you look at the information board, you can find the bus stops (A1 - D3) and the times of the next buses. Wait in line for your bus at the stop.
2. Ride the bus
Board the bus from the back doors. There are two types of bus fare: a flat fare or a fare based off of distance. If it's a distance-type bus, please take a ticket when you board the bus so your fare can be properly calculated. If you use an IC card, touch it to the sensor at the door, but you don't need a ticket.
3. During the ride
The next stop will be announced and/or will be displayed. When the next stop is where you'll be alighting, push the stop button. If it isn't pushed, the bus won't stop, so please be aware.
4. Paying and alighting
When you alight, put the money in the fare box next to the driver. You can get change for 500 yen coins and 1,000 yen bills, but if you have small change it will make things go faster. Flat fare buses cost 230 JPY for adults. For distance fares, you can look at the displayed fare chart and match the number on your ticket to figure out your fare. If you're paying with an IC card, all you have to do is touch it to the sensor on the fare box as long as it has enough money on it to cover the fare.
Here are some major destinations and their bus stops at Kyoto Station for your reference.
*Bus company:【Bus Stop】Bus Number
If you plan to ride City Buses and/or Kyoto Buses more than 3 times in a day, it would be cheaper to pick up the City Bus and Kyoto Bus One-Day Pass (500 JPY). There are also passes that will let you ride the buses and the subway for a day as many times as you want.
These websites and apps are very convenient for figuring out the shortest route, best bus system, schedules, and more!
■Arukumachi Kyoto: This website and app lets you search the shortest routes, fares, and times for buses and trains within Kyoto. English available.
■Kyoto Simple Bus Search: This app allows you to search for routes and times for City Buses and Kyoto Buses. English and Chinese available.
■Bus Navi: This site allows you to download maps that display simplified charts of how to get to major tourism destinations. English, Chinese, and Korean available.
If you utilize the buses, sightseeing around Kyoto will become much smoother. Depending on your destination and the traffic conditions, there may be times where using the trains may be faster, so please select your transportation method based on the situation.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.