japan! kyoto


SIGHTSEEING GUIDE -> KYOTO

Source: japan-guide.com

CENTRAL KYOTO

 1. NIJO CASTLE

The entrance of Nijo Castle is a short walk from Nijojo-mae Station along the Tozai Subway Line.

From Kyoto Station, take the Karasuma Subway Line to Karasuma-Oike Station and transfer to the Tozai Line to Nijojo-mae Station. The whole trip takes about 15 to 20 minutes and costs 250 yen. Alternatively, the castle can be reached from Kyoto Station by Kyoto City Bus numbers 9, 50 or 101 (15-20 minutes, 220 yen one way), or from Shijo Street by Kyoto City Bus number 12 (15 minutes, 220 yen one way from Shijo-Kawaramachi bus stop).

Hours:     8:45 to 17:00 (entry until 16:00)

Closed:    Tuesdays in Jan, Jul, Aug and Dec (or following Wed if Tue is a national holiday)

December 26 to January 4

Admission:              600 yen

English:   Good (English audio guides are available for 500 yen)

2. KYOTO IMPERIAL PALACE

Kyoto Imperial Palace is a ten minute subway ride from Kyoto Station along the Karasuma Subway Line. Get off at Marutamachi or Imadegawa Station. Imadegawa Station is closer to the Imperial Agency Office and the entrance gate of the Imperial Palace.

Free tours of Kyoto Imperial Palace are held several times daily in English and Japanese. No tours are held on Sundays and national holidays. Most Saturdays are also unavailable. Check with the agency for an up to date schedule.

To book a tour, you need to apply in advance with your passport at the Imperial Household Agency Office in the northwestern corner of Kyoto Imperial Park. Reservations are often possible for the same day. The office is open Monday to Friday from 8:45 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00.

Additionally, a small number of tour spots are available for reservation over the agency’s website (see links below), however, these often get booked out far in advance. Online reservations must be completed several days before the intended visit.

Only once a year, Kyoto Imperial Palace can be entered without advance reservation and without joining a tour. In 2011, this will be possible from October 31 to November 6 from 9:00 to 15:30.

3. NISHIKI MARKET

The Nishiki Market street runs parallel to Shijo Avenue, one block north of Shijo Avenue. It can be reached on foot in less than five minutes from Shijo Station on the Karasuma Subway Line (4 minutes, 200 yen from Kyoto Station) or Karasuma or Kawaramachi Stations on the Hankyu Line.

Hours:     Varies by store, typically 9:00 to 18:00

Closed:    Varies by store, typically Wednesday or Sunday

Admission:              Free

4. SENTO IMPERIAL PALACE

Sento Imperial Palace is located within the Kyoto Imperial Park. It can be reached from Kyoto Station in about 10 minutes by the Karasuma Subway Line. Get off at Marutamachi or Imadegawa Station. Both stations are about a 15 minute walk from the entrance gate of Sento Palace, however, Imadegawa Station is closer to the office of the Imperial Household Agency.

Free tours of Sento Imperial Palace are held twice daily at 9:00 and 13:30 in Japanese only. No tours are held on Sundays and national holidays. Most Saturdays are also unavailable. Check with the agency for an up to date schedule.

To book a tour, you need to apply in advance with your passport at the Imperial Household Agency’s office in Kyoto Imperial Park. Reservations are often possible on the same day as the intended visit. The agency office is open Monday to Friday from 8:45 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00.

Additionally, a small number of tour spots are available for reservation over the agency’s website (see links below), however, these often get booked out. Online reservations must be completed several days before the intended visit.

5. PONTOCHO

The closest bus stop to Pontocho is Shijo Kawaramachi, which is served by ten bus lines, including lines 17 and 205 from Kyoto Station. The closest train stations are Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line and Shijo Station on the Keihan Line.

6. HONGANJI TEMPLES

The Honganji temples are located a 10-15 minute walk north of Kyoto Station.

Nishi Honganji

Hours:     5:30 to 17:30 (March, April, September, October)

5:30 to 18:00 (May to August)

6:00 to 17:00 (November to February)

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              Free

Higashi Honganji

Hours:     5:50 to 17:30 (March to October)

6:20 to 16:30 (November to February)

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              Free

Shoseien Garden

Hours:     9:00 to 15:30

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              500 yen

7. KYOTO INTERNATIONAL MANGA MUSEUM

The Kyoto International Manga Museum is located a two minute walk from the Karasuma-Oike Subway Station (5 minutes, 210 yen from Kyoto Station).

Hours:     10:00 to 18:00 (entry until 17:30)

Closed:    Wednesdays (or following day if Wednesday is a national holiday)

New Year holidays, irregular maintenance days

Admission:              500 yen (special exhibitions not included)

8. KYOTO STATION

Kyoto Station is the city’s main railway station, served by all trains of Japan Railways (including shinkansen), Kintetsu Railways and the Karasuma Subway Line. A large bus terminal is located in front of the station building.

9. KYOTO TOWER

Kyoto Tower stands on the north side of Kyoto Station.

Viewing Platform

Hours:     9:00 to 21:00 (entry until 20:40)

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              770 yen

Baths

Hours:     7:30 to 20:30 (entry until 20:00)

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              750 yen (600 yen with online coupon)

EASTERN KYOTO

1.        KIYOMIZUDERA TEMPLE

Kiyomizudera can be reached from Kyoto Station by bus number 100 or 206 (15 minutes, 220 yen). Get off at Kiyomizu-michi bus stop, from where it is a ten minute uphill walk to the temple. Alternatively, Kiyomizudera is about a 20 minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station along the Keihan Railway Line.

Hours:     6:00 to 18:00

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              300 yen

Spring and Fall Illumination

Hours:     18:30 to 21:30 (mid March to mid April and mid November to early December)

Admission:              400 yen

2.        SANJUSANGENDO

Sanjusangendo is located next to the Hakubutsukan-Sanjusangendo-mae bus stop (10 minutes, 220 yen from Kyoto Station by bus numbers 101, 206 or 208) or a five minute walk from Shichijo Station along the Keihan Line. Alternatively, it takes about twenty minutes to walk there from Kyoto Station.

Hours:     8:00 to 17:00 (9:00 to 16:00 from November 16 to March 31)

Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              600 yen

3.        HIGASHIYAMA DISTRICT

From Kyoto Station take bus number 100 or 206 in direction of Kiyomizudera. The Higashiyama district can be accessed from multiple bus stops between the Gojozaka (10 minutes, 220 yen one way) and Gion (15 minutes, 220 yen) bus stops.

Alternatively, the district can be reached in a 10-15 minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station or Gion-Shijo Station along the Keihan Line, from Kawaramachi Station along the Hankyu Line or from Higashiyama Station along the Tozai Subway Line.

4.        GINKAKUJI

Ginkakuji can be accessed by direct bus number 5, 17 or 100 from Kyoto Station in about 35-40 minutes and for 220 yen one way. Alternatively, you can reach Ginkakuji by foot along the Philosopher’s Path from Nanzenji in about 30-45 minutes.

Hours:     8:30 to 17:00 (9:00 to 16:30 from December to February)

Closed:    No closing days.

Admission:              500 yen

5.        GION

Gion can be reached by bus from Kyoto Station in about 20 minutes for 220 yen. Take number 100 and 206 and get off at Gion bus stop. The closest train stations are Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Line and Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line.

Gion Corner

Hours:     March to November: Two shows daily at 19:00 and 20:00

December to February: One show at 19:00 on selected days only

Admission:              3150 yen

6.        PHILOSOPHER’S PATH

The Philosopher’s Path runs between Ginkakuji and the neighborhood of Nanzenji, a 5-10 minute walk north of Nanzenji’s main temple buildings.

7.        KODAIJI TEMPLE

Kodaiji is located in the Higashiyama District between Yasaka Shrine and Kiyomizudera. It is about a 5-10 minute walk from Higashiyama Yasui bus stop (15 minutes, 220 yen from Kyoto Station by bus number 100 or 206).

Kodaiji Temple

Hours:     9:00 to 17:30 (entry until 17:00)

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              600 yen (Kodaiji and Sho Museum)

900 yen (Kodaiji, Sho Museum and Entokuin; 1000 yen from mid Dec to late Mar)

Kodaiji Sho Museum

Hours:     9:30 to 18:00

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              300 yen

Entokuin Temple

Hours:     10:00 to 17:30 (entry until 17:00)

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              500 yen (600 yen from mid December to late March)

8.        SHORENIN TEMPLE

Shorenin is located just beside Chionin Temple, a bit north of Maruyama Park and Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto’s Higashiyama District.

The temple is also a five minute walk from the nearest subway station, Higashiyama Station on the Tozai Line (15 minutes, 250 yen by subway from Kyoto Station via Karasuma-Oike), or a five minute walk from the nearest bus stop, Jingu-michi bus stop (30 minutes, 220 yen from Kyoto Station by Kyoto City Bus number 5 or 100).

Hours:     9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)

Special evening hours during the spring and autumn evening illuminations.

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              500 yen (special fee for evening illuminations)

9.        HEIAN SHRINE

Heian Shrine can be reached by Kyoto City bus number 5 or 100 from Kyoto Station in about half an hour (220 yen). Alternatively, take the subway via Karasuma Oike Station to Higashiyama Station (20 minutes, 250 yen), from where the shrine is a ten minute walk.

Heian Shrine

Hours:     6:00 to 17:30 (closing time varies seasonally by half an hour)

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              Free

Heian Shrine Garden

Hours:     8:30 to 17:00 (closing time varies seasonally by half an hour)

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              600 yen

10.     NANZENJI TEMPLE

Nanzenji is a 5-10 minute walk from the nearest subway station, Keage Station on the Tozai Line (about 20 minutes, 250 yen from Kyoto Station by subway via Karasuma-Oike Station), or a 5-10 minute walk from the nearest bus stop, Nanzenji-Eikando-michi bus stop (35 minutes, 220 yen from Kyoto Station by Kyoto City Bus number 5).

Nanzenji is also located only a short walk from the southern end of the Philosopher’s Path, while Ginkakuji Temple is at the northern end.

Sanmon Gate

Hours:     8:40 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February)

Admission ends 20 minutes before closing time.

Closed:    December 28 to 31

Admission:              500 yen

Hojo

Hours:     8:40 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February)

Admission ends 20 minutes before closing time.

Closed:    December 28 to 31

Admission:              500 yen

Nanzenin

Hours:     8:40 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February)

Admission ends 20 minutes before closing time.

Closed:    December 28 to 31

Admission:              300 yen

Konchi-in Temple

Hours:     8:30 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30 from December to February)

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              400 yen

Tenjuan Temple

Hours:     9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:30 during winter)

Special evening hours during the autumn illumination

November 11 and 12 have limited opening hours

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              400 yen (more expensive during the evening illumination)

11.     CHIONIN TEMPLE

Chionin is located just north of Maruyama Park and Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto’s Higashiyama District.

The temple is also a ten minute walk from the nearest subway station, Higashiyama Station on the Tozai Line (15 minutes, 250 yen from Kyoto Station), or a five minute walk from the nearest bus stop, Chionin-mae bus stop (20 minutes, 220 yen from Kyoto Station by Kyoto City Bus 206).

Chionin Temple

Hours:     Temple buildings are open from 9:00 to 16:00 (until 15:30 from October to February)

Temple grounds are always open

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              Free

Hojo and Yuzen Gardens

Hours:     9:00 to 16:30 (entry until 16:00)

Special evening hours during autumn and spring evening illuminations

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              500 yen (combined ticket), 400 yen (Hojo Garden only), 300 yen (Yuzen Garden only)

12.     MARUYAMA PARK

Maruyama Park can be reached by bus from Kyoto Station in about 20 minutes. Take number 100 or 206 and get off at Gion bus stop. The park is just behind Yasaka Shrine.

Alternatively, the park can be reached in a 15+ minute walk from Kiyomizudera through the narrow lanes of the Higashiyama District.

13.     EIKANDO TEMPLE

Eikando is a 15-20 minute walk from the nearest subway station, Keage Station on the Tozai Line (20 minutes, 250 yen by subway from Kyoto Station via Karasuma-Oike), or a five minute walk from the nearest bus stop, Nanzenji-Eikando-michi bus stop (35 minutes, 220 yen from Kyoto Station by Kyoto City Bus number 5).

Eikando is also near the southern end of the Philosopher’s Path.

Hours:     9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)

Special evening hours during autumn illuminations.

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              600 yen (autumn daytime: 1000 yen, autumn nighttime: 600 yen)

14.     YASAKA SHRINE

Yasaka Shrine can be reached by bus from Kyoto Station in about 20 minutes. Take number 100 or 206 and get off at Gion bus stop. The closest train stations are Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Line and Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line.

Alternatively, the 20-30 minute walk from Kiyomizudera through the narrow lanes of the Higashiyama District to Yasaka Shrine is highly recommended.

Hours:     Always open

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              Free

NORTHERN KYOTO

 1.        KINKAKUJI

Kinkakuji can be accessed from Kyoto Station by direct Kyoto City Bus number 101 or 205 in about 40 minutes and for 220 yen. Alternatively, it can be faster and more reliable to take the Karasuma Subway Line to Kitaoji Station (15 minutes, 250 yen) and take a taxi (10 minutes, around 900 yen) or bus (10 minutes, 220 yen, bus numbers 101, 102, 204 or 205) from there to Kinkakuji.

Hours:     9:00 to 17:00

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              400 yen

2 .  SHUGAKUIN IMPERIAL PALACE

The closest station to Shugakuin is Shugakuin Station on the Eizan Railway Line, from where the villa’s entrance gates can be reached in a 10 to 15 minute walk.

From Kyoto Station, take the JR Nara Line to Tofukuji Station (3 minutes) and transfer to the Keihan Line to its terminus, Demachiyanagi Station (10 minutes). From there, take the Eizan Railways to Shugakuin Station (7 minutes). The entire trip costs 720 yen and takes about 40 minutes.

Free tours of Shugakuin Imperial Villa are held five times daily at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 13:30 and 15:00 in Japanese only. No tours are held on Sundays and national holidays. Most Saturdays are also unavailable. Check with the agency for an up to date schedule.

To book a tour, you need to apply in advance with your passport at the Imperial Household Agency’s office in Kyoto Imperial Park. Reservations are often possible on the same day as the intended visit. The agency office is open Monday to Friday from 8:45 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00.

Additionally, a small number of tour spots are available for reservation over the agency’s website (see links below), however, these often get booked out. Online reservations must be completed several days before the intended visit.

3.        OHARA

From Kyoto Station, the fastest way to reach Ohara is to take the Karasuma Subway Line to its terminal station Kokusaikaikan Station (20 minutes, 280 yen) and then Kyoto Bus number 19 to Ohara (20 minutes, 340 yen, every 40 minutes). Alternatively, Kyoto Bus number 17 provides a direct connection from Kyoto Station to Ohara (60 minutes, 580 yen, every 20 minutes) via Shijo-Kawaramachi (45 minutes, 510 yen). The bus rides are not covered by the 1-day bus pass.

4.        RYOANJI TEMPLE

From Kyoto Station Ryoanji can be reached directly by JR bus. The bus ride takes about 30 minutes, costs 220 yen and is covered by the Japan Rail Pass. There are buses every 15-30 minutes. Alternatively, Ryoanji is a five minute bus ride or 15 minute walk west of Kinkakuji.

The temple can also be reached by the Keifuku Kitano Line, a small train that runs through the calm residential areas of northwestern Kyoto and offers a connection to Arashiyama. To access Ryoanji, get off at Ryoanji-michi Station from where it is a 5-10 minute walk to the temple.

Hours:     8:00 to 17:00 (8:30 to 16:30 from December through February)

Closed:    No closing dates

Admission:              500 yen

5.        KURAMA

Kurama is connected with central Kyoto by Eizan Railway. The one way trip along the Eizan Kurama Line from Demachi-Yanagi Station to Kurama Station takes 30 minutes and costs 410 Yen. Trains depart every 15 to 20 minutes.

In order to access Kibune, get off at the second last station, Kibune-guchi Station, from where you can walk to Kibune along the road in about 20-30 minutes or take Kyoto Bus number 33 (5 minutes, 160 Yen).

The fastest way to reach Demachi-Yanagi Station from Kyoto Station is by taking the JR Nara Line to Tofukuji Station (140 Yen, 2 minutes), where you can transfer to the Keihan Main Line to Demachi-Yanagi Station (260 Yen, 10 minutes).

6.        ENRYAKUJI TEMPLE

Getting there

Enryakuji is located on Mount Hieizan, which lies on the border of Kyoto Prefecture and Shiga Prefecture. The mountain can be ascended from either the Kyoto side by Eizan Cablecar, or from the Shiga side by Sakamoto Cablecar. There is also a toll road that leads up to the temple, which is used by buses.

By Eizan Cablecar and Ropeway

Take the Eizan Main Line from Demachi-yanagi Station in northeastern Kyoto to Yase-Hieizan-guchi Station (15 minutes, 260 yen). From there, take the Eizan Cablecar and Eizan Ropeway to the summit of Hieizan (15-20 minutes, 840 yen one way, 1640 yen round trip). From the summit, it is another 5 minute bus ride or 30 minute walk to the Todo area.

By Sakamoto Cablecar

Take the JR Kosei Line from Kyoto Station to Hiei-Sakamoto Station (15 minutes, 320 yen one way), from where it is a 15 minute walk or 5 minute bus ride to the lower station of the Sakamoto Cablecar. The cablecar ride takes 11 minutes and costs 840 yen one way or 1570 yen for a round trip. From the upper station, Hieizan’s Todo area can be reached in a 5-10 minute walk.

By Bus

There are direct buses from Kyoto Station and Keihan Sanjo Station to Hieizan’s Todo area. The one way trip takes about one hour and costs 750 yen from Kyoto Station. There are 8-11 buses per day, except from December through mid March, when there are only three buses per day.

Hours:     8:30 to 16:30 (March to November)

9:00 to 16:00 (December)

9:00 to 16:30 (January and February)

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              550 yen (additional 450 yen for treasure house)

7.        SANZENIN TEMPLE

Sanzenin Temple is located a ten minute walk uphill from Ohara bus stop.

From Kyoto Station, the fastest way to reach Ohara is to take the Karasuma Subway Line to its terminal station Kokusaikaikan Station (20 minutes, 280 yen) and then Kyoto City Bus number 19 to Ohara (20 minutes, 340 yen, every 40 minutes). Alternatively, Kyoto City Bus number 17 provides a direct connection from Kyoto Station to Ohara (60 minutes, 580 yen, every 20 minutes) via Shijo-Kawaramachi (45 minutes, 510 yen). The bus rides are not covered by the 1-day bus pass.

Hours:     8:30 to 17:30 (until 16:30 from December to February)

Admission closes 30 minutes before closing time.

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              700 yen

8.        NINNAJI TEMPLE

Ninnaji is a ten minute walk west of Ryoanji Temple and just a few steps from Omuro Station on the Keifuku Kitano Line, a small, tram like train, which connects Arashiyama with the Kitano district.

Hours:     9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February)

Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              500 yen (Goten palace buildings); admission to the rest of the grounds is free except during the cherry blossom season when a 500 yen admission fee applies.

9.        TAKAO

Takao is connected with central Kyoto by local JR buses and Kyoto City Bus.

JR buses for Takao leave from Kyoto Station every 20 to 30 minutes, cost 500 yen, and should take 50 minutes to get to Takao. The bus can also be boarded at several stops along the way, including JR Nijo Station and Omuro Ninnaji bus stop. The bus is covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

Takao can also be reached by Kyoto City Bus #8. It departs from Shijo Karasuma every 30 to 60 minutes, costs 500 yen, and should take 45 minutes. Because Takao is outside the flat fare zone of the Kyoto City Bus network, the one-day bus pass will not fully cover the transportation fee.

All buses stop at Takao bus stop (known as Yamashiro-Takao in case of JR buses), which is most convenient for accessing Jingoji and Saimyoji. While Kyoto City Buses terminate at Takao bus stop, JR buses continue to run deeper into the valley and two minutes later stop at Toganoo bus stop, which is most convenient for accessing Kozanji.

Jingoji

Hours:     9:00 to 17:00 (entrance until 16:00)

Closed:    no closing days

Admission:              500 Yen

Saimyoji

Hours:     9:00 to 17:00

Closed:    no closing days

Admission:              400 yen

Kozanji

Hours:     8:30 to 17:00

Closed:    no closing days

Admission:              Free for grounds, 600 Yen for entrance into the Sekisui-in.

During the fall season entrance onto the grounds is 400 yen.

10.     DAITOKUJI TEMPLE

From Kyoto Station

Daitokuji is located next to Daitokuji-mae bus stop (45 minutes, 220 yen by bus numbers 101, 205 or 206 from Kyoto Station) or a five minute walk from Kitaoji-Horikawa bus stop (30 minutes, 220 yen by bus number 9 from Kyoto Station). Alternatively, take the Karasuma Subway Line to Kitaoji Station (13 minutes, 250 yen) from where you can reach the temple in a short bus ride (220 yen) or 15 minute walk.

Daisenin

Hours:     9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February)

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              400 yen

Ryogenin

Hours:     9:00 to 16:30

Closed:    No closing dates

Admission:              350 yen

Kotoin

Hours:     9:00 to 16:00

Closed:    Small number of irregular closing days

Admission:              400 yen

Zuihoin

Hours:     9:00 to 17:00

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              400 yen

11.     KAMO SHRINES

Shimogamo Shrine is a 15 minute walk from Demachiyanagi Station on the Keihan Line. Kyoto City Bus #4 bound for Kamigamojinja can be taken from the station to Shimogamojinja Mae bus stop for 220 yen. The bus ride takes 5 minutes and the stop is directly beside the shrine.

Kamigamo Shrine can be reached in about 30 minutes from either Demachiyanagi Station or Shimogamo Shrine (Shimogamojinja Mae bus stop) on the Kyoto City Bus #4 bound for Kamigamojinja. It can also be reached from the Kitayama Station on the Karasuma Subway Line. It is about a 15 minute walk from the station, or a 10 minute bus ride on the #4 bus. A bus ticket costs 220 yen.

Shimogamo Shrine

Closed: no closing days

Admission: free

Kamigamo Shrine

Closed: no closing days

Admission: free

12.     KITANO TENMANGU SHRINE

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine can be directly reached by Kyoto City Bus number 101 from Kyoto Station (220 yen, 30 to 45 min). An indirect but perhaps quicker route is to take the Karasuma Subway Line to Imadegawa Station and catch the 102 or 203 bus to the shrine. In either case get off at the Kitano Tenmangumae bus stop.

Another alternative route would be to take bus number 205 from Kyoto Station to Kitanohakubaicho Station on the Keifuku Rail Line. It is a short walk from the station to the shrine.

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Hours: Daily 5:00 to 18:00 (5:30 to 17:30 in winter)

Flea Market

Hours: 25th of every month, 6:00 to 21:00

Plum Grove

Open: Early February to late March

Hours: 10:00 to 16:00

Admission: 600 yen

WESTERN KYOTO

1.        KATSURA IMPERIAL VILLA

Katsura Rikyu is located in western Kyoto, a 15 minute walk from Katsura Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line. Alternatively, you can reach the villa by Kyoto City Bus number 33 from Kyoto Station in about 20 minutes. Get off at “Katsura Rikyu-mae” bus stop.

Free tours of Katsura Imperial Villa are held several times daily in Japanese only. No tours are held on Sundays and national holidays. Most Saturdays are also unavailable. Check with the agency for an up to date schedule.

To book a tour, you need to apply in advance with your passport at the Imperial Household Agency’s office in Kyoto Imperial Park. Reservations are often possible on the same day as the intended visit. The agency office is open Monday to Friday from 8:45 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00.

Additionally, a small number of tour spots are available for reservation over the agency’s website (see links below), however, these often get booked out. Online reservations must be completed several days before the intended visit.

2. ARASHIYAMA

By Japan Railways (JR)

The fastest access from Kyoto Station to Arashiyama is provided by the JR Sagano Line (also known as JR Sanin Line). The one way ride to Saga-Arashiyama Station takes 15 minutes and costs 230 yen. From Saga-Arashiyama Station, central Arashiyama can be reached in a 5-10 minute walk.

By Keifuku Railways (Randen)

The small trains on the Keifuku Arashiyama Line connect Arashiyama with Omiya Station at the intersection of Shijo Street and Omiya Street in central Kyoto (20 minutes, 200 yen). Keifuku Railways also provides access to Kitanohakubaicho Station in northern Kyoto, not far from Kinkakuji, Ryoanji and Ninnaji Temples (20-30 minutes, 200 yen). One transfer of trains is required along the way. Keifuku Arashiyama Station is located in the very center of Arashiyama.

By Hankyu Railways

From Kawaramachi or Karasuma Station in central Kyoto (Shijo Street), take the Hankyu Main Line to Katsura Station and transfer to the Hankyu Arashiyama Line for Arashiyama. The one way trip takes about 20 minutes and costs 220 yen. Hankyu Arashiyama Station is located on the opposite side of the river, about a 5-10 minute walk from central Arashiyama.

By bus

Bus lines connect Arashiyama with several parts of Kyoto, however, it is recommended to access Arashiyama by train to avoid the risk of getting stuck in traffic jams.

3. MYOSHINJI TEMPLE

The temple grounds of Myoshinji are a five minute walk from JR Hanazono Station (10 minutes, 190 yen from Kyoto Station) or a three minute walk from Myoshinji Station along the Keifuku Kitano Line. Ryoanji Temple is a 10-15 minute walk from Myoshinji.

Guided Tours

Hours:     Every 20 minutes from 9:00 to 16:00 (except around lunch)

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              500 yen

Taizoin Temple

Hours:     9:00 to 17:00

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              500 yen

Keishunin Temple

Hours:     9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from November to February)

Closed:    Some irregular closing days

Admission:              400 yen

Daishinin Temple

Hours:     9:00 to 17:00

Closed:    Some irregular closing days

Admission:              300 yen

4.        YOSHIMINEDERA TEMPLE

To reach Yoshiminedera, take either the JR Kyoto Line from Kyoto Station to Mukomachi Station (7 minutes, 170 yen) or the Hankyu Kyoto Line from central Kyoto to Higashimuko Station (20 minutes, 220 yen). From either station, the temple can be reached by Hankyu Bus #66 in 30 minutes and for 340 yen one way.

Note that bus #66 operates only four times per day on weekdays and 7-8 times per day on weekends and during the cherry blossom season in April, the hydrangea season in June, the autumn leaf season in November and the New Year holidays. There are no buses, at all, from January 6 to the end of February.

Hours:     8:00 to 17:00

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              500 yen

5.        TENRYUJI TEMPLE

Tenryuji is just a short walk from the Keifuku Arashiyama Station, which is connected by the small Keifuku trains (also referred to as Randen) with the Ryoanji/Kinkakuji area and Omiya Station along Shijo-dori Street. The temple can also be reached in a 5-10 minute walk from JR Saga-Arashiyama Station, which is connected with Kyoto Station by train (10-15 minutes, 230 yen).

Hours:     8:30 to 17:30 (until 17:00 from late October to late March)

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              500 yen (an extra 100 yen for entrance into the temple buildings)

6.        TOEI UZUMASA EIGAMURA

The Toei Eigamura is a 5 minute walk from Uzumasa Station on the Keifuku Arashiyama Line (10 minutes, 200 Yen from Shijo-Omiya or Arashiyama) or a 15 minute walk from JR Hanazono Station (10 minutes, 190 Yen from Kyoto Station).

It can also be reached in about half an hour by Kyoto City Bus 75 or Kyoto Bus 71, 72 or 73 from Kyoto Station or by Kyoto City Bus 11 or 91 or Kyoto Bus 61, 62 or 63 from Shijo Avenue in central Kyoto.

Hours:     9:00 to 17:00 (9:30 to 16:00 December through February)

Closed:    December 27 to 31

Admission:              2200 yen

SOUTHERN KYOTO

1.        FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE

Fushimi Inari Shrine is located just outside JR Inari Station, the second station from Kyoto Station along the JR Nara Line (5 minutes, 140 yen one way from Kyoto Station, not served by rapid trains). The shrine can also be reached in a short walk from Fushimi Inari Station along the Keihan Main Line.

Hours:     Always open

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              Free

2.        BYODOIN TEMPLE

Byodoin is a 10-15 minute walk from JR Uji Station on the JR Nara Line. There are frequent local and rapid trains between Kyoto and Uji, taking between 15 and 25 minutes and costing 230 Yen for the one way trip.

Alternatively you can take the Keihan Uji Line from central Kyoto (Shijo Station) to Uji. The one way trip takes 30 minutes and costs 300 Yen. Byodoin is a 5 minute walk from Keihan Uji Station.

Hours:     8:30 to 17:30

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              600 yen

3.        TOFUKUJI TEMPLE

Tofukuji is a ten minute walk from Tofukuji Station on the JR Nara Line (2 minutes, 140 yen from Kyoto Station) and the Keihan Main Line. Alternatively, the temple is a ten minute walk from Tofukuji bus stop (15 minutes, 220 yen from Kyoto Station by Kyoto City Bus 208).

Tsutenkyo Bridge and Kaisando Hall

Hours:     9:00 to 16:00 (until 16:30 during November)

Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              400 yen

Hojo and gardens

Hours:     9:00 to 16:00 (until 16:30 during November)

Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              400 yen

4.        DAIGOJI TEMPLE

Daigoji Temple is located a 15 minute walk or short bus ride (200 yen, every 20 minutes) from Daigo Station along the Tozai Subway Line. From Kyoto Station, take a JR train to Yamashina Station (5 minutes, 180 yen) and transfer to the Tozai Subway Line (8 minutes, 250 yen).

Sanboin, Shimo Daigo and Reihokan Museum (lower grounds)

Hours:     9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:00 from early December through February)

Admission ends 30 minutes before closing

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              600 yen each for Sanboin, Shimo Daigo and Reihokan Museum

1000 yen combination ticket for Sanboin and Shimo Daigo

1500 yen combination ticket for Sanboin, Shimo Daigo and the Reihokan Museum

Kami Daigo (upper grounds)

Hours:     Entry from 9:00 to 16:00 (until 15:00 from December through February)

Everybody must return to the base of the mountain by 17:00

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              600 yen

5.        TOJI TEMPLE

Toji is located a 15 minute walk southwest of Kyoto Station. Alternatively, it can be reached in a five minute walk from Toji Station along the Kintetsu Kyoto Line (2 minutes, 150 yen from Kyoto Station).

Hours:     8:30 to 17:30 (until 16:30 from mid September to mid March)

Admission ends 30 minutes before closing.

Closed:    No closing days

Admission:              500 yen (800 yen during special openings of the pagoda)

6.        MAMPUKUJI TEMPLE

Mampukuji is a 5 minute walk from JR Obaku Station on the JR Nara Line. There are two local trains per hours between Kyoto and Obaku Station, which take about 25 minutes and cost 230 Yen one way.

Alternatively you can take the Keihan Uji Line from central Kyoto (Shijo Station) to Keihan Obaku Station. The one way trip takes 30 minutes and costs 300 Yen, and Mampukuji is a 5-10 minute walk from the station.

About kcplanet

Female. Indonesian. Love reading, traveling, listening to music, watching movies.

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