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Kyoto bus and subway

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San Jose...
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Kyoto bus and subway

Hi, Japan traveller experts, I have a dump question about bus and train/subway, I read the forum but did not see anyone asked the question, so my question must be too obvious, but i have never been to Japan before. I am a little skeptical how to navigate the transportation

1) taking a bus: if I know the bus number and the route, the destination stop, will the driver announce the bus stop every time? if he announces in Japanese I won't understand, how do I know when to get out, or the solution is i have to count the number of stops from the point where I board to the destination point from the map, if so, will the bus stop at every stop? If the bus skips any stop, then my counting will be wrong? is there a sign some where on the bus telling me what the next stop is (in Japanese or English?). If not, what is the best advise for me to not miss a stop?

2) regarding subway or train within the city, there will be many exits at each station, will there be a sign in English telling me the direction for each exit? for example an arrow this way to go to Kyoto Imperial palace and this way to go to the Shrine etc..or this is East, West, North south of the street name. If no sign, how do you navigate the subway?

thanks a lot for your help, I really would like to take bus or train. If i take taxi will the taxi driver understand if I know my destination in English but not Japanese?

Tokyo, Japan
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1. Re: Kyoto bus and subway

Have this map with you city.kyoto.jp/koho/eng/access/transport.html

Tokyo, Japan
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2. Re: Kyoto bus and subway

Actually your question has been answered a couple of times within this 3-4 months period, but they are buried in a sea of information. You don't have to worry much about this as:

1) The announcement will be in dual language recording as far as the routes that tourists use is concerned in a tourist city like Kyoto. It is quite possible that there are electronic signboard at the front of the bus with description in English as to which is the next stop. If you listen to the Japanese announcements, you might recognize the obvious places like "Gion" or "Kinkakuji-michi" mentioned; as there would be couples if not dozens of other tourist passengers taking the same journey to the same places you probably won't miss the stop.

0:42- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGIHalNknWM ["This bus goes from XXX to XXX..." (in English)]

0:33- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AENlwh6hCTc ["The next stop is XXX. Please change here for XXX ..." (in English)]

2) The simple answer is yes.

Bus: …vtourist.com/4/…3D2

Metro (or subway, underground): …main.jp/wp-content/…110501_5.jpg

…fc2.com/r/…20120314071357d03s.jpg

Edited: 19 January 2014, 07:46
Tokyo, Japan
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3. Re: Kyoto bus and subway

At the platform: …yahoo.co.jp/yoshi223_kosei/…

As for "which exit" question, it is better to check Google Map or any other detailed map before you go. When the exit number is shown as A1, then you head for A1. There is also usually a board on the platform which way you should go for what (museums, public offices, large hotels etc) in at least dual language.

Edited: 19 January 2014, 07:52
San Francisco...
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4. Re: Kyoto bus and subway

An advantage of subways and trains is that they have fixed stations, with signs in English, so you don't have to worry about missing your stop. Do carry a route map. At the stations, there are often signs pointing to the major tourist destinations. I carry a dollar store magnetic compass with me--it's handy when I exit a subway and can't figure out which way I'm pointing. The Kyoto subway is fast, but it may not take you close enough to your destination.

Buses are more challenging. In Kyoto, they are slow because of traffic and frequent stops. In Kyoto, there are recorded English announcements at major stops and electric signs that list the major stops. But the buses are crowded, the tourists can get rowdy, and the names sound unfamiliar, so you may not be able to hear every announcement or see the sign. So carry a map, be aware of the shape of your bus route, and be alert to stops before your destination. On some buses, there will be other English-speaking tourists, so you can help each other.

For taxis, it's best to have your destination written in Japanese. Written English may be better understood than spoken English.

Tokyo, Japan
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5. Re: Kyoto bus and subway

Sometimes, it's the flood of information that is confusing, not the lack of it.

pbs.twimg.com/media/BeLwiyICUAARWtE.jpg

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Kyoto bus and subway

The color-coding of the train lines in Tokyo really does help!

Melbourne,Australia
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7. Re: Kyoto bus and subway

Definitely carry a map of the subway and bus routes. While the stops are announced buses are often crowded and it can be hard to recognise Japanese names due to the difference in the way they are pronounced to the way they look. There is also an electronic signboard at the front but again if the bus is crowded it can be difficult to see. We counted the stops and tried to glimpse the signboard to reaffirm our reckoning as to whre we were.

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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8. Re: Kyoto bus and subway

I don't think the Kyoto bus stops are hard to understand because there are both English announcements and display signs. You should get copy of the bus map (available online or at the Kyoto station bus depot) and follow along as you ride. Every stop is clearly listed.

Bring a compass with you. It's very helpful when you come out of a station exit or you are standing at an intersection trying to figure out which way to go.

San Jose...
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9. Re: Kyoto bus and subway

Wow, thank you all very very much, really appreciate it!

I feel more confident now to navigate the train and subway. I will bring the map and compass and take the time to read the signs to know which way to go. i did not know google map shows the exit station!

I will try to take train or subway as much as possible, and when i take bus, I will count the stops too to make sure.

10. Re: Kyoto bus and subway

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