The ancient capital of Japan is full of amazing temples and shrines that are a must see for any tourist visiting Kyoto. However, how do you get to all of them? The answer is not as simple as you may want it to be, it will take some effort to make your way around this ancient city.
The biggest thing to know about getting around Kyoto is the lack of subways when compared to Tokyo. The ancient capital does not have all of the modern trains that the modern capital has, which will limit your options and where you can get to. There is the Karasuma Line that runs north and south and the Tozai Line that runs east and west. These are the main lines but there are other municipal lines, but just do your homework. The biggest station of course is Kyoto Station and both the Karasuma and Tozai lines run from here, making it a central hub to start your travels from.
If subways are not your thing, there are plenty of taxis out there that you can take. As always, taxis can be expensive, may not take cash, etc. so again make sure you do your homework and be ready for a lack of English and for them to possibly not take credit cards. These are the same things you can face in Tokyo, so don’t be surprised.
The easiest way to get around Kyoto of course is going to be your legs. Just keep a few things in mind before you suit up and head out your hotel door before exploring. Remember, there are tons of hills so your legs will be pushed in this city (like all of Japan). Also the streets of Kyoto are very narrow, especially when you get to the more residential areas that surround the temples and shrines. You may find yourself ducking behind cars and watching your six to avoid getting clipped by a car, just keep on your toes, it will go a long way.
The best way to get around Kyoto is to make a plan, know where you are going and make a plan to make the most of your journey while getting around Kyoto and make the most of your time to see everything you can. Map out everything you want to see and plan a route. Know if you need to take a train to a certain point and then if you can make the rest of the way on foot. And also make sure to have a plan to get back to your hotel at the end of the day. Nothing worse than being exhausted and trying to figure out how to get back to your bed and doing it while nursing some sore feet. Plan ahead!