Hi there!

 

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

Or maybe from somewhere else to Kyoto.

And you know that the local Kyoto bus can be a good way to get around Kyoto!

 

Does the JR pass work for Kyoto buses?

The JR pass will work for Kyoto buses if it is a JR bus.

But the JR pass does not work for most buses in Kyoto.

You cannot use your JR pass for buses in Kyoto if it’s the Kyoto bus or City bus or Raku bus.

These are all different types of buses in Kyoto.

Yes, there is a bus called the “kyoto bus” which is different from the “city bus.” These are the regular buses in Kyoto.

The regular buses in Kyoto being the “city bus” and “Kyoto bus.”

The “Raku bus” is basically a tourist bus with bus routes going near main tourist attractions.

This might sound confusing, but really, all you need is google maps because it makes it a whole lot easier! (You don’t need to specifically know or care about which type of bus you’re taking… unless you want to specifically take the JR bus… in which case… see below!)

There are slight differences in how to pay for a couple of the Kyoto buses, but in general, it’s mostly the same.

 

And so…

Can you use a JR pass for buses in Kyoto?!

Yes, you CAN use a JR pass for the JR bus in Kyoto.

The “JR bus” is yet another type of bus in Kyoto.

The JR bus does go to some top attractions in Kyoto, so this means that your JR pass can be useful for taking the bus in Kyoto.

You can take the JR bus in Kyoto for free if you use your JR pass.

The JR bus is the only bus in Kyoto that you can take to get a free bus ride using a JR pass.

 

JR bus in Kyoto with JR pass: JR bus on route. Backpacking Japan travel blog

 

The JR bus route is a bit more limiting, but if you want to get around to some of Kyoto’s top spots ONLY using your JR pass, you can make it work!

It’s also possible to get around Kyoto by JR train and it does go near some top spots too. But again, it’s a bit limiting.

Another option might be to go for a one day Kyoto bus passΒ (you’d pay extra for this – it’s like US$5).

Otherwise, you may want to get an icoca card in Kyoto to make it easier to pay for the bus tickets. It’s not necessary, and it won’t save you money, but it will just make it easier to pay! All you need to do is swipe! If you are in Tokyo first, the suica card or pasmo card serves the same purpose.

 

 

πŸ—ΎπŸšŒ

More info/pictures below, but first... SIDE NOTE!
Where to go from Kyoto?! You can go to to Nachi Falls to see one of Japan's most famous views: Kyoto to Nachi Falls! Then you can loop back around to Osaka or Kyoto, making a stop at Ise along the way!

Here are more ideas for your Japan trip planning!

More info/pictures below, but first... SIDE NOTE!
Where to go from Kyoto?! You can go to to Nachi Falls to see one of Japan's most famous views: Kyoto to Nachi Falls! Then you can loop back around to Osaka or Kyoto, making a stop at Ise along the way!

Here are more ideas for your Japan trip planning!

 

 

Now…

First, the quick list of the best places to visit by taking a JR bus.

Then, the more complete list of places you can go by bus in Kyoto with a JR pass.

 

 

3 best places to visit by bus in Kyoto with a JR pass

 

1. Nijo Castle (+ teahouse)

JR bus in Kyoto with JR pass: Route - Nijo castle. Backpacking Japan

 

2. Kinkakuji Temple

JR bus in Kyoto with JR pass: Route - Kinkakuji Temple. Backpacking Japan

 

3. Ryoanji Temple

One day in Kyoto itinerary: Ryoanji Zen Temple with rock garden. Best places to visit in Kyoto in one day Kyoto bus pass. Backpacking Kyoto Japan travel guide with DIY self-guided tour

 

These 3 places are among the top UNESCO world heritage sites in Kyoto.

 

 

Also be sure to see how to spend 1 day, 2 days, and 5 days in Kyoto.

You can also go to the popular Kyoto neighborhood called Arashiyama with a JR pass (there’s a JR train), and here’s a one day Arashiyama itinerary for that.

And if you’ll be in Kyoto for cherry blossom season, here’s a one-day Kyoto cherry blossom photo walk.

 

 

Now…

List of where you can go by taking the JR bus

  • Kyoto Station
  • Kyoto Aquarium
  • Kyoto Railway Museum
  • Nijo Castle
  • Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
  • Kinkakuji Temple
  • Ryoanji Temple
  • Ninnaji Temple
  • Jingoji Temple
  • Kozanji Temple

 

JR bus route for Kyoto with JR pass. Backpacking Japan

 

 

JR bus route map

 

JR bus route map for Kyoto with JR pass. Backpacking Japan

Photo was taken summer 2018.

 

 

And if you’re not committed to the JR bus, also consider…

Kyoto with a 600 yen (US$5) one day Kyoto bus pass!

It’ll get you to a few more of the top spots in Kyoto!

 

 

JR train in Kyoto

There are also a few trains in Kyoto that are on the JR line.

Once again, this may be a bit more limiting compared to if you allow yourself to ride on any subway or train in Kyoto.

But still, a JR train can get you near a few top spots too, including to Arashiyama, to Fushimi Inari shrine with 1,000 torii gates, andΒ to Nijo Castle.

See more about where you can go on the JR train in Kyoto.

 

 

ICOCA card

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 or PASMO card will work too.)

 

HAPPY JR BUS RIDE IN KYOTO!

 

JR bus in Kyoto with JR pass: JR bus timings timetable. Backpacking Japan

 

 

Here are ideas for 5 days in Kyoto!

PLUS Kyoto cherry blossom itinerary and Kyoto fall colors itinerary!


And the JR pass makes it time-efficient to travel around Japan by train and is a popular option among travelers! See the cost of a JR pass and how to figure out if it will be worth it for you!





Best of Kyoto (and Japan!)



πŸ‘‡ Explore the best places to visit in Japan!
best places to visit in japan for first trip to japan. famous things to do in japan

πŸ‘† How to start using this Kyoto map: Click the top left icon! Or just zoom in to start looking and clicking around to see pictures of the best places in Kyoto! See tips for how to use this Kyoto map.