The best way to get around Kyoto for sightseeing is by taking the city bus to the area you wish to walk and explore. It is the easiest and most cost-efficient way to travel from area to area around the city.
THE BEST AREA TO STAY IN KYOTO
For this reason, I highly recommend staying in a hotel close to Kyoto Station, which is the area’s major transportation hub with several railways and metro lines. My hotel was adjacent to the station, maybe a two-minute walk and I could not have enjoyed the convenience anymore. Each day, all I had to do was leave out and catch a bus to wherever I was going.
The city buses are located in front of Kyoto Station and they go all over the city. It is just a matter of figuring out which area you wish to explore. And then heading over to its platform and hopping on the bus. Locating which bus to take is easy because the signs are in both Japanese and English and it will tell you which area and sites are located within that vicinity as well as departure times.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO TAKE KYOTO’S CITY BUSES
Using the city buses to get around Kyoto for sightseeing is also very cost-efficient. The bus fare is just 230 yen for adults. There is also an option to buy a Kyoto city bus day-pass for 500 yen, which you can use unlimited times for the day in specific zones.
If you’re traveling outside of said zones, then you will have to pay extra.
Personally, I didn’t purchase any day-passes because I only took the bus to and from an area. I walked everywhere within the area I was exploring. So I only spent 460 yen each day on bus fare.
Finally, here’s a Kyoto Walking Guide you can download, which includes a couple dozens of walking tours, a map of Kyoto’s attractions, and transportation information to nearby attractions outside of Kyoto.