So if you want to go to the top tourist sightseeing spots in Kyoto, getting around by bus can be a good option!
The “Raku bus” is basically a Kyoto tourist bus.
The main purpose of this bus is to provide bus routes that pass by tourist attractions.
The Raku bus isn’t the only way to get to these places, as the regular buses – notably the “city bus” and “Kyoto bus” – also can be good ways to get around Kyoto.
Although, the Raku bus is a type of city bus. It looks different from a regular “city bus” and this makes it easier to be spotted by tourists too.
Regular city bus…
How to know which bus to take?!
You can basically just take any bus that arrives to the bus stop closest to where you are, and pocket wifi and Google Maps can make your life much easier when trying to get around Kyoto by bus!
How much does a Raku bus cost?
A single ride bus fare is 230 yen (US$2).
If you’re planning on hitting up a bunch of places in a single day, be sure to have a look at the one day bus pass. The pass will cover bus rides on the Raku bus, regular city bus, and Kyoto bus.
Information from Kyoto tourism office from summer 2018.
If you have a JR pass, the JR bus does also go to some of the top tourist attractions.
First, the quick list of the top tourist attractions you can get to by taking the Raku bus.
Then, the more complete list of places the Raku bus goes.
Best tourist places to visit in Kyoto on a Raku bus
1. Nijo Castle (+ teahouse)
2. Kinkakuji Temple
4. Kiyomizu-dera Temple
5. Ginkakuji Temple (+ tea garden)
6. Heian Shrine
Some of these attractions are among the top UNESCO world heritage sites in Kyoto!
List of where you can go by taking the Raku bus
- Kyoto Station
- Kyoto National Museum
- Sanjusangen-do Temple
- Kiyomizu-dera Temple
- Yasaka Shrine
- Heian Shrine
- Ginkakuji Temple
- Nijo Castle
- Kitano-Tenmangu Shrine
- Kinkakuji Temple
- Daitokuji Temple
- Kitaoji bus station – Kitaoji subway station
- Kyoto Imperial Palace
Raku bus route map
Have a look at the Kyoto bus information guide!
Kyoto with a 600 yen (US$5) one day bus pass!
The Kyoto bus pass will allow you unlimited rides on the Raku bus, city bus, and Kyoto bus.
See what you think about this one day in Kyoto:
- Kyoto Station to Nijo Castle bus
- Nijo Castle (+ teahouse)
- Nijo Castle to Kinkakuji bus
- Kinkakuji Temple
- Kinkakuji to Ryoanji bus
- Ryoanji Zen Temple
- Ryoanji to Yasaka Shrine bus
- Gion to Kiyomizu-dera walk
- Kiyomizu-dera to Kyoto station bus
HAPPY RAKU BUS RIDE IN KYOTO!
Use this Kyoto tourist map to plan out your 5 days in Kyoto!
- 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 walk
- Day 4: Arashiyama and Sagano
- Day 5: Kurama Kibune Ohara with one day pass
How to spend winter in Japan
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere 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
- 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)
- Pocket wifi to make travel in Japan easier (see price here)
- 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)