May 06, 2004

come to kyoto!

Here are instructions and tips on how to get to me here in Kyoto. I'm in what's called the Saiin area of the city, very close to Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, otherwise known as Kyoto Gaidai.

Sara visited from Totori over Golden Week, and I've got some upcoming guests:

Jenn and Andy: May 21-26.
Jon and Krystal: June 20-25.
Stef: July 24-30.

I've had several people come visit me, and having to reiterate the passage here is a nuisance. In my long-standing tradition of laziness, I'll write it once here and point everyone to it.

Landing in Kyoto
Unfortunately, there is no Kyoto International Airport. There is, however, Kansai International Airport (KIX) in Osaka which is where I arrived in Japan, and I am most familiar with. So, the problem lies in how to get from Osaka to Kyoto--primarily, Kyoto Station (aka, Kyoto Eki: 京都駅).

Osaka to My Apartment by MK Shuttle
This will take you straight to my apartment. It requires a 2-day advance reservation, which I can make; or, if you'd like, you can make yourself on the website (which is in English). Highly Recommended.
Note: you'll need my address.
Cost: ¥3,000.
Time: sometime under 3 hours.

JR Rail Pass or Not?
There's the JR Rail Pass which, at minimum, costs ¥28,300 for a 7-day pass. This lets you take any of the JR lines for free, with the exception some of the exceptionally fast trains, but you can still get to the places you need. I highly recommend this for people travelling to-from Tokyo, especially if you're planning a round trip. A bullet train ticket from Kyoto to Tokyo will cost something like ¥13,220 one-way.

JR trains are, if memory serves me, more prominent in Tokyo than Kyoto, so if you plan on doing much sightseeing in Tokyo, I think it's a good investment. In Kyoto, my closest station is on a different line called the Hankyu line; so if you plan to just party with Ivan the whole time in Japan, I'd recommend not getting a JR Rail Pass.

Where do you live, Ivan?
My closest station is called Saiin: 西院駅 on the Hankyu: 阪急 Line. This is not very near Kyoto Station (I would say about an hour's walk), nor is it very accessible from Kyoto Station. The exact address is written in my contact page.


The following is additional information only; again, I highly recommend taking the MK Shuttle directly to my apartment.

Osaka to Kyoto (Saiin) by Train (aka, densha: 電車)
You want to, first, get to the main Osaka station, called Umeda. Take JR West to the station called "Osaka." More information is available at JR West website. From there, transfer to the Hankyu train line, making sure to take the platform towards "Kawaramachi" (Kyoto). There are various trains that go there: Local, Express, Rapid Express. Just get on any one, and it'll take you there, just at varying speeds. It'll be a long ride, at least 20 minutes, and you get off at "Saiin." Ask station attendants for help, they can usually slightly speak English and are more than welcome to help.
Cost: not sure, should be around 3,000?
Time: 73 minutes.

Osaka to Kyoto by Bus (aka, basu: バス)
I don't recommend it, but there's information on the web about it. A reservation may be required; most info is in Japanese. Also, the bus will most likely go to Kyoto Station, and not Saiin; so you will have to find some way to get from Kyoto Station to Saiin.
Cost: ¥2,300.
Time: can take from 70 to 105 minutes.

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