Oct. 19, 2018 UPDATE

Take the subway and see Kyoto! One day in Kyoto with subway one-day pass

By using the Kyoto Subway one-day pass you can travel freely in Kyoto and enjoy the sights, restaurants, and all the fun this city offers!
Kyoto Tower

When traveling, you always have to pay attention to transport. When you head to Kyoto from Osaka or Tokyo, you’re probably going to find yourself at Kyoto Station. Under you, you’ll find the subway system of Kyoto, the trains, and buses, all waiting to take you to the sightseeing spots of this ancient capital. But as taking all these forms of transport can get a bit expensive, it may be a better idea to buy a subway one-day pass (or the one-day bus pass) and move around Kyoto cheaply and easily by using the subway. This time I have a one-day itinerary for Kyoto that uses the subway one-day pass to the max! So come and enjoy Kyoto together with me!


What is the one-day pass? 

With the one-day pass, you get to ride the subway as many times as you want for one day. And with this pass, you get discounts at some sightseeing spots. 



Where can you buy it?

You can buy it at subway stations from the ticket machines. Adults: ¥600, children: ¥300. 



Subway map

There are two subway lines in Kyoto, Tozai Line, and Karasuma Line, and if you have to change from one to the other, you can do that at Karasuma Oike Station. 


9:00 am From Kyoto Station to Higashiyama and onward to Heian Shrine *Change trains at Karasuma Oike Station

The first thing you’re going to see when approaching Heian Shrine is this huge, stately torii gate. There are many things to see at the shrine, like the Daikokuden palace, dragon bridge, and the beautiful Japanese garden. You can also find the shopping center Toni Toni by Heian Shrine, so you could pop in for a bit of shopping after the shrine visit! 



10:30 am Walk to Murin-an

Not too far from Heian Shrine, there is Murin-an, a villa constructed by the Meiji period politician Yamagata Aritomo. The name Murin-an means no neighbors, and you can probably guess why this place was named that. The tea room and the garden let you enjoy Japanese architecture. The garden has the mountain of Higashiyama as its shakkei, borrowed scenery, and it’s easy to relax in it, surrounded by the calmness of nature. 


*Show your subway one-day pass when buying the entrance ticket, as it will be discounted from ¥410 to ¥310. 


Murin-an

Nanzenji Temple & Ginkakuji Temple / Central Kyoto Area
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12 noon and lunch at Kikusui! 

After going to two different sightseeing spots, it’s time for lunch! Kikusui is located close to Nanzen-ji Temple, and for lunch you can choose between western and Japanese options. From appetizers to dessert, you get 10 dishes, so you’re sure to leave this restaurant satisfied. The Japanese architecture of the restaurant makes you appreciate the food even more. From morning up until now, you’ve gotten to appreciate the soothing effect of Japanese architecture! 


Nanzenji Sando Kikusui

Nanzenji Temple & Ginkakuji Temple / Central Kyoto Area
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2:30 pm Head from Keage Station to the World Heritage Site of Nijo Castle!

Now that we have full tummies, it’s time to head to the World Heritage Site of Nijo Castle! The defenses of this castle are strong, as it used to be the Kyoto abode of the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. If you’re interested in Japanese history, this castle is definitely worth a visit, as it was the place where “Taisei Hokan,” Restoration of Imperial Rule, took place. 


*Show your subway one-day pass when buying the entrance ticket, as it will be discounted from ¥600 to ¥500. 


Nijo-jo Castle

Nijo Castle & Kitano Tenmangu / Central Kyoto Area
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4:00 pm Shimogamo Shrine from Nijo Station to Imadegawa Station

Shimogamo Shrine is a famous shrine in Kyoto to pray for matchmaking, and you go through the primordial forest of Tadasu no Mori when you enter it, so you’re surrounded by the vast mystery of nature. You can also find shrines for the Chinese zodiac at Shimogamo Shrine, so you can pray at the shrine of your own zodiac! There is also a shrine for eternal beauty called Kawai Shrine that is really popular among women! 


*Chinese characters for the shrines: 子=mouse, 丑=ox, 寅=tiger, 卯=rabbit, 辰=dragon,巳=snake, 午=horse, 未=sheep, 申=monkey, 酉=rooster, 戌=dog, and 亥=pig. 


Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine & Kitayama / Central Kyoto Area
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5:30 pm Kamo River Delta

After praying at the shrine, walk toward Imadegawa Station, but stop on the way to play at Kamo River Delta. There are stepping stones shaped like turtles and birds in the river, and jumping on them is fun, and you can often see families come here to play by the river. 


Kamo River

Downtown / Central Kyoto Area
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6:30 pm Shopping at Porta – Imadegawa Station to Kyoto Station

After a day of sightseeing, it’s time for shopping, and while Teramachi Shopping Street may be more famous, Porta is a great place for shopping right below Kyoto Station! You can find almost anything here, from trendy clothes and Japanese “zakka (everyday items)” to souvenirs, so it’s easy to spend quite some time here! 


Shopping Mall Kyoto Porta

Kyoto Station / Central Kyoto Area
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8:00 pm Romantic Dinner at Kyoto Tower Sky Lounge Kuu

After a full day of sightseeing & shopping, it’s time for a luxurious dinner! You can enjoy a great atmosphere and views at one of the most famous landmarks of Kyoto, Kyoto Tower, in its lounge bar Kuu. The perfect ending to your day in Kyoto would be a nice cocktail that you can have while gazing down at the city of Kyoto below you. The night view of Kyoto is worth a million dollars and is sure to leave a lasting impression on you. 


Kyoto Tower Sky Lounge KUU

Kyoto Station / Central Kyoto Area
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Budget: 

Subway (without one-day pass): ¥260+¥260+¥210+¥260=¥990→Subway one-day pass: ¥600


Entrance to Nijo Castle: ¥600→¥500

Entrance to Murin-an: ¥410→¥310


So you’re going to save ¥590! 


The one-day pass is not only convenient but also cheap! 

Vanessa[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ] STAFF DETAIL
Come to Kyoto and sightsee to your heart’s content with the subway one-day pass! This time my itinerary was focused upon Japanese historical architecture, but you could put together a foodie or shopping trip too with the subway one-day pass! Endless possibilities!
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All Things To Do All Kyoto Area
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