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getting to Kyoto from Osaka

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QC
posts: 56
reviews: 2
getting to Kyoto from Osaka

hi, is the quickest way(except for Shinkansen, too expensive) to Kyoto from Osaka the rapid and special rapid trains on the JR Kyoto Line? are these better than the Keihan or Hankyu ones? we are totally clueless at this point which one to take and want to maximize our day trip time in Kyoto

11 replies to this topic
Tokyo, Japan
posts: 3,965
1. Re: getting to Kyoto from Osaka

Keihan, Hankyu, and JR reach different areas in Kyoto. Quickest depends on your final destination in Kyoto.

Keihan has its advantage in Eastern Kyoto(Kiyomizu, etc.) while Hankyu has its advantage in Western Kyoto(Arashiyama). kyotokyoto.jp/about_kyoto/…railway.gif

QC
posts: 56
reviews: 2
2. Re: getting to Kyoto from Osaka

i guess the plan is to get to the Kyoto station to avail of the sighseeing buses

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 32,372
reviews: 77
3. Re: getting to Kyoto from Osaka

Getting to Kyoto station might not be ideal. You should pick your train line depending on where in Osaka you are staying and where at Kyoto you want to start from. Kyoto station itself is a good transport hub. However, if you are not staying around Umeda area of Osaka, then Keihan train might be the better choice.

QC
posts: 56
reviews: 2
4. Re: getting to Kyoto from Osaka

our plan is to use Kyoto station as a jumping off point where we go to tourist spots close together, then go back to Kyoto station, then head back out, using the sightseeing buses whereever possible. for example, kiyomizudera frst, then back to the station... then Nijo Castle, back to station, then Fushimi Inari, and so on. does that make JR our best bet? we are staying in the Shinsaibashi area.

about the sightseeing buses, is there a timetable of their schedule available online? we plan to "hop on, hop off" on all the sites on a bus' particular route

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 32,372
reviews: 77
5. Re: getting to Kyoto from Osaka

Your plan does not make sense. Going back and forth repeatedly to Kyoto station will cost you a lot of unnecessary time. Buses don't only go from Kyoto station to A, then Kyoto station to B, then Kyoto station to C. They can go from Kyoto station to A onto B and then C depending on the bus line.

Buses themselves aren't particularly fast already. You should only use them for short hops and use the subway for longer trips across town. Sightseeing buses run throughout the day so you don't really need to be too concerned with a schedule. Once it gets later into the evening, buses run much less frequently. Note that Fushimi Inari is served by trains.

You need to do a bit mroe research of Kyoto's transport system. Read this page below. Open up the bus map at the bottom of the page as well:

city.kyoto.jp/koho/eng/access/transport.html

Read the page on Kyoto sightseeing as well:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2158.html

Washington DC...
posts: 74
reviews: 1
6. Re: getting to Kyoto from Osaka

The RAKU bus (100?) goes in a big circle. It does not pick-up/drop off at Kiymizu but a bit downhill from there.

In any event, as an earlier poster mentioned going back to Kyoto Station doesn't use you time well. I understand how it makes planning a little easier- you always know your starting point.

The bus maps can be a bit overwhelming, and the buses are great- there are many circle loops and cross town options. Keep an eye on buses running through KITAOJI bus terminal, lots of transfers happen there. It is very well organized, plenty of signs in English.

If you really are only in Kyoto for a day, please don't be afraid of taxis. They do cost more, but it is not a prohibitive cost and they get the job done. Taxis are especially easy to use in Japan as you do not have to be on guard and worry about being tricked and cheated.

I would even encourage you to pick a walking route and see less/see more.

i.e. from Osaka Hankyu/ Keihan up to Shijo and walk over and up to Kiyomizu. Doing that will take you through the main shopping area, Gion and past many small temples and shrines- and some big ones too, Chion-ji, if you get lost just right.

Good luck with your planning and enjoy.

QC
posts: 56
reviews: 2
7. Re: getting to Kyoto from Osaka

I’ve updated our itinerary:

> JR Kyoto to Kyoto Station (the 8:27AM or 8:30AM rapid or special rapid trains)

> Kyoto Station to Kiyomizudera via Bus100 or Bus200, get off at Kiyomizumichi > visit the temple and walk the Higashimaya district for about 2hrs

> Kiyomizudera to Ginkakuji via Bus 100, get off at Ginkakuji-mae > visit the temple for about 2hrs

> Ginkakuji to Gion via Bus 100 or Bus203, get off at Gion bus stop > walk around the area, have a late lunch, spend maybe about 3hrs

> Gion to Kyoto National Museum via Bus100 or Bus206, get off at HakubutukanSangendo-mae

> depending how late in the day it is, Gion to Kyoto Station then travel 2 stations to the JR Inari station to visit Fushimi Inari Shrine

> take the 7:45PM rapid or special rapid train back to Osaka

So we will essentially be staying in the eastern part of Kyoto, and it looks like we will be using a lot of Bus100 and Bus200/ 203/ 206. Did I correctly understand the how to use the bus network? In this case, do we get Kyoto City Bus 1 Day Pass?

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 32,372
reviews: 77
8. Re: getting to Kyoto from Osaka

If you take the bus 3 or more times for the day, you will come out ahead since each ride costs 220 Yen separately, but the 1-day bus pass costs just 500 Yen.

I didn't bother checking the bus numbers, but the bus map in the link I provided earlier has the correct information and also how to go between attractions. I am sure you will be fine.

Your itinerary might still be a bit tight. If I were you, I would leave off either Ginkakuji (out of the way) or Kyoto National Museum if I have to choose something to skip. You can make that decision based on the time it takes to go through Kiyomizudera and Higashiyama.

QC
posts: 56
reviews: 2
9. Re: getting to Kyoto from Osaka

gotcha! TYVM! we probably will skip the museum then. last time we visited Kinkakuji thats why we want to check out Ginkakuji.

posts: 2
reviews: 136
10. Re: getting to Kyoto from Osaka

The express and rapid express trains are a good cheap alternative to the shinkansen, but you need to research the best options depending on your start and finish locations. A good tool to use is the Hyperdia website or app, then you will see all the choices. Also check out the walking distances between attractions as sometimes it is quicker to walk than using the trains, subway maps are misleading regarding distance travelled.

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