Kyoto’s City bus which many people think is the main transportation method in Kyoto is unfortunately very busy and it takes a long time to get on the bus and get to the destinations especially on weekends.
However, assuming that you buy the One Day Pass (500 yen), it can be the cheapest method, except for walking. In my opinion, it depends on your priorities. If cost is the most important factor, then the City bus is the best option for you.
On the contrary, if you want to have more relaxing travel even though you have to pay more, then the new service, which just finished “experimental phase”, called K’Loop Bus (Kyoto World Heritage Bus Tour) can be suitable. This is the first hop on-off bus in Kyoto where you can get on and get off at any stop you like.
There are four main benefits to taking this bus.
1. Because this bus chose a relatively less busy route so that the transportation time is supposed to be shortened.
2. You can take a seat every time.
3. You can listen to an audio guide for the places you are going to visit.
4. This bus has stops that are very close to many popular spots such as: Nishi Honganji Temple, Nijo Castle, Kitano Tenamangu Shrine, Teian Jingu, Shimogamo Shrine and so on.
The fee including a rental audio guide (2300 yen/adult, 1000 yen/child) is much higher than the City Bus. However, taking the 4 benefits listed above into consideration, it might be reasonable. And taking a one day tour from a tour company, it will cost more. So for those who want some level of freedom in a comfortable situation, this World Heritage Tour bus can be the best option.
Note: It is possible to buy a ticket on the day, it is advised to make a reservation beforehand. There might be a situation where all the seats are booked, especially during busy season such as the autumn leaves and cherry blossoms viewing periods.
Also, it is better to wake up early and get the first or second bus available at Kyoto station (8:30 and 9:00 respectively) to take full advantage of this service.
For more detailed information, read Kyoto Hop On Off Bus Report.
Or if you rather want to read the guidebook on your Kindle e-book reader or application, then get our Kyoto e-Guidebook on Amazon instead.