How to do 1 day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo!!

Both Tokyo and Kyoto are most famous cities in Japan!
Many tourists go both cities.
If you have only one day off in Tokyo, you could do one day trip to Kyoto.
We will introduce how to do one day tour to Kyoto from Tokyo!!

Transportation to Kyoto

There are two types of transportations.
#1 Shinkansen (bullet train)
#2 Bus
Let us see one each.

#1 Shinkansen (bullet train) : fastest and comfortable way

The fastest way is Shinkansen.
If you take the fastest Shinkansen(Nozomi), it takes about 140 minutes and costs 13,080 yen per person for one way.
When you have JR rail pass and you choose Hikari(second fastest), it takes about 165 minutes and for free!!

*Small but important tips for choosing seat
-You could find Mt. Fuji after 40 minutes from Tokyo station on your right(Nozomi, fastest train). So we recommend to get tickets of right side seat(E seat).
-In the station and train, you could find many types of Bento boxes. We recommend to buy it in Tokyo station.

#2 Bus : Cheapest one

The cheaper way is bus. Especially NIGHT bus.
If you take night bus, starting time is around 10-11pm, then arriving time is 6-7am. And it costs 1,700 yen – 6,000 yen.(depends on the day. Fri, Sat and Sun is expensive.)

Our recommended bus company is those three.
Willer Express 4,000 yen-
VIP liner  4,000 yen –
Sakura Kanko bus 1,700 yen- *Sorry it’s only in Japanese.

Recommended Itinerary

Then let’s think about one day tour.

#01.BASIC PLAN  Bullet train round trip 

8:00-11:00 Bullet train
11:00-18:00 Sightseeing in Kyoto for 7 hours.
(How to enjoy Kyoto for 7 hours is here.)
18:00-21:00 Bullet train
(Transportation fee:  about 26,000 yen)

#02.TILL THE NIGHT PLAN  Go by Bullet train and back by night bus.

8:00-11:00 Bullet train
11:00-18:00 Sightseeing in Kyoto for 7 hours.
(Please check itinerary from here.)
18:00-22:00 Enjoy dinner and night activity in Kyoto.
23:00-6:30 Back to Tokyo by night bus.
(Transportation fee:  about 15,000-20,000 yen)

#03.BUDGET TRAVEL  PLAN  Go and back by night bus.

23:00-6:30 Go to Kyoto by night bus.
6:30-8:00 Have a break and breakfast
8:00-18:00 Sightseeing in Kyoto for 10 hours.
18:00-22:00 Enjoy dinner and night activity in Kyoto.
23:00-6:30 Back to Tokyo by night bus.
(Transportation fee:  about 4,000-12,000 yen)

How do you think about that?
Recently night bus become more comfortable than before so it is one of the easy way to go Kyoto!!
If you want to have our advice, please free free to ask us.
(http://blog.japanwondertravel.com/travel-concierge)

Hope you could enjoy Japan efficiently!!

6 Comments

  1. Hi there! Thank you for the tip on this page! May I please ask if it’s advisable to take the Hikari there and back? And by what time should we take the Hikari at night?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Vivian-san,
      Thank you for your inquiry. Of course you could use Hikari between Tokyo and Kyoto.
      You could use Hikari with JR rail pass.
      Then last train is about 8pm between Tokyo and Kyoto.(It takes about 3 hours.)
      If you have any question, please feel free to let us know.

      Best regards,
      Yu

  2. Hi.. in regards to the bus.. is it safe for non- Japanese speaking passengers? Is it comfortable? How do I get more details on the bus? I’m flying in to Haneda.. how do I go by bus from there?

    • Hi Husna-san,
      Yes it’s safe for non-Japanese speaking passengers. I used bus last month, some non Japanese speaking passengers were in bus.
      3 seat-row is comfortable, 4 seat-row is bit tight, I think.

      Please check bus’s company page. From airport, there is an airport limousine bus to Shinjuku bus terminal.

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