5 Travel Passes to Help You Get Around Kyoto on the Cheap

  • HOW TO
  • Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, in all four seasons, Kyoto is always a beautiful sightseeing place for tourists to visit. For anybody wanting to go to Kyoto for a 1-day or 2-day visit and hasn’t planned how to visit each tourist attraction in Kyoto, here are the recommended cost-efficient ways of transportation passes that might suit your schedule. On top of that, it will help you save a lot of money and time.

    Therefore, let’s plan a schedule to Kyoto using some of these passes. These passes are available all year round, no matter what the season.

    1. Kansai Thru Pass (KTP)


    The Kansai Thru Pass can be used on subways, buses, and private railways in the Kansai area, excluding JR lines.

    There are two options:

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

    It can be used on the following: 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.

    As you can see from the Kyoto railway map and Kyoto bus map that the Kansai Thru Pass is available for almost all railways in Kyoto. So, it can take you to many sightseeing spots in Kyoto with no extra charges. You can check for more information about the Kansai Thru Pass at the Kansai Website.

    Sometimes it is impossible to visit all the highlighted Kyoto tourist attractions in just one day due to their wide-spread locations. Therefore, using the Kansai Thru Pass is a great option since it can be used for 2 (or 3) consecutive days.

    2. Kyoto City Bus 1-day Pass


    The Kyoto City Bus 1-day Pass can be used to ride on any bus in Kyoto as many times as you want in one day. As shown in the Kyoto Bus Map, you can reach most of the Kyoto tourist attractions by bus, so if you’re going to visit a lot of tourist attractions located near bus stops, then the Kyoto City Bus 1-day pass is a perfect solution.


    A bus fee is about 230 yen for one trip so, if you are going to ride on the city bus more than three times, you should consider buying the pass. In spite of being a cost-efficient pass, the Kyoto City Buses are sometimes full of people, especially in peak season. Also, we suggest that you should avoid using the bus in the evening (if possible) as there is a high chance of a traffic jam.

    The Kyoto City Bus 1-day Pass can be purchased on the bus and used immediately. You can also ask for a Kyoto City Bus map at the information center at Kyoto Station. For more information, please visit the Kyoto City Website.

    3. Kyoto Sightseeing Pass


    There are two options for the Kyoto Sightseeing Pass:

    • 1200 Yen (1-day pass)
    • 2000 Yen (2-day 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. This pass can be used on the Kyoto City Bus, Kyoto Bus, Kyoto City Subway, and there are entrance fee discounts at some tourist attractions too.

    The Kyoto Sightseeing Pass is a reasonable choice for people who would like to transfer between buses and the subway frequently. It gives you more flexibility and more convenience. You can see more information about Kyoto Sightseeing Pass at Kyoto City Website.

    4. Kyoto Subway 1-day Pass
    Kyoto City Subway Route Map


    The Kyoto Subway 1-day Pass can be used to ride on the subway as many times as you want for the price of only 600 yen. It is sold at any of the Kyoto subway stations. Please check the Subway Route Map before you buy it because it might no cover the tourist attractions you would like to go to. However, this pass is suitable for people who want to go shopping at the center of Kyoto City, and it connects to Kyoto Station.

    5. Keihan 1-day Sightseeing Pass


    Keihan Railway is another form of transportation in Kyoto that also connects to Osaka.

    The Keihan 1-day Sightseeing Pass has two options:

    • 500 yen for only in Kyoto
    • 700 yen for Kyoto-Osaka

    Both types of passes can be used as many times as you like within one day. The Keihan Railway passes the following tourist attractions: Kamogawa River, Gion, Kiyomizu Temple, Tofuku-ji, Fushimi Inari, Fujinomori. Therefore, the Keihan 1-day Sightseeing Pass is recommended for people who would like to visit those particular places and are coming from Osaka, or would like to go back to Osaka that same day. There is also a 2-day Sightseeing Pass for only 1000 yen available as well.

    For further information about the Keihan 1-day Sightseeing Pass, check out the Keihan Website.

    Reference:Kyoto 4 Seasons

    Related Articles:
    Budget Traveling: What Railcard to Use in Japan
    Hyperdia: the Ultimate Japan Travel Buddy app
    Budget Traveling in Japan: Japan Rail Pass and Discount Ticket Shops