Getting around in Kyoto

Old Aug 6th, 2016, 08:11 AM
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Lolazahra, I did read MBM's response to kja as being nasty. That may not have been her intent, as I am reminded by the responses here. kja is someone who answers Japan questions (and others) endlessly and I felt she didn't deserve the nastiness.

MBM, we opted to use taxis in Kyoto, as our time there was limited (five full days) and we had so much we wanted to see. It worked well, though it is more expensive than public transport.
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Old Aug 6th, 2016, 05:19 PM
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You can buy an all day bus pass to ride the busses all day in Kyoto. That's what I did on my last visit November 2014. You buy the pass from the bus driver or at Kyoto station. Kyoto's busses are great and go everywhere. Best 500 yen you will spend.

http://www2.city.kyoto.lg.jp/koho/en...transport.html
http://www.insidekyoto.com/special-k...-subway-passes
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Old Aug 7th, 2016, 02:16 AM
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kja,

Just as with email tone can be misinterpreted in the digital world. You are a wealth of information and a great writer, so your contributions are appreciated.

In the end, I think this is a good thread to remind us all that most people have the best intentions.

MBM, totally off subject -- take the family to Fire Ramen. It's a blast.
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Old Aug 7th, 2016, 08:36 AM
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@ Kathie: Thank you. I do try to be helpful.

@ Lolazahra: Thank you for your kind words.
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Old Aug 7th, 2016, 09:21 AM
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I agree with Kathie. MBM's reply was a wee bit sarcastic, which is against the posting rules. And it was double uncool to do that to someone who gives lots of help to everyone.

I also wanted to second susiesan's suggestion about taking buses in Kyoto. I forgot that we took a few. But I have since taken many city buses in other cities in Japan, and have purchased an all day pass. The buses are always clean and pleasant. Good idea.
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Old Aug 9th, 2016, 02:27 PM
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Hi Guys -

I'm a California mom in Kyoto too with husband and teens! We have been getting great tips on my post "totally unprepared". Thank you!

Kyoto is our last leg and I spent the least amount of time preparing for this. I sent an inquiry to MK taxi company but did not get a reply yet.

Any suggestions for a private taxi? The heat has taken its toll after a day at Universal Studios yesterday. With everything spread out, we want to conserve energy.

I relied heavily on Japan guide for the overall itinerary but I found the "getting there" sections not specific enough.

Seems like this is the same question as the OP ...

We have JR passes but they don't work on the local trains. For a family of five, the 3 stops on the train from Kyoto station to our ryokan last night cost $11 one way. The fares add up quickly. I'd rather pay a cab ...

PS I panicked about the location of the Westin and split our stay 3 nights guesthouse in central downtown ($900) then last 2 nights Westin (free). Based on the cost of this trip, I'm thinking the free Westin all 5 nights would have been better.
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Old Aug 9th, 2016, 02:41 PM
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No need to pre-arrange a taxi for anything in Kyoto. There will be taxis either at your ryokan or the ryokan can call one for you. There will be taxis at all of the temples you visit, so you don't have to hire one taxi for the whole day. But if you want to hire a taxi for a whole day or several days, you can certainly do that.

We had 6 free nights at the Hyatt in Kyoto. I always encourage people to use hotel points when they can in Kyoto as it is the most expensive location for hotels in Japan.

Yoou will find all of the taxis very clean. Many have white seat covers, and many taxi drivers wear white gloves. No tipping!
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Old Aug 9th, 2016, 02:46 PM
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Thank you Kathie -

Will these readily available taxis seat 5?

Yes - Should have stuck with points. But, we are in a charming prime location. Kids are asleep and my husband is on his way back from a quaint bakery with coffee and pastries in hand. Probably not worth $900 to avoid the dreaded chain hotel buffet but we will recoup the $ next year when we use the points in Spain. ��
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Old Aug 9th, 2016, 06:07 PM
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Typical taxis in Japan are the same sedans you see in the US, but with different names. For example, a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry are the same, but are marketed under different names, so only five people maximum will fit, including the driver. I would make arrangements through the hotel for a mini-van and driver, something like a Honda Odyssey.

So, the hotel will be better at phoning your taxi company for you. I have found that hotels, and taxi companies often don't respond to emails. It may be the language barrier, or they prefer faxes (that's what the ladies at the JNTO in Los Angeles told me). The taxi driver will not come cheap, but if the alternative is becoming wilted from the infamous Kyoto humidity, and everyone getting cranky, why not?

Don't worry about the hotel points. As long as you keep them active, they'll last forever. There are cities that are alot more expensive than Kyoto where their usage may pay off.
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Old Aug 10th, 2016, 05:12 AM
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MBM - Would love to hear how it's going. Favorites? Tips?

We beat the heat tonight with a very enjoyable evening stroll through Nishiki to Ponchoko alley. Amazing dinner and a great walk home.
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Old Aug 10th, 2016, 09:03 AM
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Fire ramen brings back good memories

Have your taxi or hotel concierge tell you how to get to Menbakaichidai ramen.

Kathie is right using points on hotels in Kyoto and most of Japan will be getting the max value of your points.

Aloha!
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Old Aug 11th, 2016, 12:21 AM
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Hi Jill!
We r back in Tokyo now, but here are my Kyoto tips....

Yes, the Westin was kind of out of the way from dining options. But, for breakfast you can not beat the little coffee shop just a few hundred feet from the taxi ramp to the hotel. (Off premises)
For 500 yen you get coffee, eggs, salad, and toast made by a lovely gentlemen who has been at it for 25 years! The coffee brewing is something to watch! Siphon coffee is delish!!

There is also a Japanese place called asuka, I think. Just 10 minute walk from hotel. Crowded and we had to wait for a table, but pretty good and inexpensive.

We also found that 20 minutes walk from the hotel towards the river took us to many dining options. We cabbed it there and walked back....

More later!!!! Have to run to dress for dinner res.
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Old Aug 11th, 2016, 02:28 AM
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In the area just over the river was Musashi, conveyor belt sushi. Most plates were 145 yen for 2 pieces. My kids went crazy and the plates stacked pretty high, but we were still under $100 USD!! This is a popular spot one of our guides told us about. Expect a line, but it moves quickly.

We also enjoyed Istanbul Saray down the street and in an alley. When need you need a break from Japanese food this was amazing!! Kabobs and middle eastern salads were a treat!

Near the silver temple we ate at Omen for lunch. We loved it!! This place gets packed and we were lucky to beat the rush! Wonderful Udon noodles!

We also rented bikes for 1000 yen an adult and 800 yen a kid the JR station in saga-arashimya. We ride to the Golden Temple, which was a tough uphill ride, but we also rode to the monkey park, which everyone loved! 150 yen to get apples and peanuts to feed the monkeys!!!

Will continue more later!!
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Old Aug 11th, 2016, 02:32 AM
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Oh yeah....they gave us coupons at the Westin for 10 percent off the in house restaurants as part of the check in (maybe because we are Starwood gold) we tried the Chinese and it was very good!
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Old Aug 12th, 2016, 04:26 AM
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MBM, sounds like Kyoto was a hit. Fantastic! Jill02 -- enjoy! We sure did!
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