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Kyoto itinerary - please help!!

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Western Australia...
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Kyoto itinerary - please help!!

Hi all

Hope one of the Kyoto experts can help me in planning my itinerary in Kyoto. I know the list is long so this may not be doable in a day. Well… basically what I want to know is the best possible (fastest) way to reach the following land marks by using the JR pass. We are travelling from shin-Osaka station.

Nijo castle

Kiyomizu-dera temple


Adashino Nenbutsu temple

Tenryu-ji temple & Arashiyama bamboo forest

Toji temple

I have checked the Google maps but not quite sure where to start (first visit when reach Kyoto). First I was thinking of visiting the Kiyomizu-dera temple and then to Nijo castle, Kinkaku-ji, Adashino Nenbutsu temple, Tenryu-ji temple, Arashiyama bamboo forest and then Toji temple and back to Osaka. But I’m not quite sure whether this route is the best so asking your help.

If possible, could you please let me know the trains and buses (names and route numbers) that we need to catch from one place to another? Because I’m not sure whether some trains and buses are covered by the JR pass or not.

Any help would be highly appreciated!

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1. Re: Kyoto itinerary - please help!!

If you tried to see all that in one day it wouldn't be very enjoyable - those sights are spread out all over Kyoto so you would spend more time on buses than anything else. Arashiyama is a whole day trip in itself. I would either choose to see Kyoto city sights or Arashiyama, but not both in one day.

Using a JR Pass take the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto Station. Once there, JR is not particularly useful in Kyoto city as buses are the main way of getting around (this slows down travel. ) Buses leave from Kyoto station and stop at all the main sights. The train system is limited, will take you part of the way but are mainly non-JR lines anyway.

But you can get to Arashiyama by JR from Kyoto station to Saga-Arashiyama Station. It's an outlying area and you'll do a lot of walking uphill here. (Tenryu-ji and Adashino Nenbutsu temple are here)

This walking map is very useful & may help jnto.go.jp/eng/location/rtg/pdf/pg-503.pdf

Toji is within walking distance from Kyoto station - you can't miss the towering, dark pagoda, a symbol of Kyoto city.

The bus route maps are here: …kyoto.jp/koho/…basunabieigo-omote.pdf


Check your destination websites as they usually have access pages with bus route info …kyoto.jp/bunshi/…index.html

Personally I would start at Kinkakuji - go early & beat the peak crowds - (although it's always crowded) - buses run from Kyoto station or go by train to Kitaoji Station & then take a bus. Look at the bus map for the bus numbers you need.

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2. Re: Kyoto itinerary - please help!!

Thank you very much Elly M :) Information/links you gave are really useful. OK... now I changed my plans. Thinking of doing Kyoto (Nijo castle, Kiyomizu-dera temple & Kinkaku-ji temple) and Nara in a day, then next day cover Arashiyama area.

Can someone please suggest a good half day itinerary for Nara?

Also, I'm planning to buy the Kyoto bus pass (day pass) in addition to the JR pass. However, as now I'm doing Kyoto in two days do you think it is worth buying the bus pass? Guess it won't cover Nara?? Is there a pass that cover both Kyoto & Nara? Any advice?

One more question... is the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto from Shinosaka is covered by the JR pass? I thought it is not. I saw in a site that Tokaido trains are not covered by JR pass...

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3. Re: Kyoto itinerary - please help!!

Todaiji Temple

Nara Park

Kasuga Taisha Shirine

Sarusawa Pond

They are the range within the walking from Kintetsu Nara Station.


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4. Re: Kyoto itinerary - please help!!

kayA: "One more question... is the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto from Shinosaka is covered by the JR pass? I thought it is not. I saw in a site that Tokaido trains are not covered by JR pass..."

Do you recall where you read this? Perhaps it was referring to the Nozomi (which is not covered by the JR pass)?

Which JR pass are you talking about?

See: www.japan-guide.com/e/e2018_tokaido.html

And has anyone yet mentioned HyperDia to you for checking train schedules?


Edited: 06 July 2014, 15:09
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5. Re: Kyoto itinerary - please help!!

I think the standard fare for Kyoto bus is Y230 and since the bus pass is Y500, it will make sense to buy the pass as you will be taking at least 3 trips, judging by your itinerary.

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6. Re: Kyoto itinerary - please help!!

Thanks for all the information. Really appreciated.

78mint thanks for the suggestions and I have included all that in to the Nara itinerary

hfot2 thanks for clearing my doubts about the Tokido trains. Have read more sites and realised that it is covered by the pass. What a relief :)

Yes, few people recommended Hyperdia but I checked the transport options on Google as it shows train/bus and walking paths as well. I might double check using Hyperdia too.

Yes E150A I think the bus pass is worth. However recently I came across a pass called Kansai Thru Pass which can be used in Osaka, Kyoto & Nara for 3 days. As we are planning to visit all these areas I'm still thinking about the best pass for us. First I was thinking of buying Kyoto bus pass + Enjoy Eco card for Osaka (one day each), those two will cost 1100 yen per person (500 for Kyoto and 600 for Osaka - being a weekend), then I saw the Amazing pass in Osaka too. That one is 2300 but covered few admission costs as well. So now I'm debating over buying Kyoto bus pass + Amazing pass or the Kansai Thru Pass. Any suggestions?

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7. Re: Kyoto itinerary - please help!!

Local transportation in Japan is a suprisingly complicated mash up of semi-compatible public and private companies. In many cases, a pass is more useful in terms of convenience for the tourist than meaningful savings.

Kansai Thru Pass is quite expensive at Y5,200 for three days. It will pay off if you are starting/ending from KIX or plan to do long distance day trips. I don't think it would be worthwhile in your case.

The Osaka amazing pass is Y2,300 and a single ticket cost Y210 but real benefit is the free entry some major sites. I remember free entrance to Osaka Castle and the floating observatory plus a few museums. It could save you money but from a big picture point of view, not more than a few dollars.

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8. Re: Kyoto itinerary - please help!!

Osaka Amazing Pass only makes sense if you are utilizing many of its free admission sights. My suggestion is to go with an ICOCA for traveling around the region. As ICOCA doesn't yet work on Kyoto city buses, get the 500 Yen bus pass but only use it for short hops (say 5 stops or less). Kyoto's city traffic is terrible so any longer bus rides could mean being stuck in traffic for 45 minutes to one hour.

Enjoy Eco Card and the likes do save you money if you plan properly.

9. Re: Kyoto itinerary - please help!!

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