Monday, June 15, 2009

Kyoto subway

Recently I visited Kyoto (Japan) for business. Before the visit I was looking for some info about how to use subway, if there are English signs and is it easy to use for a foreigner (yes, its very easy!). I could not found much info about this, so when I was in Kyoto I decided to take some pictures of Kyoto subway station next to my hotel.

I was using everyday Karasuma Line to get from my hotel (i.e. Gimmond hotel - it have no complains about this hotel) to my destination. The Gimmond hotel is just next to station K08 (i.e. Karasuma Oike). So I took some pictures from this station:

Kyoto subway map

This map is taken from this website.

Buying tickets

To my surprise using tickets wending machines, buying tickets and using subway was very easy. So I was basically traveling from station K08 to station K01 (the cost was 280 yen) and from K08 to K11 (i.e. main Kyoto station, cost 210 yen). So to use the subway we off course need to buy tickets. This is done using tickets vending machines available on each station:

To buy tickets it:

1. First check how expensive tickets you have to buy for your destination. You do this buy analysis subway map board above the wending machines (see above picture).

2. Put required amount of money to the wending machine. You can put more. For example if you want to go from K08 to K01 it costs 280 yen. You can put 500 yen coin or a 1000 yen bill into the wending machine or more. The machine will return you the change.

3. Once you put some money into the machine, the machine shows you the available tickets for this price:
4. You select thicket that you want and you collect the ticket and change if necessary:

5. When you have tickets you go to subway gates and use it there to "tag in". At your destination you use it again to "tag off". Or just follow the crowd:-) It's worth noticing that at the destination station when you "tag off" your tickets is automatically taken by the gate, so you loose it. If you want to keep it and have a recite, because for example you want a refund from your company for the tickets, you should not "tag off" using gates. Instead go to a booth next to the gates, there will be a subway stuff person and ask him for a recite. He will give you a red, rectangular stump on your ticket (see below):

Basically there are no problems using the subway in Kyoto. There are plenty of English signs next to Japanese ones, so everyone that knows a little bit of English should be fine. The only challenge at the very beginning might be buying tickets, but I hope that my post will help with this.

Some other sites in English about Kyoto public transport

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much, I had some concerns using this complicated machines, but the picture is clearer right now:)