How to Get Around in Kyoto
Kyoto is a fairly compact city, making it easy to explore and navigate without a car. Public transit, biking, and walking are all great options, and taxis are plentiful, though fairly expensive. See below for your best options for getting around Kyoto.
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
Start your visit with a hop-on-hop-off-bus trip to get your bearings. Grab a seat on the upper level of an open-top, double-decker bus for the best views of top attractions such as Kinkakuji Temple and Kyoto Imperial Palace. Audio guides in different languages provide additional insight into points of interest.
Kyoto’s public transit network comprises trains, subways, and buses. Six intercity and intracity train lines serve Kyoto, and the city’s two subway lines run north–south and east–west. The bus network is extensive and covers just about everywhere in town.
Kyoto is a great city to explore on foot, whether you want to wander around the central sightseeing districts or hike in the surrounding hills, and walking tours are popular. Some cover several sights within walking distance of each other, while others focus on a specific area or interest.
Kyoto’s flat terrain, relatively simple layout, and typically pleasant weather make it ideal to explore on two wheels. Join a guided bike or e-bike tour, or opt for a rental bike to explore the city on your own. Many popular attractions offer designated bike parking, though it may be more difficult to park in the city center.
For a unique perspective, explore Arashiyama or Higashiyama on a guided tour in a traditional Japanese rickshaw. Rides typically last from 20 to 120 minutes and include the Bamboo Grove and temples and shrines of Arashiyama or the historic wooden buildings and stone alleyways of Higashiyama.