Kiyomizu-dera Kyoto
Photo: Snitz/Unsplash

Kyoto now has express buses going direct to top tourist attractions

The new transport service will hopefully help ease traffic congestion for tourists and local residents

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada

Ever since Japan reopened to the world after the pandemic, the country has seen a massive influx of tourists, especially in popular cities like Tokyo and Kyoto. Kyoto, in particular, seems to be struggling with its overwhelming tourist numbers. There’s been major crowding on public transport, and the city’s local buses are hit the hardest.

Kyoto’s train network is not as extensive as that in Tokyo, so buses are an integral part of getting around the city for locals and visitors alike. As reported by The Japan Times, the Unesco World Heritage Site has launched an express bus service on June 1 to take tourists to popular temples and sightseeing attractions directly from Kyoto Station. With these new express buses, the city is looking to help reduce crowding and ease the stress of locals who depend on city buses for their daily commutes.

Gion neighbourhood in Kyoto
Photo: Richie Chan/DreamstimeThe Gion neighbourhood in Kyoto

The Sightseeing Limited Express Buses run only on weekends, national holidays and during Japan's summer obon and year-end/New Year holidays. The fare is set at ¥500 for adults and ¥250 for children, per trip. Destinations include popular sights such as Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Ginkaku-ji temples and the Gion district. 

Another good thing is that the new sightseeing express bus service is included in Kyoto's existing ¥1,100 (¥550 for children) single-day transport pass, which also allows for rides on Kyoto's subway and buses.

The bus service has two routes: 

Sightseeing Limited Express Bus EX100
This bus starts at Kyoto Station (D1 bus stop) and has a total of ten stops. It stops at Gojo-zaka for Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Okazaki Koen Bijutsukan/Heian Jingu-mae for Heian Jingu Shrine, Ginkakuji-michi for Ginkakuji Temple, and Gion for the neighbourhood as well as Yasaka Jinja Shrine.

Sightseeing Limited Express Bus EX101
This bus route starts at Kyoto Station (D1 bus stop) and goes directly to Kiyomizu-dera Temple (Gojo-zaka stop).

The first bus departs Kyoto Station at 9.04am, with the last bus leaving Ginkakuji-michi for Kyoto Station at 5.09pm.

For more details on the Sightseeing Limited Express Bus, visit the website.

This article was published on March 13 2024 and updated on June 3 2024.

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