Osaka to Kyoto Japan: Prices, Timetable & Tips

Osaka and Kyoto are neighboring prefectures, and it’s easy to travel between them.

In this travel guide, you’ll find useful information about traveling from Osaka to Kyoto by train and bus, including timetable, ticket prices, and tips.

Osaka to Kyoto: Overview

The distance between Osaka and Kyoto is about 56 km (35 miles), and you can easily travel between the two cities by train and bus.

  • Shinkansen (Bullet Train): The Shinkansen is the fastest option. Got a Japan Rail Pass? This ride won’t cost you extra!
  • Special Rapid Train (JR Kyoto Line): A budget-friendly choice, covered by the JR Pass.
  • Limited Express Trains (Hankyu Kyoto Line): Cheap choice if you don’t have a JR Pass.
  • Buses: Budget-friendly choice, great if you depart from Universal Studios Osaka.
  • From Kansai International Airport: Opt for Haruka Express or Airport limousine buses.

Tips: You can also book a tour to Kyoto and Nara from Osaka. You’ll visit beautiful places in Kyoto and Nara, such as the Kinkakuji temple, Arashiyama bamboo forest, and Nara Park.

Shinkansen15 minutes$10 (€10)Check tickets or JP Pass
Special Rapid Train29 minutes$3.8 (€4)Get JP Pass
Bus1 hour 10 mins$6 (€6)Check tickets
Tour1 day$58 (€58)Check availability
Travel options from Osaka to Kyoto.

I’ll explain each of these options in the sections below. Whatever you choose, I hope this guide helps you find the best way to get from Osaka to Kyoto.

Osaka to Kyoto Shinkansen (Bullet Train)

The journey from Shin-Osaka Station to Kyoto Station is a brief, 15-minute trip, making it an efficient choice for those keen to maximize their time.

Both stations are centrally located, ensuring a seamless transition from the urban heartbeat of Osaka to the historic charm of Kyoto.

While the ticket price might seem a tad steep, you’ll get unmatched efficiency and comfort. It’s free if you have a Japan Rail Pass, or costs 1,420 Yen/way.

You can hop on different Shinkansen services – Nozomi, Hikari, and Kodama. Each offers different speed tiers to suit your pace.

Particularly from October 2023, JR Pass holders can enjoy the swift Nozomi service by paying a supplemental fee.

  • Ticket Prices: 1,420 Yen/way
  • Travel Time: 15 minutes
  • Stations: Shin-Osaka Station -> Kyoto Station

Osaka to Kyoto by Special Rapid Train

Taking the Special Rapid Train on the JR Kyoto Line from Osaka to Kyoto is a smart choice if you’re looking to save some time and money.

It’s like hopping from one city’s downtown to another, easy and straightforward.

The Special Rapid Train costs only 560 Yen for a one-way ticket. And if you have a JR Pass, this ride won’t cost you anything extra. It’s covered!

The ride is a quick 24 to 29 minutes. So, you’ll be stepping out in Kyoto before you know it.

You’ll be boarding at platforms 8, 9, and 0 at Osaka Station and getting off at Kyoto Station. Both are central, so you won’t have to worry about additional transit.

  • Ticket Prices: 560 Yen or free with a Japan Rail Pass.
  • Travel Time: 29 minutes
  • Stations: Osaka Station -> Kyoto Station
Train info
Journey time15 ~ 29 minutes
PriceFrom $4 (€4)
Distance56 km (35 miles)
Frequencyseveral trains per day
First train6 am
Last train11:32 pm
Departure stationOsaka, Shin-Osaka
Arrival stationKyoto
ChangesDirect trains available
OperatorsJR Central
Train information from Osaka to Kyoto.
JR Central06:5507:09Check tickets
JR Central07:2007:34Check tickets
JR Central08:0008:14Check tickets
JR Central09:0809:22Check tickets
JR Central10:0710:21Check tickets
Train schedule from Osaka to Kyoto. You can check more train timetables here

Osaka and Kyoto by Limited Express Trains (Hankyu Kyoto Line)

Traveling by Limited Express Trains on the Hankyu Kyoto Line is a budget-friendly choice from Osaka to Kyoto. It’s great if you don’t have a Japan Rail Pass.

The ride takes you from Osaka-Umeda Station to Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station in just 44 minutes. Both stations are situated centrally in their respective cities, making your transit straightforward!

With trains departing every 10 minutes, the Hankyu Kyoto Line is a reliable choice for your travel plans.

While it’s more affordable, you’re not compromising on efficiency. It’s a balance between cost and convenience that’s hard to beat!


  • Don’t stress if you miss one train, as another will be along shortly, given the high frequency of departures.
  • If you prefer a less crowded journey, try to avoid rush hours in the morning and evening.
  • Keep some change handy for a smooth ticket-purchasing experience.

Osaka to Kyoto bus

With ticket prices starting at JPY 900 for adults and JPY 450 for children, hopping on a bus to Tokyo from Osaka is a cost-conscious choice that doesn’t rush you through the experience.

The travel times vary based on the specific bus service and departure points.

For instance, a bus ride from Universal Studios Japan (USJ) to Kyoto takes about 70 minutes.

It’s wise to check the bus schedules well in advance, especially if you’re planning to travel on weekends, as some services have limited numbers of rides per day.

For travelers with large luggage, the bus could be a more comfortable alternative as it avoids the hustle of navigating through crowded train stations.

  • Ticket Prices: JPY 900 for adults, JPY 450 for children/ way
  • Travel Time: Varies, e.g., 70 minutes from USJ to Kyoto
  • Stations: Varies, e.g., USJ Bus Terminal to Kyoto
Bus info
Journey time1 hour 10 mins
Price$6 (€6)
Distance56 km (35 miles)
Frequencyfew buses per day
First bus9:35 am
Last bus9:10 pm
Departure stationSakurajima Universal Studios
Arrival stationKyoto
Bus information from Osaka to Kyoto.
Keihan09:3510:43Check tickets
Keihan20:0521:56Check tickets
Keihan21:1022:16Check tickets
Bus schedule from Osaka to Kyoto. You can check more bus schedules here

Kansai International Airport to Kyoto

Getting from Kansai International Airport to Kyoto is pretty straightforward.

You’ve got a couple of good options depending on how fast you want to get there or how much you’re looking to spend. Let’s break it down:

Haruka Express Train:

Haruka Express is the fastest way to get from Kansai Airport to Kyoto, in just 70 minutes.

If you have a JR Pass, you can hop on the Haruka Express without any extra charges. Without the pass, the ride is priced at 1,880 yen, a fair trade for the speed and comfort it provides.

  • Ticket Prices: 1,880 Yen/way (Covered by JR Pass)
  • Travel Time: 70 minutes
  • Stations: Kansai International Airport -> Kyoto Station

Limousine Bus

For those who favor a more relaxed pace, Airport limousine buses from Osaka offer a leisurely ride from KIX to Kyoto.

With a journey time of around 2 hours, it’s a slower transition, allowing you to soak in the changing landscapes as you move closer to Kyoto’s city center.

A bonus point is that there’s a bus leaving twice an hour, so you won’t have to wait too long.

  • Ticket Prices: Ranges from ¥1100 – ¥1400/way
  • Travel Time: Around 2 hours
  • Frequency: Buses run twice an hour
  • Stations: Kansai International Airport -> Kyoto Station

So, whether you’re in a hurry to start exploring Kyoto or prefer to save a bit and enjoy the ride, you’ve got solid options to kickstart your Kyoto adventure from Osaka.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *