How to Travel from Tokyo to Kyoto





There are actually many ways to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto. Here we selected a few ways that will likely suits your preference:

Here are the major means of transportation between Tokyo and Kyoto


  • Highway Bus
  • Train
  • Shinkansen (Bullet Train)
  • Airplane





Cheapest Way:





Highway Bus


Cost: from JPY 1990~

Travel Time: from 7 ~ 9 hours



Here are some highway buses that operated Tokyo⇔Kyoto route.

Bus・Operating Company One-way Fare Travel Time Seat Type
Tokyo Express New Star (Kyoto Bus) JPY 4,880~8,600 Night 3-Seats
Osaka・ Kyoto ⇔Akihabara Line (Nankai Bus) JPY 6,690 Night 3-Seats per row
Rettsu (Nankai・Sanyo Bus) JPY 5,650~8950 Night Bus 3-Seats
Willer Express JPY 3,500~ Day・Night 3・4 Seats
KTP Liner JPY 1,900~ Night 4 Seats
Sakura Highway Bus JPY 2,060 ~ Night 3・4 Seats
Sunshine Express JPY 2,400 ~ Night 3・4 Seats
  • The fare varied according to travel period, timing, and seat type.
  • At certain period, bus operators do offer sales as well, so prices may become cheaper than the price listed.


Though highway bus takes a lot of traveling time, you can save traveling expenses and hotel fees. Moreover, as you travel on the highway, you can enjoy the scenery that could only be observed from high altitudes.








Seishun 18 Ticket


Cost: JPY 2370 (per day)

*The ticket cost JPY 11,850 and can be used for 5 times

Travel Time: Approximately 9 hours

The cheapest way is to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto is to use a free pass called Seishun 18 Kippu, or literally translated as ‘Youth 18 Ticket’. Despite its name, people of all ages and nationalities (both Japanese and foreigners) can use this pass. This ticket is sold only for a certain period of time in Spring, Summer, and Winter.


Period On Sale Validity
Spring February 2 ~ March 31, 2015 March 1 ~ April 10, 2015
Summer July 1 ~ August 31, 2015 July 20 ~ September, 2015
Winter December 1 ~ 31, 2015 December 10 ~ January 8, 2016


One ticket cost JPY 11,850 and can be used for 5 times (1 time per day). Each ticket provides unlimited use for all JR local, rapid trains, JR Ferry to Miyajima, and some JR buses. Multiple users can share the ticket together as well. For example, one person can use the ticket for five days, or five people can use the ticket together for a day. The ticket doesn’t have to be use on consecutive days.


Although Seishun 18 Ticket requires the long travel time among all the transportation means, but along the way, you can slowly observe scenery and hidden beauty of Japan. You can always stop by somewhere you like along the way and travel freely. In addition, you will also get to see how local people live and understand more about Japanese way of life. Along the way, you might meet some generous local, who could turn out to be good friend!


The ticket can be bought from JR East major stations ticket offices, major travel agencies, and affiliated sales center. If you are interested in this ticket, please contact us.





Fastest Way:







Cost: JPY 3,390 ~ 35890

Travel Time: Approximately 1 hours 5 minutes ~ 1 hour 25 minutes (excluding traveling time to the airport)


The nearest airport to Kyoto City is Osaka Itami Airport and Kansai International Airport.


Airlines Route Flight No. Fare
ANA Haneda⇔ItamiHaneda⇔KansaiNarita⇔Itami 30 flights18 flights4 flights JPY9,390~27,890JPY6,690~27,890JPY10,000~27,600
JAL Haneda⇔ItamiHaneda⇔KansaiNarita⇔Itami 32 flights4 flights4 flights JPY9,390~35,890JPY10,890~27,890JPY10,400~28,600
Star Flyer Haneda⇔Kansai 10 flights JPY5,000~25,300
Jetstar Japan Narita⇔Kansai 12 flights JPY 4,990~17,470
Peach Aviation Narita⇔Kansai 6 flights JPY 3,390~21,590


Airlines are basically divided into two types. One is the full-service airline (ANA, JAL, Star Flyer) and low-cost carrier aka LCC (Jetstar, Peach Aviation, etc.) In most case, the fare of full-service airlines are more expensive, but if bought in advance, you will receive「early bird discount」.


In case of traveling between Tokyo ~ Kyoto, you should know which Tokyo has two airport, Haneda Airport and Narita Airport, and Kyoto side are Itami Airport and Kansai Airport. The closest are to Tokyo is Haneda Airport and Itami Airport for Kyoto. However, the airports used by the LCC are Narita Airport and Kansai Airport, which is quite far and takes longer transportation time from Tokyo and Kyoto city center. Thus, besides from airfare, you should take traveling time to airport as well, when purchasing air ticket.


Though, LCC price may seem cheap and really attractive, but you have to consider about other factors beside the cost as well. First, LCC such as Jetstar and Peach Aviation only operates on Narita and Kansai Airport, which is far from the city center. Here, you should consider the traveling time and expenses to get to the airport. It takes around one hours and a half to two hours from the city center to the respective airport. The traveling expense ranges from JPY 1,300 ~ 3,500, depending on your point of departure. Second, most LCC does not offer baggage allowance (only one carry-on bag, which is usually limited 7 kg). So if you are likely to have heavy or lots of luggage, you will have to buy luggage allowance. In addition, the fare conditions of LCC is usually very strict, you cannot change your flight or with a very high fee.

However, if LCC offers a really cheap price during its sales promotion, it might worth going for LCC after taking into considerations of the factors mention above.





Most Comfortable Way:


Shinkansen (Bullet Train)

Cost: JPY 10,100 ~ 18,690

Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours 20 minutes ~ 3 hours 40 minutes

Ticket One-way Fare Remarks
Buratto Kodama JPY 10,100 Only Kodama Train, PPeak Season: JPY 11,400
IC Hayatoku JPY 11,800 Only for Express ReservationPlus EX Member
EX-IC JPY 12,830 Only for Express ReservationPlus EX Member
e-Express Ticket JPY 13,030 Only for Express ReservationPlus EX Member
Shinkansen Multiple Tickets JPY 13,070 Comes in set of 6 tickets, which cost JPY 78,420
Normal Ticket (Nozomi) JPY 13,910 Cheaper by JPY 310, in case of Hikari・Kodama


If you plan to travel to a lot of places (that uses JR train), buying a Japan Rail Pass (7 days, JPY 29,100), would be a good option to enjoy traveling in Japan comfortably and could saves you lots of traveling expenses since one roundtrip Tokyo⇔Kyoto would cost about JPY 27,000. Please note that Japan Rail Pass covers Hikari and Kodama trains, but does not cover Nozomi trains. Please contact us for more information.

In case you plan to stay over, buying Shinkansen+Hotel Package will offer you cheaper price that purchasing separately. Most major travel agencies (Nippon Travel Agency, JTP, JR Tours, etc.) do offer these plans as well.


Though Shinkansen may seem to be one of the more costly options, it is the most comfortable of all. You do not have to travel to the airport and go through the check-in procedure which takes lots of traveling time and as well as the traveling expense of going to the airport. It also takes much lesser time that bus or train, as it travels straight in a much higher speed. You can just sit comfortably and enjoy the picturesque scenery along the way from Tokyo and Kyoto.





We arrange tickets on your behalf! 


Nozomi Co. Ltd. arranges tickets of various events held in all over Japan on your behalf. It only takes 3 minutes to make a request! It’s Fast・Easy・Convenient, so please use our service.

When making purchasing request to our company, we charge JPY 2000 per ticket as a service fee. Upon making purchasing request, please pay “ticket price + service fee”. If you wished the ticket to be delivered via mail, delivery fee must be paid as well. (Example) Ticket Fee Price x number + JPY 2000 Service Fee + Delivery Fee (We are using Japan Post’s EMS. For the price chart, please click here).

If there is any ticket you want to purchase, please let us know the ticket event’s name and number of ticket, and send us request from the Contact Form page. We will promptly reply back with more details and price estimation.

Our company is located in Kyoto, the world’s renowned tourism city, with 13 years of history. We provide services for foreign tourist travelling to Japan. We offer not only ticket arrangement service for event or concert, but also attractive activities, famous restaurants, and tourist attractions that only provide reservation in Japanese. Don’t you want to try a unique travel experience? Please feel free to contact with us.


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