JR train in Kyoto with jr pass from kyoto station. Where can you go with JR pass for getting around Kyoto by train. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

So, you’re going from Tokyo to Kyoto with a JR pass.

Or maybe Hiroshima to Kyoto.

 

 

Can you use your JR pass for trains in Kyoto?!

JR train in Kyoto with jr pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

Yes, there ARE some top Kyoto attractions that you can visit using your JR pass.

There are different train companies in Kyoto, and there is a “JR” train too.

 

The “JR train” is the ONLY train you’ll be able to use your JR pass.

 

JR train in Kyoto with jr pass from kyoto station. Where can you go with JR pass for getting around Kyoto by train. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

The JR train lines don’t go everywhere, but if you want to maximize the use of your JR pass when you are in Kyoto, there there are a few places that you can go taking the JR train.

There’s a subway system in Kyoto, and your JR pass won’t be good for that.

To know which your JR pass is good for, the train will say that it’s “JR” and that’s how you’ll know whether you’ll be able to use your JR pass for any given train.

When you’re looking at Google Maps, it’ll say “JR” in front of the train line, so be sure to look out for that. If you look on google maps of any of the places listed below from Kyoto Station and don’t see “JR” then you might need to adjust the departure time so it’ll show up. The immediately departing trains may not include the JR trains.

Google Maps can be a pretty reliable way for getting around Kyoto by public transportation.

 

There are also limited places to go taking the JR bus in Kyoto too.

 

 

πŸ—ΎπŸšŠ

Side note! Among the top 3 things people get specific for a trip to Japan?! ONE- JR pass for quick and easy long distance train travel (see price here and see here how to calculate train routes to figure out it's worth it for you), TWO- pocket wifi to make travel in Japan easier (see price here), and THREE- travel insurance for natural disasters just in case especially for travel disruptions (see price here and see here for past natural disaster that affected foreigners). (partner websites) And if you're in Japan for FOOD, be sure to see cooking classes in Japan too. And finally, be sure to see more quick Kyoto travel tips if it's your first trip to Japan, as well as ideas for how to spend winter in Japan - 10 day winter itinerary with the Japan Alps and 7 day winter itinerary in Hokkaido!

 

 

Now…

 

4 best places to visit by train around Kyoto with a JR pass

 

 

1. Arashiyama

JR train in Kyoto. Kyoto station to Arashiyama with JR pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

Arashiyama is an area of Kyoto, and you can get to Arashiyama by JR train.

 

JR train in Kyoto to saga arashiyama station with jr pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

You can make Arashiyama a half day trip, or you can find things to do to spend a full day in Arashiyama too. See the tourist map for Arashiyama.

 

 

Some of the top things to do in Arashiyama…

 

Bamboo forest

JR train in Kyoto. Kyoto station to arashiyama bamboo forest with JR pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

Tenryuji Temple

JR train in Kyoto. Kyoto station to Tenryuji temple with JR pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

Okochi Sanso Japanese Gardens (and teahouse!)

JR train in Kyoto. Kyoto station to Okochi sanso japanese garden with JR pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

Monkey park

JR train in Kyoto. Kyoto station to arashiyama monkey park with JR pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

 

2. Fushimi Inari shrine

JR train in Kyoto. Kyoto station to fushimi inari taisha shrine with JR pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

This is probably among the most iconic pictures of Kyoto.

There are 2 train stations near the Fushimi Inari shrine. If you’re looking at Google Maps, you’ll want to go to “Inari” station, and not “Fushimi Inari” station. Inari station is for the JR train.

 

JR train in Kyoto to inari station with jr pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

A visit to the Fushimi Inari shrine is a part of this 2-day Kyoto itinerary.

But a day of Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama sounds perfect! If you decide to go to both in one day, then I think going to Fushimi Inari first is better, because you’ll find a lot more things to do in Arashiyama so you don’t have to feel as rushed knowing you need to go somewhere else afterwards!

 

 

3. Nijo Castle

JR train in Kyoto. Kyoto station to Nijo Castle with JR pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

This is a UNESCO world heritage site. Also visit the Nijo Castle teahouse!

 

 

You can get to Nijo Castle by JR train, but consider also paying around US$5 for a one day bus passΒ so you can go to a bunch of other spot to go along with it.

 

 

4. Nara

JR train in Kyoto to nara with jr pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

Although not in Kyoto, there’s also a JR train that will take you to Nara.

Nara is the former ancient capital of Japan and city with deer roaming around.

It can be perfect to spend one day in Nara.

See more about taking the train from Kyoto to Nara with a JR pass.

 

 

PLUS…

Kansai Airport

JR train in Kyoto. Kyoto station to kansai airport with JR pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

And if you’re flying out of Osaka after Kyoto, you can get from Kyoto to Kansai airport by JR train too!

 

JR train in Kyoto. Kyoto station to kansai airport with JR pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

 

 

JR bus in Kyoto

JR train in Kyoto. or jr bus. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

Again, there are also a few places you can get around Kyoto by JR bus.

This may be a bit more limiting compared to if you allow yourself to ride on any subway or train in Kyoto, but it’s there.

You can get to Nijo Castle, Ginkakuji TempleΒ (and the Ginkakuji tea room!), and Ryoanji Temple by JR bus. These are all UNESCO world heritage sites in Kyoto.

See more of the JR bus route.

 

 

ICOCA card

JR train in Kyoto. jr pass or icoca card. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

If you do end up deciding to get around Kyoto NOT exclusively with the JR pass, consider getting an ICOCA card for convenience! (If you are in Tokyo first, aΒ SUICA card will work too.)

 

 

The sequence of taking a train in Kyoto!

Just follow the signs!

 

JR train in Kyoto with jr pass from kyoto station. Backpacking Japan travel blog

JR train in Kyoto with jr pass from kyoto station. Backpacking Japan travel blog

JR train in Kyoto with jr pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

JR train in Kyoto with jr pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

JR train in Kyoto with jr pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

JR train in Kyoto with jr pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

JR train in Kyoto with jr pass. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

HAPPY JR TRAIN RIDE IN KYOTO!

 

JR train in Kyoto with jr pass from kyoto station. Where can you go with JR pass for getting around Kyoto by train. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

 



How to spend winter in Japan

Backpacking Japan travel blog: Japan winter itinerary. Japan itinerary travel planning tips. Backpacking Japan travel blog: Hokkaido winter itinerary. Japan itinerary travel planning tips.

More quick tips for planning your trip to Japan

There are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.

Among the top 3 things people get specific for a trip to Japan


Use this Kyoto tourist map to plan out your 5 days in Kyoto!


For more on planning your trip to Kyoto, see the 1-day, 2-day, and 5-day Kyoto itineraries. If you'll be in Kyoto in the spring, also see the 1-day cherry blossom photo walk.

Food in Japan
If you are in Japan for FOOD, then be sure to see where to try different types of Japanese food! (Sometimes for cheaper!)

And also have a look at some of these cooking classes in Japan too.

When the JR pass is worth it
In general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it. But here's how to calculate it to be sure. See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.

Natural disasters in Japan
Unfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.

My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon. There have been a few typhoons that have hit Japan in the past couple of years and they can cause real travel disruptions!

See how much insurance costs for your trip.

Create your Japan itinerary


That's it for now!




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