Kyoto to Arashiyama By Bus (Japan)

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Arashiyama (home to the famous bamboo forest or bamboo grove in Japan) is northwest of the city of Kyoto and some 10 km away. To reach Arashiyama from Kyoto, you can take a train, taxi (Uber will get you a taxi), tour, or bus. You could even walk to Arashiyama if you had 2 hours to spare. We chose to take the bus as it was an easy, cheap option. This post gives information on getting to Arashiyama by bus, plus links for your other options.

Arashiyama bamboo grove from Kyoto
The bamboo grove, Arashiyama, but Arashiyama, has much more to offer once you get there from Kyoto.

Obviously, we try to give you up-to-date information, but the Japanese bus companies don’t notify us if they change routes, fares, or bus stops. Regardless, this post should help you get to Arashiyama, the easiest way, by bus.

Arashiyama Bus From Kyoto

Bus stop Arashiyama from Kyoto
Bus stop C6 at Kyoto Station (Kyoto Train Station is to the rear of this photo) is where you need to catch the bus to Arashiyama.
Bus information in English Arashiyama Kyoto
These screens on the Kyoto to Arashiyama buses will give you good information, in English.

Once you’re on the bus to Arashiyama the two screens in the photo above will be your best friends. Information in Japanese and English on fares, how to pay, which stops are approaching, and so on.

We found the buses much easier to ride than the trains.

You do not have to get the bus to Arashiyama from Kyoto Station. When we Googled, that’s the information we found, it’s incorrect. Kyoto Station was a 40 min walk from our hotel (near The Gion). In fact, there are multiple places where you can catch an Arashiyama Bus, mostly around Kyoto Sanjo station, and along the main shopping street, Shijo.

Coming back we got off near Nishiki Market, along this street there are multiple bus stops just look for the right number bus. We give bus numbers for the Arashiyama-Kyoto bus below.

Buying Bus Tickets for Arashiyama

You do not need to buy a ticket in advance for the Kyoto to Arashiyama bus. Board the bus and pay the driver when you get off. You need the exact change in coins. The fare is 230 yen ($1.54 US) per adult, kids under 12 years old are cheaper. This information was correct at the time of writing, it may change.

The journey by bus to Arashiyama takes about half an hour. Arashitama is the final stop, you will get off the bus right next to the bridge.

bus stop arashiyama
The bus dropped us here in Arashiyama. Over the bridge to the left is the Monkey Forest, straight up and to the right you will walk towards the Bamboo Grove. There are food outlets and gift shops all along these roads and it is very busy.

The walk to the bamboo grove from the bus stop is only about 10 minutes, but there is lots more to see and enjoy in Arashiyama. If you can, allow a full day to explore.

We were told by local girls that the bus driver would normally give you change but on the buses we caught there was no change available.

Return Bus Arashiyama to Kyoto

Bus stop for Kyoto from Arashiyama
This bus stop, near the Arashiyama bridge, was where we caught our return bus to Kyoto. Almost opposite where we got off the bus.
bus stop arashiyama to kyoto
At the bus stop in Arashiyama, look for this section in English, it tells you which buses you can catch for your return to Kyoto, either Kyoto station, or further north to Shijo Kawaramachi, (Near Gion Shijo) which was more convenient for us.

We found the buses in Japan much easier to use than the train system, but after a week or so we were able to navigate the Japanese train lines fairly easily. You just need to get used to it.

Getting around in Japan was very hard for us at first, hopefully, you’ll do better. If you have any questions at all, please put them in the comments. If you scroll a little further down the page to the related posts section, you should see more of our Japan content.

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

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