A Beginner's Guide to the Kyoto City Bus System Part 3: Convenient Bus Services Categorized by Time and Destination
Do you want to continue sight-seeing even though it's late? Or perhaps you want to get from place to place more efficiently? Among the bus services offered by Kyoto City Bus, there are some that will help you achieve those aims! Check out this introduction of useful bus services in Kyoto!
Feb 05 2019 (Sep 09 2020)
Enjoy Sightseeing Till Late at Night in Kyoto with the Late Night Bus!
In most cases, the last bus and subway services will end between 10:00 PM and 11:00 PM. If you're out and want to continue sight-seeing till late, the taxi is an option but it may be a bit costly. In times like this, the Late Night Bus is your best firend!
The Late Night Bus services start from 12:00 AM, after the regular buses stop service, so you can maximize your time in Kyoto by staying out late!
The buses will stop at the same places as the regular city bus. You'll see the bus route numbers for the Late Night Bus indicated at the bus stops.
There are 4 Late Night Bus routes as shown below. Check out the details for each.
・MN17: From Kyoto Station bound for Kawaramachi-dori & Ginkakuji Temple area
Main stops: Kyoto Station at 12:00 AM - Shijo Kawaramachi at 12:12 AM - Kawaramachi Imadegawa at 12:21 AM - Demachiyanagi Station at 12:23 AM - Kinrin Shako at 12:32 AM
・MN205: From Kyoto Station bound for Nishioji-dori & Kinkakuji Temple Area
Main stops: Kyoto Station at 12:00 AM - Nishioji Shijo(Hankyu Sain Station / Randen Station) at 12:19 AM - Nishinokyo Enmachi (JR Enmachi Station) at 12:26 AM - Kinkakuji 12:32 AM - Karasuma Kitaoji at 12:45 AM
・MN204: From Karasuma Kitaoji bound for Takano, Kinkakuji Temple (You can transfer to MN204 from service MN205)
Main stops: Karasuma Kitaoji Station at 12:45 AM - Takano at 12:53 AM - Kamihatecho Kyotozokeigeidai-mae at 12:57 AM - Ginkakuji at 1:01 AM - Kinrin Shako at 1:04 AM
*You'll only be charged for 1 fare if you're transfering from service MN205
・MN Toku-Nishi Route #3: From Katsura Station bound for Rakusai New-Town
Main stops: Katsura Station West Exit at 12:00 AM - Kitafukunishicho at 12:10 AM - Minamifukunishicho 3-chome at 12:14 AM - Sakaidani Center-mae at 12:19 AM - Shinbayashi Center-mae at 12:26 AM - Sakaidani Ohashi at 12:28 AM
Additionally, the service days and fares will vary depending on the service route.
MN17, MN205, and MN Toku-Nishi Route #3 operate from Monday to Saturday, with no service on Sundays and public holidays. MN204 operates only on Fridays (including public holidays). In any case, none of the services are available at the end and beginning of the year (29 December - 3 January) and during Obon (14 August - 16 August) so do take note.
The fares for MN17, MN205, and MN204 are 460 yen for adults and 230 yen for children. MN Toku-Nishi Route #3 fares vary by distance but will be between 320 yen - 480 yen. The One-Day Pass can be used on all services but a top up of the balance fare is required.
Tips: Recognizing the Last Bus!
If you're planning to stay out sight-seeing till late, then it's important to be able to figure out if you've made the last bus or not.
To help with that, there's a way to figure out if a bus is the last bus or the second-to-last bus. Pay attention to the sign at the front of the bus!
If the bus route is in red, then it is the last bus.
If the information is in green then it is the second-to-last bus.
With this knowledge, you'll know if the bus you see at the stop or approaching the stop is indeed the last bus or if you can afford to miss it and another one will come. This way, you can avoid missing the last bus and having to find alternative transport!
Save Money with the 100 yen Loop Bus on Weekends and Public Holidays!
Next, there are tips for getting around the main shopping area of Shijo Kawaramachi.
While it's not a big area, the 100 yen Loop Bus service that goes around it will be great when you're carrying a lot of stuff, are feeling tired, or just had enough of walking.
The bus goes in a loop starting from Kyoto City Hall, then moving to Karasuma Oike, Shijo Karasuma, Shijo Kawaramachi, and finally back to Kyoto City Hall. Fares are at 100 yen for both adults and children. This is cheaper than the regular city bus so do use it! The One-Day Pass can be used on the Loop Bus as well. Buses come every 10 minutes or so, and the high frequency makes it really convenient.
This green sign with white text is on the 100 yen Loop Bus.
The sign above indiates bus stops for the 100 yen Loop Bus.
The bus also stops at some bus stops where other city buses also stop. In such cases, you'll see the 100 yen bus listed at the bus stop like in the above photo. The yellow arrow indicates the sign for the 100 yen bus.
Okazaki Loop - Serving the Okazaki Area Where Sight-Seeing Spots are Concentrated
The Okazaki area is home to many top spots like Nazen-ji Temple, Heian Jingu Shrine, the museum and zoo. Get around this area more efficiently with the Okazaki Loop bus.
The Okazaki Loop is a bus that services the Okazaki area. It also stops in the city center, Shijo Kawaramachi area, and Keihan Railways Sanjo Station, as well as the subway Higashiyama Station. This makes it a convenient way to get around Okazaki and also to get into the city. Buses come at 15 minute intervals so will never have to wait too long for a bus.
Adults ride for 230 yen each while children pay 120 yen. The One-Day Pass can be used on this service.
This mark indicates a bus stop serviced by the Okazaki Loop Bus. The illustrations are representative of the sights around Okazaki.
The buses are designed to mimic the trams that used to run through Kyoto. They're about half the size of the regular city buses.
They come with big windows so you can look out at the scenery in Okazaki during your ride!
Are these tips helpful for maximizing your time in Kyoto and moving around efficiently? Do make good use of these tips!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.