5 Reliable and Cheap Sightseeing and Travel Passes for Tourists in Kyoto!

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  • Kyoto is a beautiful city for sightseeing. It is hugely popular among both foreign and Japanese tourists and offers a wonderful array of historical and cultural landmarks, temples, shrines, walking trails, and opportunities to dress in kimono and walk along serene canals.

    Getting around Kyoto, and getting around easily and cheaply, is a question asked by many visitors. There are many different options for sightseeing and it can be confusing to know which ones are good and which ones are just money-making schemes.

    It’s worth getting a decent and reliable sightseeing pass for tourists, whether you want to travel by subway, train, or bus. There are options for 1-day or 2-day passes, weekly passes, and passes which include travel to Osaka, a major city close to Kyoto.

    If you are planning a trip to Kyoto, and looking for a reliable Kyoto sightseeing pass to travel with easily and efficiently, take a look at this list of 5 recommended options. All of the passes listed below are reliable, available all year round, and can potentially save you a good amount of money, time, and aimless wandering!

    1. Kansai Thru Pass (KTP)

    What does this pass include?

    The KTP can be used on subways, buses, and private railways throughout the Kansai area. This includes Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Hyogo, and other places in the Kansai Region.

    It can be used on the following services: Kyoto City Bus, Kyoto Bus, Kyoto Keihan Bus (some routes), Keihan Kotsu (some routes), Kyoto City Subway, Hankyu Railway, Keihan Electric Railway (some routes), Kintetsu Railway, Keifuku Railway, Eizan Electric Railway.

    What does this pass not include?

    This pass does not include JR (Japan Rail) Line trains.

    Is this pass right for me?

    This pass would be ideal for visitors who are staying for a few days and want to travel outside of the city to explore surrounding areas around Kyoto. If you are just here for one day, or just want to see Kyoto city, other options may be better for you.

    Prices as of 2017

    • 5,200 yen (3-day pass)
    • 4,000 yen (2-day pass)

    Note: If you are planning on using public transport regularly or going further afield outside the city, this price will definitely save you money.

    Where can I buy this pass?

    You can buy this pass at various tourist information centers and areas of Kansai Airport. Click here for a full list. Remember that you will need to show your passport when buying this pass.

    KTP Official Website.

    2. Kyoto City Bus 1-day Pass

    kyoto-feat

    What does this pass include?

    This 1-day city bus pass allows you unlimited bus travel on buses in Kyoto City for one day. Please be aware that this (unfortunately) does not mean it is valid for 24 hours. It is only valid on the day that you purchase it, so try to get it as early in the day as you can!

    What does this pass not include?

    This pass does not include any of the trains or subways and does not include any travel outside of Kyoto City.

    Is this pass right for me?

    This pass is perfect for tourists that are only in Kyoto for a day or two, and want to see the main sightseeing spots on a budget. Buses in Kyoto are regular and go to most of the main landmarks.

    A regular bus fare for just one trip will cost you 230 yen, so if you travel more than three times in a day, this pass will save you money.

    Prices as of 2017

    500 yen (adult) and 250 yen (child).

    Where can I buy this pass?

    Ths pass can be purchased on the bus and used immediately. It can also be purchased at ticket windows at all Subway stations in Kyoto.

    Kyoto City Bus Pass Website.

    3. Kyoto Sightseeing Pass

    What does this pass include?

    This sightseeing pass can be for one or two days and can be used on the Kyoto City Bus, Kyoto Bus, and Kyoto City Subway. It also includes discounts on entrance fees for some sightseeing attractions.

    What does this pass not include?

    There are some Kyoto Bus routes which aren’t included on this pass. These are not main routes.

    Is this pass right for me?

    The Kyoto Sightseeing Pass is an ideal choice for tourists who would like to transfer between buses and the subway frequently.

    It is flexible and convenient, and will definitely save you money if you plan to use all forms of transport.

    Prices as of 2017

    • 1200 Yen (1-day pass)
    • 2000 Yen (2-day pass)

    Where can I buy this pass?

    You can buy this pass on the Kyoto City Bus, at subway stations, at the Kyoto Station information center, or even at some hotels.

    Kyoto Sightseeing Pass Website

    4. Kyoto Subway 1-day Pass

    What does this pass include?

    The Kyoto Subway 1-day Pass can be used to ride on the Kyoto subway as many times as you want for one day.

    What does this pass not include?

    This pass is only for Kyoto Subway, so does not include the railways or the buses in Kyoto. Also, it doesn’t not include the Kintetsu or Keihan train lines.

    Is this pass right for me?

    This pass is ideal for people that would prefer to use the subway to explore the city. It is especially good for people who want to see the city center and the shopping and nightlife districts.

    Note that although the subway is fairly comprehensive, it will not give access to all of the main sightseeing spots, for which other transport is needed.

    Prices as of 2017

    A one day pass costs 600 yen and is valid on the day of usage. It will expire at the end of the day.

    Where can I buy this pass?

    It is sold at any of the Kyoto subway stations. Please check the Subway Route Map before you buy it because it might not cover the tourist attractions you would like to see!

    Kyoto Subway 1-day Pass Website.

    5. Keihan 1-day Sightseeing Pass

    kyoto-osaka

    What does this pass include?

    This is a specific sightseeing pass and it includes train travel to the following attractions; Kamogawa River, Gion, Kiyomizu Temple, Tofuku-ji, Fushimi Inari, and Fujinomori. It also offers a ticket which includes travel to/from Osaka.

    What does this pass not include?

    It does not include any buses and does not include railways lines not traveling to the attractions listed.

    Is this pass right for me?

    This pass is great value for money for people that really want to see the main sights quickly and cheaply, or are coming from Osaka on the same day. It would not be recommended for tourists who want to see the wider area.

    Prices as of 2017

    • 500 yen for Kyoto
    • 700 yen for Kyoto and Osaka

    Note: There is a 2-day Sightseeing Pass for only 1000 yen available as well.

    Where can I buy this pass?

    This pass can be purchased at various ticket offices and some hotels. Please see the website link below for specifics on this.

    Keihan Sightseeing Pass Website

    So, here are 5 great options for getting around Kyoto easily and cheaply, depending on your length of stay and what your particular interests are when you arrive. You can really save a good amount of money by using these passes if you plan to see a few attractions and explore the city or surrounding areas.

    Make sure to check which one is the most suitable for you, and I hope you have a fantastic time exploring this enchanting city!

    Would you like to stay in Kyoto? Check out all the hotels in the area here!

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