Kyoto is a two-and-a-half-hour trip from Tokyo on Japan’s high-speed train, the Shinkansen. Reservations are recommended for busy departure times, though you can also purchase your ticket at the station. Foreign visitors can purchase a Japan Rail Pass, which must be bought before you arrive in Japan (and there are some restrictions on its use). See Japan Rail Pass for helpful information.
You will arrive in Kyoto Station, a sleek, modern building that serves as the transportation hub for the city. It also has stores, restaurants, museums, and a tourist information center with Internet access. From the station you can take a subway line or bus into the city.
City buses: Most of the buses are painted light green, with a thick dark green line down the center. Entry is usually through the back door and exit is through the front. You pay at the front of the bus.
Subways: Kyoto has two subway lines, the Karasuma line and the Tozai line. There are also five private train companies operating in the city area (Keifuku, Eizan, Keihan, Hankyu, and Kintetsu). Most train and subway stations are equipped with automatic ticket dispensing machines. To purchase your ticket, put the money in the machine first. Then select the button for your ticket price and press the button. You can also pay with a prepaid card.
One Day Ticket: The city offers all-Kyoto tickets (for one day or two days) that can be used on city buses, Kyoto buses, and subways without limit. The ticket also entitles you to some discounts at temples and comes with a guide map. You can purchase these tickets at the city bus and subway information center; subway stations, city bus operating stations, and at various inns and hotels.
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