transportation

IC cards

IC cards are prepaid or postpaid cards that work on many kind of transportation all over Japan and some restaurants and vending machines. For the Kansai area there are two main types of cards. The ICOCA that is run by JR west and PiTaPa run by a non-JR company.

Learn about getting an ICOCA card.

Learn about getting an PiTaPa card.

transportation

How to get and use a ICOCA card

You can buy this card from a ticket vending machine or from JR ticket counters. With the ticket vending machine you can choose Japanese or English. Press the purchase ICOCA button. Then press the 2000 yen button. Put in 2000 yen. Then you will receive the card. 500 yen is used as a deposit that you can get back when you turn the card in. The other 1500 yen is the money on the card ready to be used. To use the card simply hold it over the scanner when going through the gates both when entering and leaving. ICOCA can be used on buses, subways, non-JR trains, and JR trains in the kansai area. In other areas it has other restrictions.

To add money click charge and the amount of money to add either on ticket machines or ICOCA machines in JR and other stations.

transportation

How to get and use a PiTaPa card

Unlike the ICOCA card the PiTaPa card is postpaid card which requires that is connected to a bank account. The card requires a credit check or a deposit before use. There are basic PiTaPa cards as well as cards that affiliated with companies and can have other benefits or uses. You will have to fill out an application form which can be found at one of participating Railway stations. The PiTaPa works on many major railways, subways, and buses. However to use it on JR railways you must pre-load money onto the card.

transportation

How to get and use a commuter pass (with and without a ICOCA card)

A commuter pass (定期券 teikiken) is a pass where you pay a fixed price for one or three or six months and you can get unlimited travel between two stations and only between those two stations. The longer you buy the pass for the cheaper per month the pass is. If you going between the same two stations regularly then it would be worth it to get a commuter pass. The commuter passes start 13 days after you purchase it.

How much a commuter pass is depends on the length of travel and the amount of months it is for. To check on this go to hyperdia.com/en and input your starting and ending stations and then in then top right-hand area of each of the routes there will be the cost for all of the commuter passes for that route.

To get a commuter pass you will need to go a green ticket buying machine, it will be alongside the other ticket buying machines. You will need to buy the commuter pass in Japanese there is no English version. You have to buy the commuter pass at the green ticket window (みどりの窓口 midori no madoguchi) if you already have an ICOCA card that you would like to use for the ICOCA card with a commuter pass. If you want an ICOCA card with a commuter pass and you do not have one then you will need to pay 500 yen for the ICOCA card deposit.

How to use the green ticket machine

Click the “定期券” button on the machine. You will have to choice getting an commuter pass or getting an ICOCA card with a commuter pass. You have to chose that you are buying a new pass “新規定期券” not continuing a pass. Then enter your information including birthday, phone number, how long the commuter pass will be for (1, 3, or 6 months), and starting and ending stations. Then you can pay by credit card or cash. Then confirm and you get your commuter pass.

How to buy from the green ticket window

For this you first have to get a commuter pass form (定期券購入申込書 teikiken kounyuu moushikomisho) and fill it in then you will take that to the green ticket window and follow the directions of the staff. If you already have an ICOCA card you would like to use for the commuter pass then use this method.

transportation

Quick guide to bus routes near Ritsumeikan apartments

From Fukuoji stop (near Freepia on the same road as the 7/11)

Bus 59 towards Shijo Kawaramachi

Major stops

Ryoanji Mae (closest to the side entrance of Ritsumeikan),

Ritsumeikan Daigaku Mae (the stop in front of Ritsumeikan University)

Kawaramachi Sanjo (a stop in downtown Kyoto)

Shijo Keihan Mae (stop outside of a Keihan station)

Sanjo Keihan Mae (final stop which is outside of a Keihan station)

Bus 26 towards Kyoto Station

Major stops

Shijo karasuma (a stop in downtown Kyoto)

Kyoto Eki Mae (final stop which is outside of Kyoto Station)

From Kinkakuji

Bus 12 towards Ritsumeikan University

Major stops

Kinkakuji Michi (a stop near kinkakuji)

Kinkakuji Mae (a stop in front kinkakuji)

Ritsumeikan Daigaku Mae (the final stop which is in front of Ritsumeikan University)

Bus 59 towards Ryoanji Temple

Major stops

Kinkakuji Michi (a stop near kinkakuji)

Kinkakuji Mae (a stop in front kinkakuji)

Ritsumeikan Daigaku Mae (the stop in front of Ritsumeikan University)

Ryoanji Mae (closest to the side entrance of Ritsumeikan)

Bus 59 towards Shijo Kawaramachi

Major stops

Kinkakuji Mae (a stop in front kinkakuji)

Kinkakuji Michi (a stop near kinkakuji)

Kawaramachi Sanjo (a stop in downtown Kyoto)

Shijo Keihan Mae (stop outside of a Keihan station)

Sanjo Keihan Mae (final stop which is outside of a Keihan station)

Bus 101 towards Kyoto Station

Kinkakuji Michi (a stop near kinkakuji)

Kyoto Eki Mae (final stop which is outside of Kyoto Station)

transportation

500 yen bus pass

bus passbus map

If you are going to use three or more buses within the city centre (which includes all buses with the flat rate) in one day, then it would be smart to get the 500 yen bus pass. You can buy it from convenience stores or from the bus driver. If you are using it, put in in the upper yellow slot as you would any other cards. It will print the date on the pass and for all trips after that you just show it to the driver. The easiest way to ask for the pass is to say gohakyu en basu pasu (五百円バスパス). With the pass you can still go till the stops written on the picture, which now includes Arashiyama. You can also ride any buses that are the flat rate of 230 yen.

transportation

Riding city buses in Kyoto

full busWith buses within the city centre, they have a flat fee of 230. You get on the bus from the back door. If you are taking a bus that will go outside the city centre (like to Takao) that is when you get you take a ticket as you get on that will tell you how much you have to pay. Then when your stop is coming up press the red part of the button next to your seat or on the pole. There are screens at the front of the bus where you can see the next stops in both English and Japanese.

bus machine

When you are getting off drop your change in the slot in the machine next to the driver (1). If you do not have change then you can put a 1000 bill in the lower yellow slot for change (it gives you both 100 and 10 yen coins) (2), you can also get change for 500 yen (3), the change will come out into the both cup (5). If you have a card put it in the upper yellow slot (4).