Kyoto Open-Top Bus - Freely Hop On and Hop Off


The "Sky Hop Bus" is a red, double-decker, open-top sightseeing bus that offers tours around Kyoto where you can get on and off whenever you like. You can take in famous sightseeing spots right from your seat on its spacious and roofless upper deck. Gaze over Kyoto's beautiful scenery, get off at any sightseeing destination that grabs your interest, wander around, eat, play, and then get back on. Freestyle your Kyoto tour and take your fill of everything it has to offer.



A First-Hand Experience of this Historic Townscape

The Sky Hop Bus is a spacious, roofless, open-top bus. From the comfort of your seat on the upper deck, you'll enjoy the sights of Kyoto's famous landmarks and historic sites, such as Nishiki Market, Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji Temple, Ginkakuji Temple, Heian-Jingu Shrine, Kiyomizudera Temple, and so on. Kyoto is a place where even the buildings will give leave you longing for its halcyon days. There's also a plethora of photo spots you can snap pictures of right from the bus window.

Hop-on Hop-off

Freely Hop On and Hop Off

No Roof and No Schedule

The Hop-on Hop-off Bus Route is a bus tour where you get on and off whenever you like. You can hop on and off the bus as many times as you want at any of the stops, giving you the freedom to plan your own sightseeing itinerary. Enjoy the sights on the upper deck right from the bus window, hop off when you're near your sightseeing destination, and get back on whenever you like. Take this pleasant cruise around the many must-see attractions Kyoto has to offer, and if a particular spot catches your interest, feel free to get off and walk around. You can enjoy sightseeing at your own pace.

Tour with Audio

A Complete Audio Guide

Dive Even Deeper into Kyoto's History

Free audio commentaries are available for a variety of different sightseeing destinations. If you put on our provided earphones, you can listen to a fun, in-depth commentary from a guide who knows all there is to know about Kyoto. The audio guide is available in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, and German. Additionally, thanks to its GPS technology, the audio commentary will start to play with perfect timing when a must-see attraction is near. Wouldn't you like to give your ears a taste of these charming attractions too?

Course Map

This route travels around Kyoto's iconic spots, such as famous places, shrines, and temples. You can freely get on and off at any stop. If you get off close to somewhere you'd like to explore, please feel free to enjoy other sightseeing spots in the area as well.

Course Guide

This route offers the chance to experience all the charm packed into the former capital of Japan. Destinations include: Nishiki Market, often referred to as the "Kitchen of Kyoto;" Nijo Castle, a certified World Heritage Site; Kinkakuji Temple, famous for its shining golden reliquary hall; Ginkakuji Temple, which showcases the "wabi-sabi" culture of Kyoto's Higashiyama district; Heian-Jingu Shrine, which is famous for its large torii gate; and Kiyomizudera Temple, also known as Kiyomizu Stage.

  • Kyoto Course

  • 1. Kyoto Station, Karasuma Exit

    Kyoto Station was designed by the architect Hiroshi Hara based on the idea of Kyoto being a gateway to history. The building incorporates a grid-like design resembling a go board, which is characteristic of Heian-era Kyoto, and features gate-like structures at the Karasuma Exit and Hachijo Exit.The pedestrian walkway between the Karasuma Exit and the Hachijo Exit includes an expansive sightseeing information office for easy usability for domestic and overseas travelers alike.The Karasuma Exit’s impressive design in particular gives a feeling of the beginning of a sightseeing adventure in Kyoto. The Hachijo Exit includes numerous coin-operated lockers as well as shops offering Kyoto-specific souvenirs and dining, making it an ideal place to pass the time while waiting for a train.
  • 2. Nishihonganji Temple (Kyoto Tokyu Hotel)

    Nishi Hongan-ji temple is the head temple of the Hongan-ji school of the Judo Shinshu sect, and was built by Kakushinni, the daughter of Shinran Shonin, to pray for the soul of her father, and is designated as a world Heritage site. You can always visit Amida-do Hall, Goei-do Hall, Karamon Gate, etc., and the interesting highlight is the “buried tree” in the corridior of Ameda-do Hall and Goei-do Hall. It seems to be a playful spirit of a shrine carpenter, but trees shaped like Mt. Fuji, gourds, eggplants, etc. are buried, so please look for it by all means. It would be nice upload sns photos of Karamon and buried trees together.
  • 3. Shijo Karasuma/Nishiki Market

    The area between Shijo-Karasuma and the Gion district is the busiest in all of Kyoto. This area includes the famous Nishiki Market, which has served as Kyoto’s central food market for more than 400 years. At about 390 m long, the market includes 126 shops along a road that varies between 3.3 and 5 m wide. A wide variety of Kyoto tastes—including popular chocolate croquettes, dashi broth-flavored rolled egg, and dagger-tooth pike conger—are popular treats for visitors to enjoy.
  • 4. Nijo-jo Castle

    Located next to Nijo-jo Castle is the To-ji Shingon Buddhist temple of Shinsen-en, regarded as one of the only remaining ruins of the time of Heian-era Kyoto’s construction. This temple is home to one of the oldest gardens in Kyoto, which has been recognized as having the oldest record of cherry-blossom viewing. Within the temple grounds, visitors can also find the unique shrine of Eho-sha, which is moved on New Year’s Eve toward the eho (lucky direction) for the coming year, making it easy for visitors to pray while facing the most auspicious direction.
  • 6. Kitano Tenmangu Shrine / Kamishichiken

    For those heading to Arashiyama, the Randen tram Kitano-Hakubaicho Station is located just 10 minutes on foot from the bus stop. The Randen tramway offers convenient access not only to Arashiyama but also to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Ryoan-ji Temple and Ninna-ji Temple as well as Myoshin-ji Temple (Japan’s largest Zen temple) and Toei Kyoto Studio Park.
  • 7. Kinkaku-ji Temple

    The sight of Kinkaku-ji Temple's gleaming golden walls reflected on the surface of the nearby "Mirror Pond" makes for a brochure-worthy picture. Rikushu-no-Matsu Pine Tree located within the temple grounds resembles a sailing ship and is over 600 years old. The temple also features the Sekka-tei tea room at the base of the nearby mountain. The view of the temple from here is also highly recommended as the sun begins to set. Meanwhile, just outside of the temple gate is the Kinkaku Soft Ice Cream store, where visitors can enjoy a gorgeous soft-served ice cream adorned with edible gold leaf for just 950 yen.
  • 8. Daitoku-ji Temple

    The Daitoku-ji Temple precinct is home to many subtemples. One such temple is Daisen-in, known for its rock garden. Zuiho-in, another of Daitoku-ji’s subtemples, was founded by a Christian feudal lord. The moss-covered gardens of Ryogen-in Temple are also popular. Although numerous other subtemples can be found within Daitoku-ji Temple grounds, many are not open to the public. The temple is also well-known as where the Zen master Ikkyu—who is also depicted in the popular Ikkyu-san anime—served as abbot. This eccentric monk is famous throughout Japan for his witty stories. Daitokuji natto is a unique style of natto (fermented soybeans) that is said to be the creation of Ikkyu himself. This salty, dry take on the classic dish is noted for its lack of strings most commonly associated with natto. To get to Imamiya-jinja Shrine from the temple, simply follow the road to the left facing the main hall. This road is notable for its stone pavement.
  • 9. Kyoto Imperial Palace (In front of Doshisha Univ.)

    Hamac de Paradis'Kanbaikan is a public cafeteria for the private Doshisha University. This cafe restaurant is surprisingly stylish and does not resemble what most would consider a “school cafeteria.”

    Located nearby is Goou-jinja Shrine, which worships Wake no Kiyomaro, believed to be the guardian god of feet. The torii gate entrance to the temple is guarded not by dogs but by boars. Also located near the Imperial Palace is Reizeike House, the only court noble residence still existing in Japan. This residence is open only twice a year during the spring and autumn.

  • 10. Ginkaku-ji Temple

    Ginkakuji Temple, which is called the Silver Pavilion in English. Although the temple is commonly called Ginkakuji, its official name is Tozan Jishoji. It is a temple of the Shokokuji branch of the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhizm and was built in 1482 on the site of the Higashiyama-den. If you get off at the next bus stop, you can visit Ginkakuji Temple, Honen-in Temple, Otoyo shrine, and Kumano Wakaoji Shrine. You can also take a walk along the Philosopher's Path to Eikando Temple and Nanzenji Temple.
  • 11. Heian-jingu Shrine / Okazaki Park

    Heian-jingu Shrine, the ROHM Theatre Kyoto, the Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art, the National Museum of Modern Art, and the Kyoto City Zoo are also all within walking distance of this bus stop. The impressive Toni Toni building—home of Kyoto’s Festival of the Ages—opened just in front of the bus stop in December 2017. The facility offers visitors the chance to enjoy a festive atmosphere of the Festival of the Ages—one of Kyoto’s three major festivals—throughout the year. The establishment also includes unique Kyoto souvenirs, foods, and sweets. Meanwhile, Heian-jingu Shrine's great red torii gate straddling the road leading to the shrine is a remarkable sight, especially from underneath.
  • 12. Gion(Kotowa-Kyoto Yasaka)

    The road from Yasaka-Shrine to Maruyama park / from Nene's path to Kiyomizu temple via Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka is called Higashiyama walking path. There are many shops for shopping and cafes. It is registered as important preservation district of historic buildings and you can enjoy Kyoto specific scenery so we recommend to bring someone!
  • 13.Gojo-zaka (Kiyomizu-dera Temple)

    Near Kiyomizu-dera Temple, the road is lined on both sides with various shops offering not only souvenirs but also various foods to enjoy while heading to the temple. At Yasaka Hokan-ji Temple, visitors can climb to the second floor of the five-storied pagoda, while Yasaka-dori Street offers an ideal spot for taking photos of the pagoda. Meanwhile, Rokudochinno-ji Temple is home to a well that is considered an entrance to the underworld—a must-see sight!
  • 14. Sanjusangendo / Kyoto National Museum (hyatt Regency Kyoto)

    In addition to the regular exhibitions at the Kyoto National Museum, you might see big treasure at the special exhibition! In the Chishaku-in Temple, fusuma drawings by Tohaku Hasegawa during the Momoyama period (an examplary painter around 1600) are displayed. Don't miss the longest wooden structure in Japan at Sanjusangen-do Temple!

How To Ride with The Sky Hop Bus

Have you decided which tour route you'd like to pick? You can start your tour by getting on a bus from any bus stop you like. Here is our guide on how to ride with the Sky Hop Bus.


Purchasing Tickets and Boarding
Purchasing Tickets


Getting Off at Bus Stops
Getting Off at Bus Stops


Walking Around
Walking Around


Getting On Again at Bus stops
Getting On Again at Bus stops

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