Randen Tour

September 17, 2017

by Kensei Iizuka, Takanori Tsuhako, Yuta Kobayashi

What is the best way to do sightseeing on the west side of Kyoto city? On this page, we recommend useful and comfortable transportation: a tram named Randen.

The Randen Keifuku Line is a tram which runs from Shijo-Omiya to Arashiyama with a total of 13 stations. In the day time, it runs 6 times per hour. Usually it is one car long, but at rush hour and at the height of the tourist season, it is two cars long.

Merits of Using Randen

There are several advantages to using the Randen. First, the Randen is punctual. If you use a bus for sightseeing, it will be late because buses are often late. On the other, the Randen is never late. In addition, because it runs 6 times per an hour, you can plan your trip by the minute. Second, it is not crowded, so you can ride it very comfortably and don’t need to worry about your big baggage. Finally, it is fast. It only takes about 1~2 minutes to move to the next stop, so you can save your time to do sightseeing.

Fare for Randen

You can buy a Randen one day pass at Shijo-Omiya (A1), Katabiranotsuji (A8), Arashiyama (A13) or Kitano-Hakubaicho (B9). It costs 500 yen and with it, you can ride the Randen all day without limit. If you board the Randen without a one day pass, you have to pay 220 yen (adults) or 110 yen (children, between 6~12 age) per ride. Once you board, all you need to do is pay or show your one day pass when you get off the train. At Shijo-Omiya, Katabiranotsuji, Arashiyama and Kitano-Hakubaicho, you have to pay or show your one day pass at the ticket gate.

Famous Spots Along the Randen

KORYUZJI


Located in Uzumasa, the Koryuji temple is one of the oldest pieces of architecture in Kyoto. This temple was established approximately 1,300 years ago and is dedicated to Shotoku Taishi, one of the founders of Buddhism in Japan. As soon as you enter the temple, you can walk on the stone-paved road. On both sides of the road, a wide range of trees, such as pine, is planted. Moreover, you can go to the Toei Uzumasa Movie Park, which is just a 5-minute walkfrom Koryuji temple. This is kind of historical theme park in which you feel like you are back in Edo era, with samurai, ninja, and geisha. The nearest station of these spots is Uzumasa Koryuji Station (A7).

KURUMAZAKI SHRINE


Located in Saga, the Kurumazaki Shrine is dedicated to the Confucian scholar, Kiyoharano Yorinari. This shrine is well known for its religious stones, so many tourists go there to get fortune stones to make their wishes come true or to remove bad luck. There is strange way of wishing, which is to write down your name on a human-shaped piece of paper and then put it into a box while making your wish. Inside the shrine, there is a sub-shrine, called the Geino shrine. A lot of famous entertainers in Japan visit here and they write their name or group name on a red stick for their success in the future. The moment you get off the train at Kurumazaki Shirine Station (A10), you can see the shrine in front of the station.

ROKUOUIN


Here is a Japanese beautiful garden Before reaching this garden, you go through a road covered with various kinds of vivid green trees. You can feel nature strongly here, even though you are in the middle of Kyoto city. The nearest Randen station is Rokuoin Station (A11). It is about a 7-minute walk to reach the garden.

HOGONIN


As soon as you enter this temple, you will start to feel very calm because there is extreme quiet or only a tweet of some birds. The period you can enter there is limited to only the spring and autumn. In both seasons, you can see a great garden, which contains some beautiful red trees in the autumn. The nearest Randen station is Arashiyama Station (A13). You can also enjoy some famous sightseeing spots, such as the Togetsukyo bridge and the Bamboo Road in Arashiyama.

OMURO NINNAJI TEMPLE


Omuro Ninnaji temple was registered as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1994. Construction began in 886 and was finished two years later. In the spring, this temple is famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms. The nearest Randen station is Omuroninnnazji Station (B5). In front of the station, there is restaurant where you can eat traditional Indian curry.

RYOANJI TEMPLE


Ryoanji is also World Heritage site. It has the most famous rock gardens in Japan. You can feel wabisabi (the art of imperfection) in this sophisticated garden with no chaos at all. One interesting way of observing this garden is when you focus on stones in the garden. From any angle you can’t see all the stones at one time. The last stone is definitely hidden behind another stone. The nearest Randen station is Ryoanji Station (B7).

TOJIIN


Here is placed in near Ninnaji temple and Ryoanji temple and was established in 1341, Muromachi era, by Takauzi Ashikaga who is the founder and first shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate. There is also beautiful garden inside here. Furthermore, you can see the tea-ceremony room, which is completely sophisticated and extremely Japanese shape of culture. Nearest Station is Tojiin Station (B8).

Model Randen Sightseeing Plan

Let us suggest a sightseeing plan for using one-day Randen ticket. First, your Randen trip starts from Shijo Omiya station. Take the tram for 13 minutes to Uzumasa-Tenjingawa station. There you can visit Koryuji temple.

Next, take the tram from Uzumasa-Tenjingawa station. to Kurumazaki-jinja station. You can visit Kurumazaki-shrine there. Then, take the tram to Rokuoin station. It’s the next station from Kurumazaki-jinja station. Walking a short distance from the station, you will find Rokuoin.

After that, take the tram for Arashiyama station. The station is really nice and wonderful. They sell a lot of food and souvenirs. You can also enjoy a foot-bath there. Arashiyama has a lot of places to visit, but we recommend you visit Hougenin if it is the right season of the year. If you show your coupon, you can get some presents.

After you enjoy your stay in Arashiyama, take the tram again and get off at Katabirano-tsuji station. When you get off the tram at this station, you don’t have to show your one-day ticket. Change trains at the station, and get off at Omuro-ninnaji station. It’s the fifth station. There is a wonderful curry and rice restaurant right front of the station. We recommend you have some nice lunch there. After having lunch, you can visit Ninnaji temple.

Once you have seen Ninnaji, go back to Omuro-ninnaji station. and take the tram to Ryoanji station. It’s the second station. From the station, walk about 10 min. to arrive at Ryoanji temple. After visiting Ryoanji, finally, take the tram again and get off at Tojin station. It’s only a 5-minute walk.

That’s the best plan for using your one-day Randen ticket. You end up taking the trams nine times, and if you haven’t bought the one-day ticket, you would have spent over 2,000 yen!

Shijo-omiya sta. Start
↓ 13 min. 6 stops
Uzumasa-koryuji sta. Koryuji Temple
↓ 7 min. 3 stops
Kurumazaki-jinja sta. Kurumazaki Shrine
↓ 1 min. 1 stop
Rokuo-in sta. Rokuo-in
↓ 3 min. 2 stops
Arashiyama sta. Hogenin
↓ 8 min. 5 stops
Katabira-no-tsuji sta. Change Trains
↓ 7 min. 5 stops
Omuro-ninnaji sta. Lunch, Omuroninnaji Temple
↓ 3 min. 2 stops
Ryoanji sta. Ryoanji Temple
↓ 1 min. 1 stop
Tojiin Tojiin

A Guide to Transportation In Kyoto

by Misato Yamada and Yukiko Yoshizawa

We take public transportation, such as Kyoto city bus and Hankyu train every day to go to our university. Sometimes we see some foreign tourists who are confused about how to ride those transportation when we use it. So, we would like to show how to take Kyoto city bus and Hankyu-train. We’d appreciate for it if you could make use of this website during your visit in Kyoto.

Kyoto City Bus

Kyoto City Bus

Kyoto City Bus

This bus system runs around Kyoto city and we can take many bus routes for 230yen (child:120yen) despite the distance between a bus stop of departure and that of the destination within some areas. Some buses are crowded with a lot of passengers through the year or during the good seasons for travel like spring and fall, but you can watch great historical city views of Kyoto city while taking the bus. If you have questions such as whether the bus goes to your destination, please ask a bus driver or other passengers.

How to ride

Although in some countries, passengers might get on from front the entrance and pay fares soon after getting on a bus, there are different rules for the bus in Kyoto. At first, passengers get on the bus from the back or the middle entrance and they have to pay their fares before getting off from the front entrance in Kyoto City bus. When you don’t have exactly 230 yen, you can’t get change directly from the fare collection. However, you can exchange paper money or 500 yen coins into some 100 yen coins and 10 yen coins. Buses also accept prepaid cards, such as Lagare, Kyoto City Bus and Subway cards.

Facility

  1. Priority Seat

There are priority seats in the front space and they are mainly seats for elderly persons, pregnant women, injured persons or physically challenged persons, and persons accompanied by small children. If there are few passengers in the bus, anyone can sit down on the priority seats. But, when you notice those priority passengers, it is customary to give up your seat to them.

Priority Seat

Priority Seat

  1. Wheelchair space

Also, there are seats for a person in a wheelchair in the front space. Any persons usually can sit down on the seats. However, when a person in a wheelchair gets on the bus, this seat can be folded back by a bus driver and make wheelchair space. Also, it is fastened to the floor on a belt.

 

Hankyu train and Kyo-train

Hankyu train- Kyo train

Hankyu train- Kyo train

The Hankyu train runs between Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto. You can go to a lot of tourist attractions by taking this train. In recent years, a wonderful train runs. It is called Kyo-train. The exterior of the train has painted pictures of fans. The moment you take it, you can feel like you are in Kyoto. It is Japanese style in the train. Each car has a different Japanese style.

In cars 1 and 2, there are reddish-colored seats on which there is a design of an orchid. You can feel Kyoto’s brightness.

In cars 3 and 4, the style is especially wonderful. I recommend that you take these cars. It’s because you can see Kyoto’s traditional house. In the entrance, there are lattice divider plates. It is like the entrance of Kyoto’s traditional houses.

These seats are really Japanese style. The backrest of the seats are tatami, and they are designed to look like floor cushions (zabuton). The design is a Japanese pattern.

 

The seats in cars 3 and 4

The seats in cars 3 and 4

 

Although you are in the train, you would feel like being in Kyoto’s house.

In cars 5 and 6, there are green seats which have a design of hemp leaves. You can feel that this is a comfortable space.

In cars 5 and 6

In cars 5 and 6

 

In addition, there are Kyoto guide maps in each car. They are written in Japanese, English, Korean, and Chinese. They introduce the recommended spots in Gion, Kiyomizu, and Arashiyama. They also include information about festivals, food in Kyoto and so on.

Traditional patterns are also on the floor, doors, and walls. The dark-brown floor is designed to look like an earthen floor in Kyoto’s traditional house. The design of the doors is the bamboo-patterned, and the wall is designed to look like a wave.

Information about Arashiyama is announced in Japanese, English, Korean, and Chinese.

 

If you take the Kyo-train, you would have a chance to experience a taste of Japan, and be excited.

 

Train Information

・Areas served: Umeda to Kawaramachi

・Days of service: Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays

・Number of trains: 4 round trips per day

・Stations served: Umeda, Juso, Awaji, Katsura, Karasuma, Kawaramachi

 

We introduced Kyoto City Bus and Hankyu Kyoto line Kyo-train. Please visit tourist attractions by taking them. We will be very happy that this web page is useful to you. We hope that your travel is satisfactory.

 

References:

・“Hankyu train” http://www.hankyu.co.jp/area_info/arashiyama-navi/kyotrain.html

・”KYOTO Guide Map”