Boarding bus in Kyoto

  • Boarding bus in Kyoto

    Posted by AnhJon on October 25, 2023 at 8:44 am

    What is the etiquette or rule for boarding a bus in Kyoto? Wait in line? Or wait near the front so the driver board the wheelchair first?

    I’m currently in Kyoto and want to visit many of the temples and touristy spots. I’ve read the articles on Accessible Japan and it recommended taking the bus at Kyoto Station to avoid the crowd mid transfer.

    AnhJon replied 7 months, 4 weeks ago 2 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Josh Grisdale

    October 25, 2023 at 9:05 am

    So, in general, everyone lines up and gets on at the front. However, I strongly suggest that even if there is a line, you go near to the front instead of lining up.

    This way you can wave to the bus driver to let them know you want to get on because they generally need to put wheelchair users on first. And they sometimes need to reposition the bus if it is too far from the curb for the ramp etc. So, being seen lets them know that you are there so they can take care in positioning.

    The wheelchair spot requires lifting up two seats to make a space and therefore possibly asking other passengers to move to make room. So, for that reason as well it makes sense to get on first. If you wait in line, the people in front of you will likely end up needing to move anyway, so, best to be on from the start.

    Also, as @joanp mentioned in one episode of The Trouble With Me podcast, the buses are VERY crowded and if the bus is already full, and all the other waiting passengers push on before you, you will not have any room to get on. This is why it is easier at the terminals.

    So, don’t worry about getting out front and being seen – if you are not assertive you will endlessly be told “its full, please wait for the next bus”.

  • AnhJon

    October 26, 2023 at 10:55 am

    Thanks for this great detail answer. Tried the bus at the Kyoto station and it was crazy long. Tried hailing a taxi was not successful either.

    • Josh Grisdale

      October 26, 2023 at 11:15 am

      Yes, while in theory the infrastructure is accessible, in practicality it isn’t sometimes. They really need to increase the number of buses…

  • AnhJon

    October 27, 2023 at 9:42 pm

    Took your advice and boarded at Kyoto on the 205 bus. I inquire with the bus staff/usher at the stop that I wanted to go to Kinkaku-ji Temple and he told me to wait first in line.

    When the bus arrived, it pass the opening and had to reverse so that the ramp can be deployed. It got very crowded, with each stop more folks squeezed onto the already crowded bus.

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