When sightseeing in Japan, you can’t miss Kyoto. The city is home to a myriad of temples, shrines and historical spots, and the best way to get around the city is by public transportation.
There are the JR, Hankyu, Kintestsu, Keihan and Keifuku train lines, Kyoto Municipal Subway lines and the Kyoto City bus lines.
They all provide convenient one-day passes, and the Kyoto City bus and Kyoto Municipal Subway one-day pass are perfect for getting to all of the popular tourist spots in the city.
About the one-day pass
The subway & bus one-day pass
The “Subway and bus one-day pass” allow you to ride on all subway lines, city bus lines, Kyoto bus lines (excluding some lines) and Keihan bus lines (excluding some lines) for the whole day.
The one-day pass is ¥900 for adults and ¥450 for children below elementary school. If you want a two-day pass, it is ¥1700 for adults and ¥850 for children below elementary school.
Discounts at certain facilities with the one-day pass
At about 60 facilities in the city, you can receive a discount if you show your subway and bus one-day pass. The facilities include temples and shrines, luggage storage at tourist centers and more.
To see which facilities offer the discounts, check out the official website here.
No need to purchase tickets for every ride!
With the one-day pass, you can avoid having to purchase tickets every time you ride the subway or bus. Your travel will become smoother and faster with the one-day pass.
Bus-only one-day pass vs. Subway & bus one-day pass
Map of the Kyoto Municipal Subway Lines
The bus-only one-day pass is a popular option when travelling in Kyoto. The ticket is ¥600 for adults and ¥300 for children below elementary school.
The bus-only pass is useful, but for just ¥300 more, you can ride the subway lines too, with the subway & bus one-day pass.
Congestion and traffic
Kyoto’s busses are known to get crowded, and the roads, too, are prone to congestion. This is due to the many tourists who rely on busses on their trip.
The busses are especially busy during the cherry blossom and fall foliage seasons. The waiting times and in-bus congestion can get pretty intense during these seasons.
Since the subway is usually on time, it is easier to plan your itinerary. For places that are accessible by subway, using the subway is recommended.
Busses are recommended for places that are far from the subway station.
Where to go with the subway & bus one-day pass
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Shrine’s famous torii gates
Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of the most popular shrines to visit in Kyoto. It is the head shrine of the over 30,000 Inari shrines throughout Japan.
The “senbon-dorii”, or thousand torii gates, are the most famous attraction at the shrine. While most shrines only have one torii gate, Fushimi Inari has approximately 10,000 of them!
You can get to Fushimi Inari Shrine by taking the Kyoto City Bus 南 (South) 5, and get off at Inari-taisha bus stop. From the bus stop to the shrine is about a 15-minute walk.
The stage at Kiyomizu-dera
Kiyomizu-dera Temple is another famous site in Kyoto. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The stage at the main hall of the temple locates 12 meters above ground level, and is made without a single nail. Three times a year, the stage is open at night for a special viewing.
From Kyoto Station, take the Kyoto City Bus 206 or 100, and get off at Gojozaka bus stop.
Yasaka Koshindo Temple
“Kukurizaru” wish balsl at Yasaka Koshindo
Yasaka Koshindo Temple has gained popularity in the past few years for its social media-genic, cute, colorful appearance.
The colorful pom-poms are called “kukurizaru”, and visitors hang them up after writing their wishes on them.
From Kyoto Station, take the Kyoto City Bus 206 or 100, and get off at the Kiyomizumichi bus stop. From the bus stop is about a 3-minute walk to Yasaka Koshindo.
Arashiyama locates in western Kyoto, and is a popular sightseeing district.
Although it is a bit far from the city center, you can still use the one-day pass to get there. At Arashiyama, you can enjoy both history and nature.
Togetsukyo Bridge, shown above, is a must-see when visiting Arashiyama. The bamboo groves in Arashiyama are also a tourist staple.
From Kyoto Station, you can find busses that go directly to Arashiyama.
However, those busses tend to be prone to traffic, so another option is taking the subway to Uzumasa-tenjingawa Station, and then transferring onto a bus to Arashiyama from there.
Kinkakuji’s “Golden Pavillion”
Kinkakuji Temple is the golden temple in Kyoto. Its official name is Rokuon-ji, but it is better known by its name Kinkakuji, or the “golden pavilion”. The main pavilion is covered in gold flakes, and the temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From Kyoto Station, take the subway to Kitaoji Station, and transfer onto a bus from there.
Choose your pass according to your destinations!
With seven different lines of public transportation running through the city, sightseeing in Kyoto is made convenient for all travellers. The subway & bus one-day pass is especially efficient and easy to use.
Before visiting Kyoto, we recommend you look into the different types of one-day passes that you can use in Kyoto.