Kyoto City Bus is the most convenient and cheapest transportation method in Kyoto, other than walking. There are certain disadvantages (for example, it gets very busy and takes time), but for most people, this will be the main option for sightseeing in Kyoto. The following are five important points you need to consider when taking a City Bus in Kyoto.
Get One Day Pass
For those taking the City Bus at least 3 times in one day, then it is wise to buy a One Day Pass. It costs only 500 yen/adult 250 yen/child, and the holder of this card can take the City Bus and Kyoto Bus (cream body with red line) as many times as they like for one day. Although it is limited to certain areas, most sightseeing spots are covered, including Arashiyama. This pass is available at information centers at bus/subway stations. When taking a bus for the first time, it is required to slip the card into the machine near the exit when getting off. From the second time, just show the backside of the pass, which now has the date imprinted, to the bus driver.
For people using the One Day Pass, this is not a problem, but when taking a City Bus without the pass, it is very important to make sure you have enough coins in your wallet. This is due to the fact that the payment machine on the buses does not give change. Which means, every passenger has to have exactly 230 yen/adult (120 yen). There is a money changing machine on the bus, but it only accept 500 yen coins and one thousand yen bills.
Plan Very Carefully
Although there are thousands of spots to see in Kyoto, the level of popularity is different. For those who want to see popular spots without a big crowd, it is advised to visit in the morning, preferably as soon as they open. Especially Kinkakuji Temple and Ginkakuji Temple can not be accessed by other transportation methods, which means one of these spots should be visited the earliest. Just like this, it is very important to plan the route very carefully.
Walk When Possible
As explained above, City Bus with a One Day Pass could be the most useful transportation method in Kyoto. However, when the next sightseeing spot is within walking distance, it is better to walk. In fact, depending on the distance and traffic situation, walking might be faster. For example, when planning to visit Kiyomizudera Temple, Kodaiji Temple and Yasaka Shrine, taking a bus after visiting each place is not a good idea. It is much better to walk.
Know Beforehand That It will Be Crowded
As you can imagine by now, there is a high chance that the City Bus is going to be crowded. This is actually normal. So, don’t be panic or frustrated when it happens. If it is something that can’t be tolerated, walk or use other transportation methods such as a taxi or a train.