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Getting Around Kyoto by Subway & Train

Getting Around Kyoto by Subway & Train

    Many subways and trains run within Kyoto City, including the Kyoto City Subway. The key to a smoother and more comfortable trip in Kyoto is to use different train lines according to your destination and to take the train close to your destination.

    Train fares vary depending on the section of the line you ride. Please note that there is a separate fare for each railway you use.
    IC cards such as "Kansai One Pass" are convenient as they can be used on all railways. There are some sections where you can use discounted tickets, so be sure to check them out.

    This section introduces

    (1) Lines running through Kyoto City

    Kyoto City Subway

    • One-Day Pass
    • IC Card

    Key Points about Subway

    1. Before getting on the bus, go to the nearest subway station to the tourist spot!
    2. The Karasuma Line is convenient for traveling to the north-south direction, and the Tozai Line is convenient for accessing Nijo-jo Castle, Yamashina, and Daigo direction (transfer between both lines at Karasuma-Oike Station!)
    3. Able to transfer to JR and 4 private railway companies!
    Karasuma Line: A line that runs north-south through central Kyoto. It passes through train/bus transfer stations such as Kyoto Station and Kitaoji Bus Terminal.
    Tozai Line: Tozai Line: A line that runs east-west through central Kyoto. Convenient access to Nijo-jo Castle and Heian-jingu Shrine.
    •Transfer Stations
    JR: Kyoto Station, Nijo Station, Yamashina Station, Rokujizo Station
    Keihan Railway: Sanjo Keihan Station/Misasagi Station (Keishin Line)
    Kintetsu Railway: Kyoto Station, Takeda Station
    Hankyu Railway: Shijo Station
    Keifuku Railway (Randen): Randen-Tenjingawa 
    Subway & Bus 1-day Passes and 1day subway passes are available.

    Keifuku Railway (Randen)

    • One-Day Pass
    • IC Card

    Key points about Keifuku Railway (Randen)

    1. Connects central Kyoto to Arashiyama and tourist attractions in northwestern Kyoto (Toei Kyoto Studio Park, Ninna-ji Temple, etc.).
    2. Connects to the Subway Tozai Line at Randen-Tenjingawa Station and to the Hankyu Kyoto Line at Shijo-Omiya Station and Sai Station
    3. Flat fare per ride! Since it is a streetcar, you can enjoy the cityscape of Kyoto while riding
    Arashiyama Main Line:
    The line runs east-west from Shijo-Omiya Station to Arashiyama Station.
    Kitano Line:
    Branches off from the Arashiyama Main Line at Katabiranotsuji Station and runs northeast to Kitano Hakubaicho Station.
    •Transfer stations
    Hankyu Railway: Shijo-Omiya Station/Sai Station
    Subway: Randen-Tenjingawa Station
    •Key piece of advice
    Please see "Getting on and off the train" for details on how to get on the train. Since the fare is paid in advance, there is no need to tap your IC card when boarding.
    Event trains may be operated depending on the season.

    Discounted tickets
    Getting on and off the train (In Japanese Only)

    Eizan Railway (Eiden)

    • One-Day Pass
    • IC Card

    Key points about Eizan Railway (Eiden)

    1. The train offers two lines: the Eizan Main Line bound for Yase/Mt. Hiei, and the Kurama Line bound for Kurama/Kibune
    2. Connects to the Keihan Railway at Demachiyanagi Station
    3. Discounted tickets for sightseeing are also available
    Eizan Main Line: Heads toward Yase-Hieizanguchi Station in the northeast direction from Demachiyanagi Station.
    Kurama Line: Heads toward Kibuneguchi Station and Kurama Station in the northwest direction from Takaragaike Station. Operates directly from Demachiyanagi Station.

    Transfer station
    Keihan Railway: Demachiyanagi Station
    •Key piece of advice
    Please see "Getting on and off the train" for details on how to get on the train.
    The "Momiji Tunnel" (Maple Tree Tunnel) will be illuminated during the blue maple and autumn foliage seasons.

    (2) Lines connecting Kyoto and other areas


    • IC Card

    Key points about JR

    1. Kyoto Station is the terminal for Shinkansen and JR conventional lines
    2. Use the subgates Nijo Station, Enmachi Station, Tofukuji Station, and Yamashina Station! (Able to transfer to other companies' lines or buses)
    3. If the destination of your ticket is within “Kyoto City”, you can get off at any conventional line station in the city without additional charge
    Kyoto Station is the gateway to Kyoto, where the Shinkansen and the Kansai-Airport Express “HARUKA”, which connects directly to Kansai International Airport.
    JR provides access to Fushimi (Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine), Arashiyama (Arashiyama Bamboo Forest), Uji (Byodo-in Temple), Osaka, and Nara (Todai-ji Temple).
    •Transfer Stations
    JR: Kyoto Station, Nijo Station, Yamashina Station, Rokujizo Station
    Keihan Railway: Tofukuji Station
    Kintetsu Railway: Kyoto Station
    Keifuku Railway (Randen): Uzumasa Station
    Sagano Romantic Train: Saga-Arashiyama Station
    •Key piece of advice
    The Sagano Line platform at Kyoto Station is far away from other lines. Also, since the cars in front of the platform are crowded, please be sure to board from the end of the platform.
    If you are coming to Kyoto by Shinkansen or conventional limited express trains, the following services are convenient and can be reserved from your smartphone.
    •Tokaido/Sanyo/Kyushu Shinkansen
    •Hokuriku Shinkansen/Conventional express trains, etc.

    Hankyu Railway

    • One-Day Pass
    • IC Card

    Key points about Hankyu Railway

    1. Direct access from Osaka-Umeda Station to Karasuma and Kyoto-Kawaramachi in downtown Kyoto
    2. To get to Arashiyama from central Osaka/Kyoto, change trains at Katsura Station
    3. On weekends and holidays, you can also ride the "Kyo-train Garaku" sightseeing train!
    Kyoto Line: Runs between Kyoto and Osaka, from Osaka-Umeda Station to Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station.
    Arashiyama Line: Branches off from Katsura Station and runs from Arashiyama Station to Katsura Station.
    Transfer stations
    Subway: Shijo Station
    Keihan Railway: Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station
    Keifuku Railway (Randen): Shijo-Omiya Station/Saiin Station
    Key piece of advice
    Travel smoothly between Arashiyama and the Karasuma/Kawaramachi areas, the heart of Kyoto's tourist attractions.
    The train departs from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station. You will most likely be able to sit the entire trip to Osaka.
    (Please do not board the train to Kyoto-Kawaramachi station, and then turn back to your destination in order to take a seat.)

    Keihan Railway

    • One-Day Pass
    • IC Card

    Key points about Keihan Railway

    1. Convenient when heading from Osaka to Higashiyama (Rakuto) and Rakuhoku areas!
    2. Convenient for going around Rakuhoku, Mt. Hiei to Higashiyama to Fushimi, Uji. Tickets available at great value too.
    3. The ""premium car"", which requires additional charge, also has space for large luggage.
    Keihan Main Line/Oto Line: Runs between Kyoto and Osaka from Yodoyabashi Station to Demachiyanagi Station.
    Uji Line: Branches off from Chushojima Station and connects Chushojima Station to Uji Station. 
    •Transfer Stations
    JR: Tofukuji Station
    Hankyu Railway: Gion-shijo Station
    Subway: Sanjo Station
    Eizan Train (Eiden): Demachiyanagi Station
    Kintetsu Railway: Tambabashi Station"
    Key piece of advice
    Please note that limited express trains do not stop at stations used for sightseeing, such as Kiyomizu-Gojo Station and Fushimi-Inari Station.
    When traveling from Shichijo Station to Kyoto Station or the Umekoji area, it is convenient to use the Station Loop Bus.

    Kintetsu Railway

    • IC Card

    Key points about Kintetsu Railway

    1. Convenient for combined sightseeing in Kyoto and Nara
    2. To-ji Temple is one stop away from Kyoto Station!
    Kyoto Line: Connects Kyoto Station to Yamato-Saidaiji Station in Nara Prefecture.
    Direct trains to Kintetsu Nara Station are also available via express and limited express trains.
    •Transfer stations
    JR: Kyoto Station
    Subway: Takeda Station
    Keihan Railway: Kintetsu-Tanbabashi Station
    •Key piece of advice
    Limited express trains do not stop at Takeda Station, which is connected to the Subway Karasuma line.
    If you are coming from the Nara area to the Higashiyama area, it is convenient to transfer to the Keihan Railway at Kintetsu-Tanbabashi Station

    (3) Sightseeing railways

    Sagano Romantic Train (Sagano Scenic Railway)

    • IC Card

    Key points about the Sagano Romantic Train

    1. This train offers beautiful scenery of the Hozugawa Valley.
    2. The interior of the train has a retro atmosphere with bare light bulbs and wooden train seats. The "Rich" car, open car with no glass windows, is also popular.
    3. It is convenient to reserve tickets in advance online.
    The train runs slowly for about 25 minutes from Saga Torokko Station to Kameoka Torokko Station, so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Hozu Gorge.
    •Transfer stations
    JR: Saga-Arashiyama Station/Umahori Station
    •Key piece of advice
    We recommend making advance reservations online.
    Credit cards and transportation IC cards (excluding PASMO and PITaPa) can also be used to purchase same-day tickets.