Kyoto station to Ginkakuji bus or train. Public transportation in Kyoto. Backpacking Kyoto Japan


So you are off to Ginkakuji Temple!



Kyoto station…

Kyoto station to Ginkakuji. Kyoto Tower. Backpacking Kyoto Japan


…to Ginkakuji Temple!


Kyoto station to Ginkakuji Temple. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Kyoto station to Ginkakuji Temple. Backpacking Kyoto Japan



Being a major tourist attraction and UNESCO world heritage site in Kyoto, getting to Ginkakuji from Kyoto Station is relatively simple!


The short version is…

Show up to Kyoto station and get on the next bus to Ginkakuji! There are signs at the Kyoto bus station telling you where the bus to Ginkakuji will arrive. Once you get off the bus, you will likely see signs pointing you in the direction of Ginkakuji as well.



Now, the longer version.


Ginkakuji bus

Kyoto station to Ginkakuji bus - city bus. Backpacking Kyoto Japan


There are a few of bus stops located about a 10 minute walk from the Ginkakuji Temple, so going by bus can be a good way to get there from Kyoto Station.


Kyoto station to Ginkakuji bus stop, walking time. Backpacking Kyoto Japan


Which bus stop you end up at will mostly depend on which bus you end up on!


I went to Ginkakuji (and the tea room!) as a part of doing the philosopher’s path walk, and I also went past Ginkakuji when I went for the Daimonji-yama hike as well.

On the day I did the hike, I went for a visit to the Fushimi Inari shrine first, and you can also see how to go from Fushimi Inari to Ginkakuji.


So once you’re at Kyoto station, you’ll head to the bus area.

There’s an information sign board that you can look at to figure out where to wait for the bus to Ginkakuji Temple.

There is also a section specific to top tourist attractions.


Kyoto station to Ginkakuji bus route platform. Backpacking Kyoto Japan


There are also people there who are there to help you, so you can ask them too!


Kyoto station to Ginkakuji bus route. How to get there. Backpacking Kyoto Japan


So then you’ll head over to the platform for Ginkakuji Temple, and then wait for the bus to arrive!

As a popular tourist spot, there is a chance that there could already be a long line which could also make for a crowded bus.


Kyoto station to Ginkakuji bus with tourists. Backpacking Kyoto Japan


So just be mentally prepared. 😉


Depending on your timing, you may end up on a normal city bus, or you may end up on a tourist city bus. There’s not much of a difference either way, except for the way they look!


See more tips for getting around Kyoto by bus (even without a bus pass).


What about the bus timings?

Being a major tourist attraction, the bus timings are frequent enough.

This means that you don’t really need to be as concerned about specific bus timings, as you likely won’t have to wait too long for the next bus to come no matter when you show up to the bus station.

So basically, just show up to Kyoto Station and wait for the next bus to Ginkakuji Temple!



Can you get to Ginkakuji by bus with a JR pass?


JR bus

Kyoto station to Ginkakuji with JR pass on JR bus? Backpacking Kyoto Japan


There’s a JR bus in Kyoto, and this is the only bus that you can use your JR pass to get around Kyoto by bus.

The JR bus route is a bit more limiting, and Ginkakuji Temple is not one of the places that’s on the route.


Japan public transportation app for JR pass

Google Maps works well for getting around Kyoto if you’re not using a JR pass.

If you want to see what your options are for getting around using only a JR pass, check out the app JapanTravel Navitime. There’s an option there to filter “tourist pass” so that you can see the best way to get around using your JR pass.



Ginkakuji train?

The closest train station to Ginkakuji is about a 30 minute walk. And this isn’t a JR train so you wouldn’t be able to get there using your JR pass.

But depending on your timing, Google Maps may tell you that the quickest way to get to Ginkakuji is by taking the train first, and then another bus to get to the bus stop near Ginkakuji.

But the easiest would probably be just to wait for a bus bound directly for a bus stop near Ginkakuji so you don’t have to deal with transfers.



How long does it take to get to Ginkakuji?

Whether you go by just the bus or by combined train and bus, it’ll likely take just under an hour to get to Ginkakuji, including the walk time for that final stretch to get you to the temple entry.


Kyoto station to Ginkakuji Temple entry. Backpacking Kyoto Japan



Be sure to stop by the tea room for matcha tea at Ginkakuji Temple!

Kyoto station to Ginkakuji Temple tea room. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Kyoto station to Ginkakuji Temple tea room with matcha tea. Backpacking Kyoto Japan


Kyoto station to Ginkakuji Temple. Backpacking Kyoto Japan




Plan out your 5 days in Kyoto with Ginkakuji Temple!



More quick tips for planning your trip to Japan

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The super fast train in Japan
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.

NEW way of buying individual shinkansen train tickets online!
I will start by saying I have NOT bought train tickets online this way (yet!) to verify this! (But it's on my list for my next trip to Japan!)

There's an online train ticket booking method that's popular for other parts of Asia, and they are just now branching out to Japan.

You can now buy train tickets online here for popular shinkansen train routes. (And some bus routes too.)

I've used this booking site for taking the train from Thailand to Malaysia, and it worked out well, so I would expect it to work out well in Japan too!

The thing is, though, that you need to pick up the physical train tickets in person.

So it won't be enough to just buy the tickets online. I had to do this in Bangkok for my train ticket - and it was easy! So again, I would think it'd be easy for Japan train tickets too.

Search for popular routes in Japan here. For example, Tokyo to Kyoto.

If you end up buying train tickets online this way, I would love to hear how it goes! Whether that's good, or if it came with some challenges!

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.

See how much insurance costs for your trip.

Best travel guides for Japan
If 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.

Create your Japan itinerary

That's it for now!