Kyoto travel guide: Kyoto travel tips. Backpacking Kyoto Japan on a budget

 

 

First here are some quick tips for a trip to Kyoto!

 

1. When you’re actually in Kyoto and in the major tourist areas, you’ll see local sightseeing maps all over!

2. The Google Maps app is also a reliable way to figure out how to get around Kyoto by bus and train

3. The Japan Travel Navitime app can be good if you’re trying to figure out the best way to get around with a JR pass (or to help you decide if it’s better to get around without your JR pass)

4. The Google Translate app has a feature where you can take a picture of Japanese writing and it will translate it for you

5. The one day bus pass will be worth it if you’ll be taking the bus at least 3 times – see more tips for taking the bus in Kyoto

6. The ICOCA card is SO worth it to get if you’ll be taking the bus or train to get around Kyoto. (No cost savings, but it’s highly convenient so you won’t have to go through the hassle of buying individual tickets! They are basically recharge cards.) If you’re coming from Tokyo, you can use a SUICA card in Kyoto too.

7. If you’re traveling with a JR pass, there’s a JR bus in Kyoto and a JR train in Kyoto that you can take to travel around Kyoto for FREE! The routes are limited, but there ARE some top spots in Kyoto you can get to with your JR pass!

8. “Kyoto Station” is where you’ll find both the main train station of Kyoto and the main bus station of Kyoto.

9. Kyoto used to be the capital of Japan, and as a result it’s full of history and tons of UNESCO world heritage sites.

10. Kyoto is basically THE city in Japan known for matcha green tea! So if you love matcha, be sure to try some matcha-flavored food (you’re sure to come across plenty walking the streets!), and also be sure to visit a teahouse!

11. The main international airport near Kyoto is Kansai airport KIX. There’s a direct train that runs between Kyoto and the airport. There are many budget airlines within Asia that fly in and out of KIX. I think Kyoto can make a good entry point for a first trip to Japan, and maybe give you less overwhlem compared to Tokyo!

12. If you’re traveling with a JR pass, you can’t take the fastest shinkansen bullet train (called Nozomi) to get to Kyoto. Instead, you can take the Hikari shinkansen bullet train which has enough frequent timings for it to be convenient. It will take around 2.5 hours to travel by shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto.

13. As one of Japan’s top international tourist destinations (second to Tokyo I’d say), Kyoto is traveler-friendly. You’ll see plenty of English signs around.

14. Also as one of Japan’s top international destinations, be prepared for CROWDS! (Better to manage your expectations so you won’t feel so negatively about the potential amount of people around!)

15. The summer Olympics are in 2020, July and August. While the majority of events will take place to the north in and around Tokyo, it could still lead to greater crowds all across Japan, including Kyoto.

16. If you’re in the US and haven’t bought your flight to Japan yet, consider signing up for alerts so you can be notified of price drops on flights to Japan.

 

Kyoto travel guide: Kyoto travel tips. Backpacking Kyoto Japan on a budget

Kyoto travel guide: Kyoto travel tips. Backpacking Kyoto Japan on a budget

Kyoto travel guide: Kyoto travel tips. Backpacking Kyoto Japan on a budget

 

 

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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!

 

 

And now…

More Kyoto travel tips!

50+ Kyoto travel blog posts to plan the perfect trip to Kyoto!

This is what you can find on this website!

 

Kyoto travel guide: Kyoto travel tips. Backpacking Kyoto Japan on a budget

Kyoto travel guide: Kyoto travel tips. Backpacking Kyoto Japan on a budget

 

 

 

Kyoto itinerary

 

 

Kyoto map

 

 

Getting around Kyoto

 

Getting to/from Kyoto

 

 

Things to do in Kyoto

 

 

Things to do in Arashiyama (Kyoto neighborhood)

 

 

HAPPY KYOTO TRAVEL PLANNING!

 

Kyoto travel guide: Kyoto travel tips. Backpacking Kyoto Japan on a budget

 

 



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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