Reply To: Accessing Kyoto and accessible Kyoto hotels

  • Joan Pahisa

    August 9, 2022 at 1:18 am

    Hi Jay, moving around by cab in Japan can be quite expensive, especially for long distances. For small trips within the city it’s much better. If you arrive at Kansai Airport (KIX), buses going to Kyoto or to Osaka are just outside (on the same ground floor where arrivals get). Here’s a timetable of buses that go to Kyoto Station from KIX:

    Going by train may be a bit more complicated, as transfers would be the following: KIX to Namba Station by train, from Namba to Umeda by subway (red line named Midosuji) and from Umeda to Kyoto Station by train. The other option is to go to Shin Osaka instead of Umeda by subway and then take the bullet train to Kyoto Station. Even though, it may seem a bit daunting, actually, as a person with disabilities, if you ask station staff for help and tell them your destination (along the changes that you plan to make), staff will accompany you to the correct train and they will also be waiting for you at the platform when you get off to show you the way to your next train. It’s one of the perks of asking for assistance. If you use a rollator, you can ask for a “slope” or “suropu” in Japanese, to get on the train, so they can help you navigate the station.

    Just checked again the train options and there’s actually a train (JR Haruka 2 line) that goes from KIX to Kyoto station. If you asked for assistance on the plane, they could carry you to the train station and there you could ask for the assistance to go to Kyoto station.

    Regarding how long to stay in Kyoto, it depends whether you enjoy temples a lot or whether you only want to see 2-5 of them and then prefer to see other things and other cities.

    At a calm pace, I would definitely stay 3 to 5 full days in Kyoto (if you enjoy temples a lot even 7 days). From Kyoto, you can easily go to Osaka or Nara (you could keep staying in Kyoto, as there are many direct trains to both cities throughout the day). Osaka is a 15 or 30 minute ride (depending on the train) and Nara is a 1h ride. Then I would go 2-3 days to Osaka to visit the castle, Dotonbori (the area near the canal), Shinsekai for it’s different feel and its interesting street food and to one of the skyscrapers (either Abeno Harukas or Umeda Sky building), and 1-2 days to Nara to see the great Buddha, some more pagodas and also the deer. I would also suggest a 1-day trip to Himeji to see its castle, but, even if you take a taxi, to see the castle up close, you need to walk a lot and there are many stairs in the surrounding area and also inside the castle, so it may not be a good option. Otherwise, Kobe might be a good alternative for a 1-day trip if you want to enjoy some Kobe beef. It’s Chinese quarter and the port area are also interesting.

    Anyway, don’t hesitate to ask if you need anything else : )

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