When you live in Kyoto, it’s easy to notice that the interest toward Kyoto is increasing both nationally and internationally. Famous sightseeing places in Kyoto are packed day after day. To top it off, the crowd is becoming so international that it feels about 30% of tourists are foreigners. I look at tourists thinking that it wasn’t like that almost 10 years ago… Well. when it comes to Kyoto, sightseeing using a city bus used to be mainstream until a decade ago. But nowadays the traffic is too heavy that a city bus is of no use. Especially during tourist seasons in Kyoto…☹ That’s why I introduce you the right way of sightseeing in Kyoto!!
It’s better not to purchase a “Kyoto city bus & Kyoto bus one-day pass”!!
“Kyoto city bus & Kyoto bus one-day pass” is an all-day pass with which you can ride on a city bus or a Kyoto bus for only 500 yen, as long as it is within the flat fee area.
A one-day pass for city buses or Kyoto buses does sound useful. You can ride on a bus reasonably; but if you wish to truly enjoy sightseeing in Kyoto, a “Kyoto city bus& Kyoto bus one-day pass” is one thing you should never purchase!! This is because there are too many tourists using these buses recently, and buses are so packed…it’s literally overflowing with people! The way a bus is packed with people is just unpleasant!! You will probably get tired just by using a bus before sightseeing in Kyoto.
Also, what frequently happens is that a bus does not arrive on time during tourist seasons, for there are too many people who want to take a bus…not to mention it shakes a lot and there are many dangerous drivers…well, if you are the type who does not care much about these things and are using a bus as a mean for short-range transportation, there shouldn’t be much problem. But if you are planning to use it for long-range transportation, you shouldn’t expect a lot.
The main cause is the existence of chronic traffic jams centered around the Kyoto city area. From Shichijo area to Kyoto station area and from Kyoto station area to Shijo/Gojo area are especially horrible…it sometimes feels that it might be faster to get to destination by walking. By the way, it takes only about 20 minutes on foot from Higashiyama Shichijo to Kyoto station.
Some places in Kyoto during the autumn leaf season were so crowded that it felt like some kind of riot was going on. And the current situation within the Kyoto city area is why it’s just not worth it to purchase a “Kyoto city bus & Kyoto bus one-day pass”, and no doubt you will have an unpleasant time on bus which is always jammed with people, while sightseeing in Kyoto. If you wish to enjoy sightseeing around the central area of Kyoto city, renting a bicycle is recommended!!
A “Kyoto city bus & Kyoto bus one-day pass” is cheap, but it is tiresome to travel on bus. I guess it’s true what they say, “you get what you pay for”…:-<
Use “Keihan train”, “Randen (Keifuku train)”, “Hankyu train” and “Kyoto subway” when sightseeing in Kyoto
If you are sightseeing around the central Kyoto area I recommend renting a bicycle, but if you are traveling a bit further, using a train is recommended.
Kyoto has various private railways such as “Keihan train”, “Randen” and “Hankyu train” going everywhere, and Kyoto subway can take you to many places too. To make things easier, each railway has a focused area or touristic places, so you can choose which one to use depending on the area you wish to visit.
For example, if you want to go to Fushimi Inari Taisha, Sanjusangendo, Kiyomizudera or Shimogamo Jinja, “Keihan train” definitely comes useful. If you want to go to Arashiyama, “Hankyu train” and “Randen” are convenient. If you want to visit Kurama Dera or Kibuneguchi, Yase/Hieizan, you can take Keihan and then transfer to Eizan Electric Railway.
The quality of sightseeing changes by using a bus or a train!?
Even though the set destination is the same, the time it takes to travel by bus or train may greatly differ. It is just sad having to spend a lot of time inside a packed and shaking bus which only moves slow because of heavy traffic when you want to be sightseeing and feeling the charms of Kyoto, right? For the reasons above, I recommend not purchasing a “Kyoto city bus & Kyoto bus one-day pass” :->