Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Kyoto is filled with everything that you go to Japan to see and experience, temples, cafe, gardens, traditional architecture, geishas, traditional and new foods, and everything else you expect and some surprises too. There's a lot to tell for Kyoto so this will be more than one post. First things first getting there is very easy, if you're coming by way of Tokyo or Osaka. From Tokyo Go to the JR ticket center in the East building of the Shinjuku station the day before departing to get your tickets, you are buying shinkansen tickets (bullet train), this ticket will only pay for the shinkansen, but you will be taking another train first.
Getting there: Take the JR Yamanote line from Shinjuku station to Shinagawa Station (it's about a 25 min trip)this is a separate ticket if you do not have a JR Rail Pass which I highly recommend you get one in your country of origin, the voucher that is. When you get to Shinagawa station find your gate it's really easy, it's should be on your ticket. Then you find your car # on the ticket also and stand on a line to get on the train, there are electronic signs announcing the trains coming in in Japanese and english, there are train conductor's on the platform too that you can ask if you are confused. The trip is about 2hr 20mins, bring a snack or lunch, it's very common to eat on these trains and the snacks offered by the attendants are pricey and not very nutrious.. You'll arrive at JR Kyoto station, here you'll find buses, local subways, and cab stands, take a cab to find your hotel. You'll also find a tourist information center (info below). Getting there from Osaka is really easy you have a couple of options "The JR Tokaido Shinkansen requires 15 minutes and costs 1380 Yen (by unreserved seat) from not so centrally located Shin-Osaka Station to Kyoto Station.
Almost equally fast are the special rapid trains on the JR Kyoto Line, which require about 25 minutes and cost 540 Yen from more centrally located Osaka Station to Kyoto Station.
By Hankyu Railways:
Limited express trains on the Hankyu Kyoto Line get you from Umeda Station (next to JR Osaka Station) to Karasuma and Kawaramachi Stations in central Kyoto in roughly 40 minutes and for 390 Yen.
By Keihan Railways:
Limited express trains on the Keihan Main Line get you from Yodoyabashi Station in central Osaka to Sanjo Station in central Kyoto in roughly 50 minutes and for 400 Yen." (Osaka info from Japan-guide.com)
KYOTO TOURIST INFORMATION - operated by Kyoto Prefecture
Add: 9th Fl., JR Kyoto Station, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, KYOTO 600-8216 JAPAN
Open: 10:00-18:00 daily.
Closed: 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month and Year-end and New Year Holiday.
Good Kyoto maps