A Guide to Transportation In Kyoto

October 3, 2016

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.


  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.



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

・”KYOTO Guide Map”

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