Charming Kyoto: Cheap food, lodging and tons of free entertainment

Prices in Kyoto : how much money do you need in 2020 – Travel Budget

27.6 € (3,851.9 ¥) is the minimum budget for a day in Kyoto . This is enough for a good budget hostel, two trips on public transport and food (the amount equal to two dinners in inexpensive cafes).

This amount does not include the cost of the flight and insurance. You can get to Kyoto from Kansai International Airport, round trip ticket from Moscow can be found from 30 thousand rubles. Don’t forget that you can always fly to Tokyo and go to Kyoto and other Japanese cities from there. From Vladivostok, you can find tickets and two times cheaper if booked in advance. You can pick up insurance at Cherehapa or, the prices start from 1,2 € per day.

Current exchange rate for the Japanese Yen: 100 JPY = 0,7 EUR = 43,5 RUB. It is more advantageous to change yen before the trip or withdraw money from the card. Cash is very often needed when traveling since paying by card is not possible everywhere. Japan is a “cash country”.

Open Borders Card:

Visa to Japan

Visas to Japan are free of charge. If you have something wrong in your documents, they will not say no and explain exactly what you need to correct and bring. Previously, you needed an invitation, a ticket and a hotel reservation were not enough. The easing of the visa regime came in January 2017.

The list of documents is usual, with no special features. The validity of the visa is 3 months. It is possible to obtain a single-entry and multiple-entry visa. To obtain a multiple-entry visa a good reason is needed. Period of visa can’t be prolonged.

How much does it cost to get from Kyoto Airport?

There are several ways to get from Kansai International Airport to downtown Kyoto:

  • An express train will take you to Kyoto in 75 minutes. A one-way ticket costs ¥3,600 (€25.8) and a round-trip ticket costs ¥5,200 (€37.3). The ticket price includes the ICOCA card; if you already have an ICOCA card, the ticket is about half price.
  • Buses are an alternative to trains. A one-way bus ticket costs ¥2,550 (€18.3), round trip ¥4,180 (€30.0). It takes an hour and a half to two hours to get there.
  • You can also use the MK Taxi or Yasaka Taxi shuttles. The trip will cost ¥4,200 (€30.1).
  • A cab to downtown Kyoto will cost an average of ¥31,000 (€222.1).
  • Individual transfers (from €271) can be booked at KiwiTaxi and Intui.Travel.
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How to get around the city?

How much does public transportation cost?

Kyoto’s public transportation system includes buses and subways.

  • A single bus ride costs ¥230 (€1.6). A bus pass for the day costs ¥500 (€3.6).
  • Metro fares are based on distance. Prices range from ¥210 to ¥350 (€1.5 to €2.5). A day pass costs ¥600 (€4.3).
  • A general pass (Kyoto Sightseeing Pass) costs ¥1,200 (€8.6) for one day and ¥2,000 (€14.3) for two days.

You can pay in cash or use one of the plastic cards (ICOCA, PiTaPA, etc.) or the Kansai One Pass.

How much does a cab cost?

Cabs in Kyoto, like in Japan in general, are expensive. The fare for boarding is about ¥600 (€4.3) and a kilometer is ¥200 (€1.4).

How much does gasoline and parking cost?

A liter of gasoline in Kyoto costs an average of ¥125 (€0.9). An hour of parking costs about ¥200 to ¥400 (€1.4 to €2.9).

If you want to rent a car, keep in mind that a Russian international license will not work.

How much does it cost to stay in Kyoto?

Hotels : In guest houses you can find a double room for 22-27 €. A traditional Japanese hotel (ryokan) will charge you about 45-50€ (e.g. Kamoya Ryokan) and a hotel room starts at 44€ (e.g. Hotel Chatelet Inn Kyoto).

Hostels: Rates for dorms start at €10.3, but good reviews range from €13-15 on average (e.g. A-yado Gion). A double room in a hostel will cost 30-50€.

AirBnb : In central Kyoto you can rent an apartment for €40-50, if you book early you can get it for €30 but not many. Rooms are comparable to apartments, and with luck you can find a nice centrally located room for €25-35.

If you don’t have an AirBnb account, you can get €35 for your first booking by signing up here.

So a good budget accommodation in Kyoto will cost you 11-20€ per night per person.

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How much does it cost to connect?

The most convenient way to use mobile Internet in Japan is to rent a wi-fi router. Renting it for 1 day costs ¥780 (€5.6) excluding taxes. There are discounts for rentals longer than a week.

How much does eating out cost?

  • Lunch at a cheap cafe: 900 ¥ (6.4 €). For example, Musashi Sushi.
  • fast food :
    • takoyaki from 300 ¥ (2.1 €)
    • ramen from 300 ¥ (2.1 €)
    • cappuccino – 400 ¥ (2.9 €) For example, Smart Coffee
    • Beer for ¥500 (€3.6). For example, Bar K6.

    By the way, beer is the national Japanese alcoholic drink. It is called “biru” in Japanese. Draught beer is “nama biru”. You can buy beer in Japan at any time of the day or night and without documents, just from a vending machine. Cigarettes, by the way, are only available with a special card.

    How much does groceries cost in the supermarket?

    Prices in Kyoto are 2.5-3 times higher than in Moscow. Almost all categories of goods are more expensive, but especially fruits and vegetables. An apple may cost over 100 rubles. In supermarkets you can buy not only groceries for cooking, but also a quick snack.

    How much does entertainment cost?

    Kyoto offers free tours from Kyoto Free Walking Tour or Kyoto Free Guides. Russian-speaking guides can be found on Tripster and Sputnik8.

    A hop-on-hop-off bus ticket costs ¥1,000 (€7.2), but it runs only on weekends or holidays. A two-hour cruise on the Hozu River costs ¥4,100 (€29.4).

    How much do souvenirs cost?

    On average, prices for souvenirs in Kyoto are as follows:

    • Basic souvenirs: postcard 0.7 €, magnet 1.2 €, t-shirt 7 €
    • Specialty souvenirs: yatsuhashi 4 €, green tea from 4 €, traditional figurines from 5 €

    Kyoto Museums

    Regular admission to the National Museum of Contemporary Art costs ¥430 (€3.1), Kyoto Museum ¥500 (€3.6), National Kyoto Museum ¥520 (€3.7). A visit to the Kyoto International Manga Museum is more expensive at ¥800 (€5.7).

    A visit to Nijo Castle will cost ¥600 (4.3€). The Imperial Palace can be visited for free, but only with a guided tour at a certain time. Shrines and temples range in price from ¥500 (€3.6) for free.

    How much more expensive is Kyoto compared to Moscow?

    Prices for holidays in Kyoto are higher than in Moscow. Groceries in supermarkets are significantly more expensive, but food in cafes and restaurants is even slightly cheaper. Public transportation and cab prices in Kyoto are much higher. Read more at

    When to come to Kyoto?

    Kyoto is worth visiting for about three days. In terms of weather, the best time to go is the off-season, spring or fall. You can catch interesting events and national festivals all year round:

    • In February, there’s the Kyoto Marathon and a gastronomic festival
    • March sees the Higashiyama Hanatoro lantern festival.
    • cherry blossoms bloom beautifully in April
    • in May the traditional Aoi Matsuri procession, etc.

    You can find a calendar of events on the tourist portal.

    Bottom line. So how much will I spend?

    • 11-20 € for lodging.
    • 3,6-8 € for transportation.
    • 13-20 € for food (cafes and supermarkets)

    Useful Links

    • Prices in Kyoto on Numbeo
    • Facebook groups and TV-chats/channels about Japan: Russians in Japan, @shambaland, @about_japan, @JapanTasty, @wrenjapan
    • Wikitravel about Kyoto: in English, in Russian
    • Kyoto travel guides: from Knife magazine for 2 weeks
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