Dec. 20, 2019 UPDATE

Kyoto One-Day Bus Pass Coverage & Fares

While Kyoto’s one-day bus passes are great for getting around, did you know there’s a limit to how far they can take you? In fact, there are even some famous sightseeing spots that are beyond this limit. In this article, we look at some must-knows about the slightly confusing Kyoto bus passes and show you which areas are outside of its range.
bus

Convenient for trekking around Kyoto, the Kyoto one-day bus pass lets you hop on and hop off buses as many times as you like.


However, there is a limit to where you can use the passes. If you venture outside this set area, you will have to pay an additional fare. 


So you don’t end up thinking “why can’t I use my pass here?” or “No one told me there’d be an extra fare?!” we’ll show you exactly where you can use your bus pass and how you pay for additional fares.



Contents


Bus Pass Types

How to Use & Additional Fares

Where to Purchase

Out of Range Sightseeing Spots 

       Ohara

       Takao

       Kibune/Kurama

Additional Fares *From Kyoto Station

Conclusion


Bus Pass Types


Below is a list of the Kyoto one-day bus and subway passes.

With names like “Kyoto City Bus & Kyoto Bus One-day Pass,” “Subway, Bus One-day Pass” and “Subway, Bus Two-day Pass” the different passes are easy to mistake, so be careful.


Kyoto City Bus & Kyoto Bus One-day Pass – Adult: ¥600|Child: ¥300

One-day Pass

This green bus pass will let you hop on and off the Kyoto City Buses and Kyoto Buses as much as you like within the “flat-fare zone” for 24 hours.


Subway, Bus One-day Pass – Adult: ¥900|Child: ¥450

Subway, Bus One-day Pass

These blue passes are the Subway, Bus One-day Passes. These passes allow you to ride all Kyoto City Buses, subway lines, most Kyoto Buses and most Keihan Buses for 24 hours.


Subway, Bus Two-day Pass – Adult: ¥1700|Child: ¥850

Two-day Pass

These pink passes are the Subway, Bus Two-day Passes. These passes are the same as the blue passes but can be used for two days (48 hours) instead of one. Purchasing these tickets is ¥100 and ¥50 cheaper for adults and children, respectively than buying two separate one-day passes.


Kyoto City Bus & Kyoto Bus One-day Pass Subway, Bus One-day Pass Subway, Bus Two-day Pass
Bus
Subway ×
Price Adult: ¥600
Child: ¥300
Adult: ¥900
Child: ¥ 450
Adult: ¥1700
Child: ¥850
Period of Use 1 day 1 day 2 day



How to Use & Additional Fares


After buying a bus pass, you will need to pass it through the card reader at the front of the bus and stamp it with the date when you first use it.

How to Use & Additional Fares

Every time after this, you can just show the bus driver the stamped date when getting off.

For paying additional fares

For paying additional fares, simply show your card and pay the exact amount needed. While you can change ¥1,000 notes at the front of the bus, the buses in Kyoto are often crowded, so it’s a good idea to have your change ready before you get off.

Also, note that ¥2,000, ¥5,000 and ¥10,000 notes can’t be changed inside the buses.



Where to Purchase



All passes are sold at Kyoto Station’s bus terminal and the bus information center.

However, you can also purchase them inside the buses by asking the driver when you get off.

As passes are sometimes sold out on buses, we recommend purchasing your pass at the Kyoto Station bus terminal.


See the following article for details on where to purchase and how to use the passes:

https://sharing-kyoto.com/See-Do/magazine/td008304



Out of Range Sightseeing Spots


For details on bus routes and the range of bus passes, see the official Kyoto City website: https://www.city.kyoto.lg.jp/kotsu/cmsfiles/contents/0000019/19770/ENG2019(map)0316.pdf


The bright red line on the bus map represents the area where the one-day bus pass can be used. If you catch the bus further than this red line, you will be required to pay an additional fare, so make sure you always have enough change.


As you’re likely thinking, “I can’t be checking the map every time I get off the bus!” we made a list of the popular sightseeing spots not covered by, specifically, the one-day bus pass.



Ohara Area


Ohara is an area located about one hour from Kyoto Station. Although it’s a popular sightseeing area, well known for the Ohara Onna Matsuri festival and its multitude of beautiful temples, it’s also home to sprawling greenery.

You can easily access Ohara from Kyoto Station via a Kyoto Bus.

From Kyoto Station to the “Ohara” bus stop, a fare of ¥330 is required in addition to your bus pass.


Senzen-in Temple

Senzen-in TempleThe Sanzen-in Temple in Ohara is one of the oldest in Kyoto and a popular sightseeing spot. The two gardens of Shuhekien and Yuseien both contain a charming traditional Japanese air and beautiful green moss. The greenery of the temple beautifully reflects each passing season and makes this temple a wonderful place to visit year-round.

The little Buddhist Jizo statues are also nothing if not super cute.


Address 540 Ohara Raigoincho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 601-1242
Open Hours March - December 7th : 8:30am - 5:30pm (must enter by 5pm) November 8th - February : 9am - 5:00pm (must enter by 4:30pm)



Hōsen-in Temple

Hōsen-in Temple

Another Ohara temple, the Hosen-in Temple is famous for its garden affectionately called gakubuchiteien, meaning the framed garden.

The reason for this name lies in the fact that from within the temple, you can gaze out at the 700-year-old tree as if it was a framed painting. The bamboo that surrounds the tree is also beautiful, and when the leaves begin to change in the fall, this temple becomes an incredible place to enjoy the colors of autumn.

One of the highlights of the temple, however, are the bloodstains left of the roof by the vassals and retainers of Tokugawa Ieyasu who committed suicide here before the battle of Sekigahara.


Address 187, Ohara Shorinincho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 601-1241
Open Hours 9am - 5pm (must enter by 4:30pm)



Takao


Takao is a famous sightseeing area known for temples such as the Jingo-ji Temple.

However, it’s also known for its beautiful autumn leaves and the sprawling greenery of its mountain villages.

On the Takao bound Kyoto City Bus No. 8, the Kyoto bus passes will only take you as far as the Sanbo-ji Temple before incurring an additional fare.

A trip from Kyoto Station, changing buses at Shijo Karasuma, and getting off at the “Takao” bus stop will cost ¥220 in addition to your bus pass.



Jingo-ji Temple Maple Leaves

Jingo-ji Temple Maple Leaves

Takao’s Jingo-ji Temple is famous for its impressive Japanese maple trees. At the Jingo-ji Temple, you can take part in a unique practice called kawarakenage.

Said to ward of evil spirits, kawarakenage sees you throwing a small clay plate off the temple’s observation deck into the great abyss.

Below is a blog that Sharing Kyoto editor Vanessa wrote about seeing the maple leaves in Takao.

https://sharing-kyoto.com/Blog/b_takao



Kibune/Kurama Area


Kibune/Kurama is a popular sightseeing spot famous for the Kifune Shrine and Kurama Temple. The area can be accessed via Kyoto Bus No. 52, but every stop past Ichihara will incur an additional fare. Taking the bus from Kyoto Station, changing at Kokusaikaikan and getting off at the Kibuneguchi bus stop will cost ¥170 in addition to your bus pass.



Kifune Shrine

Kifune ShrineBeautiful Kifune Shrine is well-known for the river top kawayuka restaurants in the summer. However, the temple might be most famous for its lantern lined steps that are cut out of the hillside.

Additionally, with lit-up autumn leaves during the fall, this shrine remains popular year-round. Kifune Shrine is dedicated to the god of water, so you are also able to purchase water fortune slips inside as well.


Address 180 Kuramakibune-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City 601-1112
Open Hours 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (From December 1 to April 30 the shrine closes at 6 p.m.) Amulet counter: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (These times change during special night illumination events)



Kurama Onsen Hot Springs

Kurama Onsen Hot SpringsAre you a fan of Japanese onsen hot springs? At Kurama Onsen, you can bask in the beauty of the different seasons in its popular open-air hot spring.

This hot spring is especially recommended to those who’ve spent all day traversing the Kifune Shrine and Kurama Temple. You can enjoy this hot spring whether you’re staying the night or even just coming for the day.


Address 520 Kuramahonmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City 601-1111
Open Hours 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (During winter season the open-air bath closes at 8 p.m.)


Note: All areas mentioned above do not require an additional fare for the Subway, Bus One-day Pass and Subway, Bus Two-day Pass. The limit on how far you can ride the bus differs between the bus only pass and bus and subway passes.



Additional Fares *From Kyoto Station


Kyoto City Bus & Kyoto Bus One-day Pass Subway, Bus One-day Pass Subway, Bus Two-day Pass Transfer Locations
Ohara +¥330 None None -
Takao +¥220 None None Shijo Karasuma
Kibuneguchi +¥170 None None Kokusaikaikan
Kurama Onsen +¥180 None None Kokusaikaikan



Conclusion


While the range for how far you can use Kyoto’s one-day bus pass is a little confusing, it's definitely worth getting once you’re able to get your head around it. Also, for places that require transfers, getting the bus and subway passes will allow you to add riding the subway to your journey and make getting around much more comfortable.

For the best value possible, definitely pick up a one-day all you can ride pass.

Sakurako[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]
Personally, I really like Ohara and go there quite often. And I’ve seen people from overseas with the Kyoto one day bus passes get confused by the added fare system more than once. I decided to write this article so that people like that will be able to get around easier. If it was me, I would wonder, “why do I have to pay extra when I have an all you can ride pass?!” and feel a bit let down by the city as I handed over my money. So I hope this article helps, even if just a little, you have the best time in Kyoto possible.
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