How To Get From Tokyo to Kyoto

Traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto opens up a world of possibilities for exploration. Tokyo lies on the southeastern side of Honshu, Japan’s main island. It’s known for blending traditional culture and futuristic innovation as well as its iconic landmarks and vibrant culinary scene. Kyoto boasts exquisite temples, shrines, and preserved historical architecture, offering a captivating glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage. The distance from Tokyo to Kyoto is approximately 450 kilometers (280 miles).

Numerous transportation options are available, including guided tours, rental cars, buses, trains, and private transfers. Tours streamline the Tokyo to Kyoto travel experience while providing a chance to unlock the country’s rich cultural treasures. However, other modes of transport offer the flexibility of making scenic stops along the way. Keep reading to discover all the options for getting from Tokyo to Kyoto.

Best Way to Get from Tokyo to Kyoto: Join a Tour

how to get from tokyo to kyoto

Guided tours from Tokyo to Kyoto offer numerous advantages that enhance your overall travel experience. Tourist Italy’s tours enable you to explore the hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path attractions along the route. This way, you’ll discover more of Japan’s captivating culture and breathtaking landscapes between the iconic cities on an immersive adventure. Many of our packages which include train transfers between cities, stand out for their efficiency and convenience. You’ll be able to savor every moment exploring the best parts of Japan, enjoying the highlights of each city while also discovering lesser-known hidden gems. 

We also offer a range of Japan package tours that do not include transportation but will help you maximize your time at each destination. From a unique 7-day Flavors of Japan culinary tour to our packages like the 8-Day Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara & Osaka Tour or the Tokyo, Osaka & Kyoto 10-Day Tour, you have plenty of options. With all these, your accommodation and activities are pre-organized, allowing you to easily explore more locations throughout Japan.

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Other Ways to Get From Tokyo to Kyoto

Tokyo to Kyoto

By Bus

Getting from Tokyo to Kyoto by bus is a convenient travel option. The trip duration averages seven to nine hours. Ticket prices vary based on the company, class, and amenities but generally range from ¥3,600 to ¥16,000. Buses depart from Tokyo’s travel hubs like Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Station and arrive at various locations in Kyoto, including Kyoto Station and major hotels. Companies serving this route include Willer Express, JR Bus Kanto, and Kintetsu Bus, offering a range of daily departures to accommodate your schedule. Or, you can pre-book a shuttle bus for a hassle-free transfer between the two cities.

By Train

The Tokyo to Kyoto bullet train offers a seamless and efficient journey through the picturesque landscapes of Japan. Departing from major stations like Tokyo Station or Shinagawa Station, the high-speed Shinkansen Tokyo to Kyoto bullet trains provide a swift connection in under two-and-a-half hours. The Tokyo to Kyoto bullet train cost ranges from approximately ¥11,000 to ¥16,000. The train from Tokyo to Kyoto runs frequently throughout the day, with multiple departures each hour. This bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto showcases Japan’s well-developed railway network, renowned for its punctuality and comfort. It’s a top choice for locals and tourists alike.

By Car

Driving from Tokyo to Kyoto is a scenic road trip across Japan’s picturesque landscapes, spanning approximately 450 kilometers (280 miles). The trip duration varies depending on traffic and stops, averaging around six to eight hours. There are tolls along the route, which adds to the overall cost of the journey. An International Driving Permit (IDP) and a valid driver’s license from your home country are required for foreign tourists driving in Japan. Additionally note that in Japan, they drive on the left side of the road. 

Private Transfers

Booking a private transfer between Tokyo and Kyoto offers a luxurious and convenient travel option. Private transfer services provide the comfort of a dedicated vehicle and a professional driver, ensuring a seamless journey tailored to your schedule and preferences. While it typically costs more than other modes of transportation, the convenience, personalized experience, and simplicity provide a stress-free and efficient travel experience. Private tours in Japan are worth the higher expense if you value comfort, security, and flexibility to explore en route.

Rice and Shrine – It’s Time to Explore Kyoto!

In the captivating journey from Tokyo to Kyoto, each travel option has different advantages. Guided tours are an outstanding choice. They seamlessly weave together the allure of both cities while expertly managing all logistical details. This immersive approach ensures a stress-free adventure and allows travelers to delve into the heart of Japan’s culture. Additionally, other transportation methods like buses, trains, and rental cars offer their own unique appeals. For independent travelers, Kyoto tours like our Historical Cycling Tour and Best of Kyoto Day Tour provide an enriching and unforgettable exploration of the city’s countless treasures. If you’re looking for more ideas for your time in Kyoto, we have plenty of inspiration. From Kyoto’s best contemporary art galleries to the city’s most Instagrammable places, like the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, we’ve got all your travel needs covered.

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