Japan Subway Systems: Kyoto Subway
Kyoto Subway (京都市営地下鉄)
Kyoto's subway system has two lines: the north-south Karasuma Line (green) and the east-west Tozai Line (red).
The Karasuma Line was the first to be constructed in 1981 and now runs from Kokusaikaikan in the northern suburbs via Kyoto Station to Takeda in the south, where it connects with the Kintetsu Line to Nara.
Kyoto Subway Trains
The Tozai Line, first opened in 1997 and runs from Uzumasa-Tenjingawa from the west via Nijo Station to Rokujizo in the south east of Kyoto.
The Keishin Line runs from Misasagi Station on the Tozai Line in Yamashina to Hamaotsu in Shiga. It is color coded in blue and white.
The two lines intersect at Karasuma Oike. The Tozai Line also connects with the Keihan Line to Osaka at Sanjo Keihan Station.
Karasuma Line stations are coded with a "K" and then a number, thus Kokusaikaikan Station is K01 while Tozai Line stations are coded with a "T" followed by a number, thus Rokujizo Station is T01.
Kyoto's subway is useful for visiting such places as central Kyoto, the Gosho Imperial Palace (Marutamachi Station), Toji Temple (Kujo Station), Daitokuji Temple (Kitaoji Station), Nijo Castle (Nijo Station) and Daigoji Temple (Daigo Station) but visitors will also need to utilize Kyoto's buses, walk or hire a bicycle to get the most out of the city.
Kyoto Subway Trains
Costume Fun on the Kyoto Subway
Single fares for adults on the system range from 210-340 yen and 110-170 yen for minors. There are a number of travel cards available including the Kyoto Sightseeing Pass Card (one day card 1,200 yen for adults and 600 yen for children; two-day card is 2000 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children). The pass is valid for the subway and city buses. An all-day inner city bus pass is 500 yen for adults and 200 yen for children.
The Kyoto City Subway One-Day Pass allows unlimited travel on Kyoto's metro and costs 600 yen for adults and 300 yen for children. The pass is available at the Kyoto Tourist Information Center (KYO Navi) on the second floor of the Kyoto Station building. The Kyoto City Subway One-Day Pass includes discounts on admission to Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Nijo Castle, Kyoto Zoo, The Museum of Kyoto and Kyoto International Manga Museum.
The pre-paid Surutto Kansai Miyako Card is available in denominations of 1,000 yen, 2,000 yen, 3,000 yen and 5,000 yen and is valid for travel on the Kyoto subway, Kyoto city buses, and the Hankyu and Keihan urban rail networks.
The Kyoto City Bus One-Day Pass allows for unlimited travel on all Kyoto city buses within the downtown fixed rate zone (excluding Arashiyama, Shugakuin, Takao and Iwakura) and costs 500 yen for adults and 250 yen for children. This pass is also available for the Kyoto Station Tourist Information Center.
Although not valid on Kansai's subways, the JR-West Kansai Area Pass can be used on JR trains connecting Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Nishi-Akashi and Himeji as well as the Haruka Express from Kansai International Airport (KIX).
The pass can be bought for 1-day (2000 yen), two successive days (4000 yen), three successive days (5000 yen) and four successive days (6000 yen) - with the half price for children. The JR-West Kansai Area Pass is available from major stations in the Kansai area and overseas branches of JTB, JAL, ANA and major travel agencies.
Kyoto Subway platform and ticket barriers
The Traffica Kyoto Card is a pre-paid travel card available in 1,000 yen and 3,000 yen denominations giving a free bonus of 10% on each card and is valid on Kyoto city subways and buses.
Kyoto's subway runs from around 5.30am until 11.55pm, 7 days a week with reduced services at the weekends and public holidays.
Tunneling was slow during the construction of the two lines to allow time for archeological research on Kyoto's long history. Items of interest found during the construction are displayed at Karasuma Oike Station.
Kyoto Subway ticket machines & Nijo Station on the Tozai Line
Kyoto Subway Map
Map courtesy of Kyoto City Web