Bus Transportation in Kyoto City

August 12, 2007

by Sachiko Nakagawa

Bus Transportation in Kyoto City

Kyoto city buses run throughout the city every day and are very convenient for Kyoto citizens and tourists. Bus fares for most routes are 220 yen. Extended routes charge extra and these fares are shown on an electronic signboard at the front of the bus.

Bus Map

Before taking a bus you should get a bus map. Free bus information and Kyoto bus route maps in English for foreign tourists are available at Kyoto Station. They show which buses you need take to easily reach your destination.

Bus Stops

Some bus stops have two convenient systems for monitoring the bus on your route.One system uses a barcode. Cell phones in Japan have recently added a function that reads barcodes, and so you can find out where a bus will take you by reading its code with your cell phone. This is convenient only for people with cell phones though.The other system at the bus stop shows you where a bus currently is on its route. It announces by voice how long it will take before the bus arrives at your bus stop.These systems are good for Kansai people, because it is often said that they are always in a hurry.

Kyoto City Bus CARD

If you take a bus more than three times a day, it will be more economical for you to buy a “one-day card.” You can buy this card on any bus for 500 yen. You can ask the bus driver in Japanese, “ichinichi zyosyaken o kudasai (“Give me a one day card, please”). You can take buses again and again all day long. However, extended routes are not included in this system.

When you get off the bus, insert your card into the card reader. After this has been done, you can just show the card to the bus driver on the following rides.


When you stand on the bus, please use the straps or poles. Buses sway and you can easily lose your balance!

This is a “bar code” system at a Kyoto bus stop.

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