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Kyoto area transportation ?

Kyoto area transportation ?

Old Jan 3, 19, 11:29 pm
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Kyoto area transportation ?

Have a few questions about saving on transportation in the Kyoto prefecture/region.

Will be arriving at Maizuru by cruise ship, heading to Kyoto for a 4 nights before flying out of KIX.

I believe I need a Suica card and a Kyoto rail pass of some sort to minimize transportation costs. Will just be within Kyoto and not planning to go out to visit temple areas. Any idea where I should buy these (or does it not matter until I get to Kyoto)?

Not sure where the ship docks in Maizuru but it looks like near Higashi-Maizuru station. I think there are either non-stop or one stop local/LE trains to Kyoto.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 2:00 am
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Unlike other posters, I only have a passing familiarity with Kyoto. But when I have been there, the only time I took a train as local transport was to get to and from the village of Kurama.
It depends on where you are staying and what your plans are, but I regard Kyoto as more of a bus city.
Here are the main points as I understand them:

There is an excellent pass for the Kansai area - the Kansai Thru Pass. It makes places like Himeji Castle extremely accessible. 4,000 yen for two days (5,200 for 3). A return trip to Himeji would normally be 3,200 (Karasuma to SanyoHimeji, about 135mins each way), so good potential for savings - just as long as you do make a longer trip or two during your stay. Covers most buses and the independent rail lines.
Link to pass details - KANSAI THRU PASS (English) | Ticket&Goods | SURUTTO KANSAI
And transport covered - KANSAI THRU PASS (English) | Ticket&Goods | SURUTTO KANSAI
The Kansai Thru Pass also offers discounts on admission at a very wide range of places. For instance, a 200 yen discount on entrance to Himeji castle. Details can be found here - http://www.surutto.com/images/ticket...facilities.pdf
(Don’t forget to look into the BIC Camera deal)

For local travel, there is the daily bus pass (600yen) https://www2.city.kyoto.lg.jp/kotsu/..._card_bus.html

Suica is a JR East brand, for Kansai it’s ICOCA.

There is a daily Kyoto bus and rail pass, but it’s about 1,200yen. I guess it would work for some visitors, but I can’t put myself in a scenario where it would make sense. As I said, am not a Kyoto expert.

Last edited by LapLap; Jan 4, 19 at 4:42 am
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Old Jan 4, 19, 3:44 am
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Unfortunately, the Kansai Thru Pass doesn't cover JR trains, so a fast JR Shinkansen trip to Himeji or Hiroshima isn't included.

Japan-Guide is great for figuring out your transport options. Check out the Kansai One Pass, which is a tourist-only ICOCA with discounts to most popular places.
Kansai Thru Pass
Rail Passes for the Kansai Region

For groups of 2 or more without rail passes, I would advise riding taxis from Kyoto station to the eastern and northern sites. It can save time and aggravation in periods of peak Chinese crowds and cold.

Last edited by FlitBen; Jan 4, 19 at 5:51 am
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Old Jan 4, 19, 7:31 am
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The information from your cruise company should indicates which port at Maizuru your ship will dock. However, there is scheduled ferry service at Maizuru and that ferry uses the port which is 2.3 km (1.4 miles) from JR Higashi-Maizuru station.

There are direct express trains between Maizuru and Kyoto.

Maizuru No. 2
Higashi-Maizuru: 6:40 a.m.
Kyoto: 8:21 a.m.

Maizuru No. 4
Higashi-Maizuru: 8:24 a.m.
Kyoto: 10:07 a.m.

Maizuru No. 6
Higashi-Maizuru: 10:27 a.m.
Kyoto: 12:07 noon

Maizuru No. 8
Higashi-Maizuru: 12:28 noon
Kyoto: 2:07 p.m.

Maizuru No. 10
Higashi-Maizuru: 2:27 p.m.
Kyoto: 4:07 p.m.

Maizuru No. 12
Higashi-Maizuru: 4:25 p.m.
Kyoto: 6:08 p.m.

Maizuru No. 14
Higashi-Maizuru: 6:36 p.m.
Kyoto: 8:21 p.m.

Without knowing your plan during your stay at Kyoto it will be difficult to say which mode of fare paying system will be best for your need. It is possible that paying for the ride individually will be cheaper than buying a pass.

ICOCA is convenient, does not have to buy a ticket from a ticket machine every time you ride a train, but does not offer any significant discount. Personally, I do not think if it is worth it for stay of 3-4 days, when considering initial purchase procedure and return procedure.

There are few different passes which provide unlimited ride in Kansai area. But again, as other have already mention, it all depends on your specific plan during your stay at Kyoto. It is possible that buying ticket individually will end up cheaper than buying those passes.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 10:13 am
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
Have a few questions about saving on transportation in the Kyoto prefecture/region.

Will be arriving at Maizuru by cruise ship, heading to Kyoto for a 4 nights before flying out of KIX.

I believe I need a Suica card and a Kyoto rail pass of some sort to minimize transportation costs. Will just be within Kyoto and not planning to go out to visit temple areas. Any idea where I should buy these (or does it not matter until I get to Kyoto)?

Not sure where the ship docks in Maizuru but it looks like near Higashi-Maizuru station. I think there are either non-stop or one stop local/LE trains to Kyoto.
It really does depend on your plans for Kyoto. If you stick to Kyoto and vicinity--adding Hiroshima and Himeji on this trip would be too much in too little time, unless you're unusually energetic--you have two intercity trains, the one from Maizuru to Kyoto and the Haruka to KIX. You may as well just buy single tickets for those trips. Higashi-Maizuru to Kyoto costs 4060 by the fastest train, and the Haruka to KIX costs 3570, neither of which should break the bank. The total cost is less than US$70.

Within Kyoto, the daily bus pass is the best deal. The train is handy for going to Arashiyama and Mt. Hiei, but the distances are short enough that single tickets will cost very little.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 12:17 pm
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Thaks all. We will be staying close to the immediate Kyoto area and probably not wandering "far" to Himeji or Nara.

A few further questions:
I was referred to this on another site. Does one really need to reserve at ICOCA card? Actually looks like it isn't an issue as that's only for a KIX P/U.
https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/icoca-haruka/

What's handy is saving on the OW Haruka ride to KIX (JPY 2,000 saving, fare is down to JPY 1,600). The website doesn't state clearly but can one assume you go to a ticket counter, show that you're not a resident of Japan, and buy the ICOCA and Haruka tickets at the same time?

As for the LE from Maizuru to Kyoto, it apears that you have to buy a fare and then a supplement for reserved or unreserved seats? What is the difference between reserved and unreserved seat tickets (besides the obvious)? Looks like we'll be embarking from the 1st or 2nd stop so is reserved seating necessary?
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Old Jan 7, 19, 3:21 pm
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Not sure there is really any cost savings with any of the passes for your trip. I'd get an IC card just for convenience though.


Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
Thaks all. We will be staying close to the immediate Kyoto area and probably not wandering "far" to Himeji or Nara.

A few further questions:
I was referred to this on another site. Does one really need to reserve at ICOCA card? Actually looks like it isn't an issue as that's only for a KIX P/U.
https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/icoca-haruka/

What's handy is saving on the OW Haruka ride to KIX (JPY 2,000 saving, fare is down to JPY 1,600). The website doesn't state clearly but can one assume you go to a ticket counter, show that you're not a resident of Japan, and buy the ICOCA and Haruka tickets at the same time?
You just walk to the ticket office at KIX. There's a gigantic ticket office on the right of the vending machines where you buy your IC card and train ticket to Kyoto. Get the Kansai One Pass. You have to ask for it.

Kansai One Pass is an ICOCA card and costs 2000 yen. 1500 yen credit and 500 yen deposit.
There's a 220 yen handling fee. The 500 yen deposit can be refunded at JR ticket offices.

Make sure you use the Haruka discount for the train ticket.

Last edited by CrazyInteg; Jan 7, 19 at 3:27 pm
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Old Jan 7, 19, 5:07 pm
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Won't be arriving in Japan by air. Will arrive by ship at Maizuru but depart by air from KIX.

The ICOCA card will require JPY 2,000 upfront but I should get back JPY 1,780 even if unused (just JPY 220 refund fee) and I return it at KIX when I leave and there's the convenience factor as mentioned. The big draw is the discounted Haruka ticket from Kyoto to KIX is JPY 1,600 instead of ~JPY 3,700 for residents.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 5:52 pm
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The JR visitor center at Kyoto station sells the one-day pass that includes the Haruka at a discount, the regular ticket windows don't. You will need to show them your passport.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 11:49 pm
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
Thaks all. We will be staying close to the immediate Kyoto area and probably not wandering "far" to Himeji or Nara.

A few further questions:
I was referred to this on another site. Does one really need to reserve at ICOCA card? Actually looks like it isn't an issue as that's only for a KIX P/U.
https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/icoca-haruka/

What's handy is saving on the OW Haruka ride to KIX (JPY 2,000 saving, fare is down to JPY 1,600). The website doesn't state clearly but can one assume you go to a ticket counter, show that you're not a resident of Japan, and buy the ICOCA and Haruka tickets at the same time?
The ICOCA & Haruka deal seems like the best option for your last-day ride to KIX. Get the package at Kyoto Station's JR travel center once you arrive there, as others advise. You might specify the ICOCA portion as the Kansai One Pass version, to avail of discounts at various sites around the city.

ICOCA is good for buying stuff at most vending machines and convenience stores like Family Mart, Lawsons, 7-Eleven, etc. You might as well use it to stock up on drinks on your last day, keep the card for reloading during another trip (it's good for 10 years).

Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach
As for the LE from Maizuru to Kyoto, it appears that you have to buy a fare and then a supplement for reserved or unreserved seats? What is the difference between reserved and unreserved seat tickets (besides the obvious)? Looks like we'll be embarking from the 1st or 2nd stop so is reserved seating necessary?
The supplement covers the nice features of the 'limited express' train from Higashimaizuru to Kyoto. There would be little physical difference between reserved or unreserved seats, except that the reserved cabins are less likely to be crowded. I'd pay the small difference in price for the assurance of reserved seats.

It would have been more affordable and convenient to get a 1-day JR Kansai Area Pass instead for JPY2300, which gains you unlimited access to the same and other LTD EXP and lesser trains in the region. But it isn't available at Higashimaizuru station.

Last edited by FlitBen; Jan 8, 19 at 2:56 am
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Old Jan 10, 19, 3:33 am
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Seems like there are lots of options. Here I thought I would whip out the PASMO and be good to go. I guess not in Kyoto.

We are arriving at KIX and staying at the RC Kyoto during Chinese New Year. About to start to look into plans as to what we want to see. Need to minimize walking due to an injury. Sounds like buses will be a go-to option rather than trains.

We would like to get to see some snow. Any of these various transportation options better than others to find some place not far away (1.5-2 hours away) with snow?

Lastly, in case it factors into the options, we are flying out of NGO which means we will leave the hotel around 6:40AM to get to NGO by shinkansen to Meitetsu from what I've read in one of the other threads.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 4:28 am
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Originally Posted by yosithezet View Post
Seems like there are lots of options. Here I thought I would whip out the PASMO and be good to go. I guess not in Kyoto.

We are arriving at KIX and staying at the RC Kyoto during Chinese New Year. About to start to look into plans as to what we want to see. Need to minimize walking due to an injury. Sounds like buses will be a go-to option rather than trains.

We would like to get to see some snow. Any of these various transportation options better than others to find some place not far away (1.5-2 hours away) with snow?

Lastly, in case it factors into the options, we are flying out of NGO which means we will leave the hotel around 6:40AM to get to NGO by shinkansen to Meitetsu from what I've read in one of the other threads.
If you have mobility problems but are moving together then taxis will be an option. Especially to and from the Kiyomizu-dera and Maruyama areas, where they are readily found.

A collapsible walking stick might help you get up and down hilly steps.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 4:31 am
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Originally Posted by yosithezet View Post
Seems like there are lots of options. Here I thought I would whip out the PASMO and be good to go. I guess not in Kyoto.

We are arriving at KIX and staying at the RC Kyoto during Chinese New Year. About to start to look into plans as to what we want to see. Need to minimize walking due to an injury. Sounds like buses will be a go-to option rather than trains..
Why can't you just use PASMO in Kyoto? I can easily use my Suica in Kyoto, just as if I were in Tokyo (bus/trains/combini etc).

The tourist office also sells a one-day bus pass for 600 yen and a combined train/bus pass for 900 yen. Buses however are always crowded
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Old Jan 10, 19, 8:16 am
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Post 2 says you need ICOCA rather than SUICA?
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Old Jan 10, 19, 9:15 am
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Originally Posted by yosithezet View Post
Post 2 says you need ICOCA rather than SUICA?
You don't need an ICOCA card in Kansai, as SUICA should still work, but you can get a slight discount on a train ride with the ICOCA / Haruka deal. If OP is just going to be in Kansai, then just get the IC card.

https://insideosaka.com/prepaid-card...ica-and-pasmo/
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