So if you’re looking for a day trip from Kyoto, a visit to some little towns from Kurama to Kibune to Ohara can make for a nice day!
Basically, you can dedicate the morning to Kurama and Kibune, and then the afternoon to Ohara.
First, the quick list of the highlights with the Kurama Kibune Ohara one day pass!
Then, the quick list of how to get around.
And then, a bit more about what this one day Kyoto day trip might look like!
Highlights of a Kyoto day trip to Kurama – Kibune – Ohara
1. Kurama-dera Temple
2. Kifune shrine
3. Sanzen-in Temple, Ohara
5. Jakko-in Temple, Ohara
6. Kamogawa River, Kyoto
How to get around from Kurama to Kibune to Ohara in one day
The public transportation (bus and train) will all be included in your day pass!
Google Maps is a pretty reliable way to figuring out the best way to get around based on your current location and timing. This is how I got around.
- Kyoto Station to Kurama bus and train
- Visit Kurama-dera Temple
- Kurama to Kibune hike
- Visit Kifune Shrine
- Kibune to Ohara bus and train
- Ohara bus station to Sanzen-in walk
- Visit Sanzen-in Temple
- Sanzen-in to Jakko-in walk
- Visit Jakko-in Temple
- Jakko-in Temple to Ohara bus station walk
- Ohara to Kyoto bus
- Kamogawa River
- Demachiyanagi to Kyoto station bus
Or if you are ready to head straight back to your hotel after Ohara, then maybe you’ll want to skip the visit to Kamogawa River!
Kurama Kibune day trip ticket (bus and Eiden train one day pass)
Although this is called the Kurama and Kibune day trip ticket, it covers your train fare on all trains on the Eizan railway line, aka Eiden – eizan line + densha (train), as well as bus fare on both the “city bus” and “Kyoto bus.”
In simple terms, you will very likely be safe to take any bus route or train route as recommended by Google Maps, and this one day pass will cover you! (A regular one day bus pass will not cover bus rides to the outskirts of Kyoto.)
This also means that it can get you around to more than just Kurama and Kibune – like to Ohara!
Here’s the official info for day trip tickets bought through March 2019. (It’s a pdf.)
Is the day trip ticket worth it?
The Kurama Kibune day trip ticket costs 1,800 yen (US$16) until at least March 2019.
If you’re going to ONLY Kurama or Kibune, then it probably would be better to NOT purchase this day pass and instead pay for rides individually.
Going from Kyoto station to Kurama, then Kibune to Kyoto station would put you slightly under 1,800 yen.
The pass starts to pay off when you are going to at least 2 separate locations, with Kurama and Kibune being one location if you’re doing the hike. (Since you won’t need public transportation to get from Kurama to Kibune – with this one day plan, you’re going by foot!)
So when you add in the cost of going from Kibune to Ohara, and then Ohara to Kyoto Station, that puts you a bit above 1,800 yen.
Google Maps can give you a reasonable estimate of the cost of public transportation.
This pass also makes it convenient to travel around so you don’t have to buy individual train tickets and you don’t have to pay for individual bus fares.
Information from Kyoto tourism office from summer 2018.
Where to buy the Kurama Kibune day trip ticket
I think the best place to buy this day trip ticket (as well as the one day bus pass for another day) is the Kyoto station.
You can buy the day passes at the bus ticket center at Kyoto station.
If you’re arriving to Kyoto station by train, you’ll exit at the central exit.
And then you’ll notice the area with all the buses.
To the right of this area is a small building called the bus ticket center.
Inside you can go to the counter and buy a one day pass.
While you’re at it, you can buy some snacks too. 😉
This cafe is also located inside the bus ticket center building.
Using the ICOCA card in Kyoto
If you won’t be using the day trip ticket, the next best thing would be to use an ICOCA card.
One of the benefits of using the Kurama Kibune one day pass is that you don’t have to buy individual tickets. (Train tickets can be the bigger hassle!)
The ICOCA card is basically a recharge card, and you’ll put money on this card ahead of time so all you have to do for trains and buses is to swipe or insert your card to pay.
You’ll pay the regular train fare and bus fare, and this in no way will save you money. It’s just highly convenient.
You can get an icoca card at the Kyoto train station.
If you are in Tokyo before Kyoto, you can get a suica card or pasmo card, and then you can use these cards wherever icoca cards are accepted.
If you’ll be taking a lot of local buses and trains for travel within cities, you’ll want to highly consider getting one of these cards. They can make your life MUCH easier!
These cards cost around 500 yen (US$5), although technically this is just a deposit and you can return the card at the end of your Japan trip to get the money back. But also consider keeping the card as a souvenir!
Kurama onsen or Ohara onsen
Kurama, Kibune, and Ohara are all easily accessible by public transportation which means a trip to any of these places can make for an easy day trip from Kyoto.
But if you’re looking for a bit of a unique experience, you may also consider staying at a Japanese-style ryokan with an onsen hot spring.
Although accommodation options are more limited in these areas, you can find a ryokan in both Kurama and Ohara.
The Kurama onsen is the more popular one.
Put in “Kurama Onsen” or “Ohara minshuku” below (partner website) along with your travel dates (or any future date) to see more about these places!
So once again, it will be best to consult Google Maps to figure out the best way to get around at the specific time you’re leaving.
But, here’s a bit of what my day looked like!
Kyoto station to Kurama
So going from Kyoto station to Kurama took one transfer.
Kyoto Station to Demachiyanagi bus
Once you’re at the Kyoto bus station, you can go to the information board to see which platform to go to, or you might see some people who will be available to help you.
Then once you get on the bus, this bus ride will likely be around 30-40 minutes.
Demachiyanagi to Kurama train
The bus stop will be right near the Demachiyanagi train station, so you’ll walk on over to get on the train to Kurama station!
You’ll get on a train that’s on the Eizan railway line, aka Eiden.
This will be around a 30 minute train ride.
Visit Kurama-dera Temple
Then once you reach the Kurama station, it’ll be a short walk to the point that you’ll start the actual path to the Kurama-dera Temple.
You also have the option to take a cable car to get you closer to the temple grounds, instead going up the short but steep trail.
Kurama to Kibune hike
After you finish up your visit to Kurama-dera Temple, you can then start the trail to the Kifune Shrine through the forest to get from Kurama to Kibune!
This trail might take you around 30 minutes.
Visit Kifune-jinja Shrine
The Kurama to Kibune hike will eventually get you to a street in Kibune.
From there, it’s a short walk on the street to reach the starting point of the climb up to the Kifune Shrine.
Kibune to Ohara
So once you’ve finished up your visit to Kifune Shrine, next off you go to Ohara!
This part required 2 transfers. Google Maps might give you better options based on your timings, but this is what I did.
Kifune shrine to Kibuneguchi bus
Just a little down the street from the shrine is a bus stand for the Kyoto bus. This is also a parking area for tour buses.
This bus ride was to get to the Kibuneguchi train station.
From Kibune to the train station was about a 10 minute bus ride.
The bus fare if you don’t have the Kurama Kibune one day pass.
Kibuneguchi to Takaragaike train
Then once you get off the bus, you’ll head over to the nearby Kibuneguchi train station to take the train to Takaragaike.
This was about a 20 minute train ride.
Takaragaike to Ohara bus
Then once at Takaragaike, you’ll go for a short walk to catch the bus to Ohara!
This was about a 20 minute bus ride.
Arrive at Ohara bus station!
If this sounds complicated, Google Maps makes things feel a lot more simple!
Visit to Ohara
You’ll likely want to dedicate half a day to the rural village of Ohara.
You can even make it a full day in Ohara if you take your time on the temple grounds, wandering the empty streets, and stopping by the little cafes and gift shops along the way.
Ohara bus station to Sanzen-in walk
This will be about a 10-15 minute walk.
Visit Sanzen-in Temple
Cost: 700 yen (US$6)
You might spend around an hour here wandering the Sanzen-in Temple grounds.
Sanzen-in to Jakko-in walk
There are lots of places to stop along the way if you want to take it even more slowly!
Point-to-point, it’s around a 30 minute walk.
But there’s a chance you might want to make some stops along the way!
Visit Jakko-in Temple
Cost: 600 yen (US$5)
You might spend around 30 minutes at Jakko-in Temple.
Jakko-in Temple to Ohara bus station walk
And then you can make your way back to Kyoto, which means heading to back to the Ohara bus station!
Ohara to Kyoto
And then back to Kyoto you go!
Ohara to Demachiyanagi bus
Your exact route back to Kyoto will be determined by what time you’re ready to leave Ohara, but I went back to Demachiyanagi.
The Demachiyanagi train station is right along the river, so as long as you don’t feel too tired from your day out, a few snacks or a light meal on the Kamogawa River could be a nice way to end your day!
There’s a convenience store (7-11) a few minutes walk from the train station in the opposite direction of the river, and there’s also a fast food restaurant (Lotteria) right nearby too.
Buy food at either of these places and take it to go! Or maybe you’ll have some snacks leftover from what you packed in the morning!
Either way, head on down by the river for a little bit of rest!
Kids might also enjoy going across the river by jumping from stone to stone. Adults too. 😉
Demachiyanagi to Kyoto station bus
Then finally, your final bus back to Kyoto station!
If you haven’t eaten too much, head underground at Kyoto station for a network of restaurants for some Japanese food!
HAPPY KYOTO DAY TRIP TO KURAMA, KIBUNE, AND OHARA!
Use this Kyoto tourist map to plan out your 5 days in Kyoto with Kurama, Kibune, and Ohara!
- Day 1: Top tourist spots with one day bus pass
- Day 2: Fushimi Inari Shrine hike through 1,000 torii gates
- Day 3: Philosopher’s Path
- Day 4: Arashiyama and Sagano
- Day 5: Kurama Kibune Ohara with one day pass
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
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.
Hotels in KyotoSearch for deals on Kyoto hotels here.
For hostels across Japan, try this top backpacker's hostel chain.
Kyoto can also be a good place to stay at a Japanese-style ryokan, like this one. Or if you're on more of a budget, try this one.
Also use the map below to see more hotels in Kyoto!
Shoes for JapanFor summer travel, hiking sandals can be perfect for walking around cities and for many of the short day hikes! See travel sandals like these for women and these for men.
Japan is a mountain country so be sure to get in some hikes!
See trail running shoes too (for women - for men) for other solid hikes including climbing Mt Fuji.
Speaking of hiking, I love this daypack.
The super fast train in JapanIn general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it.
See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.
See an example of traveling by the fast train from Tokyo to Kyoto.
Natural disasters in JapanUnfortunately, 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.
See how much insurance costs for your trip.
Best travel guides for JapanIf you're at step 1 in your planning process, have a look at this Discover Japan book.
For "books" that won't take up space in your suitcase, see the best PDF guides.
See more of the best books for Japan trip planning.
Cheap(er) flights to JapanI used this website to find the cheapest flight and to book my recent flight to Japan.
Sometimes it makes sense to book direct - my preferred way!
But this booking site will search a combination of airlines, including those who aren't partner airlines, which means that they can help you find cheaper flights by booking individual flights for you as part of one flight itinerary. This can be especially helpful if you're not flying out of a major hub with direct flights to Japan.
I've missed a flight booked through them and it was taken care of with hotel and new flight.
See more tips for finding cheap flights to Japan.