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Discount Kyoto Train Tickets

Did you know you can save up to 30% on train tickets on the Hankyuu line?

By 3 min read

Whether you are a budget traveller, student, or full time worker in Japan, everyone enjoys a good discounts on train tickets. Since train tickets are likely going to be one of your top expenditures in Japan after accommodation, it’s definitely worthwhile to learn how you can save some money. If you come to Japan with a JR Rail Pass, it will be of limited use here in Kyoto, so where do you look?

There is a Kyoto City Bus and Subway Pass that lets you ride both the subway and busses for ¥1200/¥600 for one day or ¥2000/¥1000 for two days. Take the subway to Keage station and enjoy the beautiful Lake biwa canal.

Why not take a day out with the “Kyoto Arashiyama – Biwako 1 day ticket”? It allows you to explore the major tourist attraction Arashiyama in the west of Kyoto with the cozy Randen train. If you didn’t get enough of Kyoto for that day, the ticket can be used on the subway and Keihan Line all the way to Biwako in the east of Kyoto.

If you get tired of putting in coins for buying single tickets all the time, maybe the Surutto Kansai Miyako Card is something for you? It can be used on city buses and subway lines, as well as the Hankyuu and Keihan Line and other participating companies. You buy the card for ¥1,000, ¥2,000, ¥3,000 or ¥5,000 and each trip is deducted from the value of the card. Needless to say, there is of course the local IC card called ICOCA which you charge electronically and simply touch the pay station to get in or out busses and trains.

There are also several discount ticket vendors, called kinken shop(金券ショップ), in Kyoto. They are selling discount tickets for almost anything including train tickets. They have small shops conveniently spread out in Kyoto close to train stations and large shopping malls. When the shops are closed, there are sometimes vending machines outside that sells the tickets as well. You can for example get up to 30% off Hankyuu Line tickets, which can really help your finances in the long run if you are commuting every day. JR and Keihan Line tickets are also available for good prices.

Discount Ticket Shops Language Link
Kinken Shop Japanese Only www.kinken-shop.com/kyoto.html
Kounan Ticket Japanese Only www.kounan.com
Tokai Ticket Japanese Only www.tokai-ticket.co.jp

If you are working in Japan, the possibility is high that your company will give pay for your commutation fees, called koutsuu hi(交通費). The company usually uses a tariff on how much it costs buying a full price ticket from the station closest to your home to the company. Make sure to give one of these shops a visit and you might end up with a few hundred yen extra in your pocket every day. These places are often used by locals but usually unknown for foreigners or tourists in Kyoto for a short stay. Don’t count on them speaking English, but go give it a try!

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  • earlysda says:

    Did that today for the Hanshin line. 🙂
    Usually you need to specify if it is for:
    1. Futsuu – (normal ticket for packed times in morning and evening)
    2. Jisa or Hirudoki (middle-of-day ticket usually from 10:00-5:00pm)
    3. DoNichi or Kyuujitsu (weekends and holidays)
    For example, Hanshin tickets from Umeda to Sannomiya are usually 320jpy. That ticket at a discount shop can be found for 300. A Jisa ticket can be found for 280, and DoNichi for 250 or so. Usually the expiration date is a month or two from the date of purchase.
    If you need to use it regularly, like once a week or so, then it is best (for Hanshin anyway), to buy the card directly from the machine at the wicket, as that is cheapest.

    • Simon Jeffrey says:

      You say that the card at the wicket is the cheapest. How does it compare to the Kinken shop discounted ticket?

      • earlysda says:

        I used to think the tickets at the Hanshin wicket (and I’m guessing this works for Hankyu, Keihan, Nankai, Kintetsu etc.) were only full price. However, there are “Kaisuuken”s which give you a 6-time or 11-time use card when you buy them.
        For example, I used to buy a normally 300yen “Jisa” ticket at a kinken shop for 260yen each. Of course you get one ticket for each one you buy. One time when I wanted 7 of them, the shop lady said “Why don’t you buy it at the wicket?” That was news to me, so I went to the Hanshin wicket and found that I could get a 6-time card for 1500yen, which works out to 250yen each. The card is much more convenient too, as I have been known to lose a little ticket once or twice…..

    • Thanks for explaining how Hanshin works, I’m using Hankyuu almost everyday 🙂

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