What to Do for Two Hours in Kyoto

Two hours in Kyoto. This situation might be rare. However, it is worth knowing, especially for those who need to wait on a train/bus to the airport or a Shinkansen (super express) leaving for the next destination from Kyoto Station. Honestly, it is waste of time and opportunity to just wait. In this situation there are two courses to be considered. Note that whichever option is chosen, it is a good idea to use a luggage keeping service. Or, for those with smaller bags, just use the coin locker. For those with a big suitcase, use this luggage service.

Option 1 Around Kyoto Station

This option is the simpler of the two. First, stow your luggage, depending on the size of your bag. Then exit Kytoto Station from the Karasuma side (Kyoto Tower side). Walk north and visit Higashi Honganji Temple.

Higashi Honganji Temple
Open Hours — 5:50 – 17:30 (March – October) 6:20 – 16:30 (November – February)

After visiting Higashi Honganji Temple, walk back to Kyoto Tower.

Kyoto Tower
Open Hours — 9:00 – 21:00
Price — 770 yen/Adult, 620 yen/High school student, 520 yen/Middle & elementary school student, 150 yen/Child older than 3 y.o.

Go back to Kyoto Station and enjoy gift shopping until the train/bus comes. Don’t forget to claim your luggage.

Option 2 Around City Center

As with the Option 1, it is better to use a luggage service. This option is trickier than Option 1, since taking the subway is required. Find the Subway Karasuma Line. Karasuma Line can be found at both entries, Karasuma or Hachijo. For those on the Hachijo side, find McDonalds and go down the stairs. For those around the Karasuma side (Kyoto Tower side), find the underground shopping center called Porta. The subway station is located on east side of the underground. Buy a ticket (210 yen/Adult, 110 yen/Child) and insert it into the ticket machine. Take the subway bound for Kokusai Kaikan. Get off at Shijo Station and exit the station. From here, a good map is necessary. Find Karasuma street and go north. At the intersection of Rokkaku Street, turn right. Soon enough, Rokkakudo (Chohoji Temple) should be seen.

Open Hours — 6:00 – 17:00

After visiting Rokkakudo, walk west on Rokkaku Street. When you hit the Teramachi arcade, turn right. Go and browse the arcade. When a shrine called Nishiki Tenmagu is seen on the left, turn right and walk through Nishiki market.

Nishiki market

Walk until Karasuma Street can be seen. Go back to Shijo Station. Get a ticket (same price) for subway Karasuma Line, not Hankyu Line. And this time, get on the train bound for Takeda/Shintanabe. Get off at Kyoto Station.

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