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There are many different routes and transit offerings to take one from Osaka to Kyoto and back. We found so many online it seemed overwhelming. It depends also where you are coming from in either city. If from the airport in Osaka you will take different buses and trains than from in the city itself. This article will deal with transit from the city proper to city proper.
The Keihan Main Line is the railway you will use to connect between the downtown areas of both cities. The line runs from Sanjo Station in Kyoto to Yodoyabashi station in Osaka. If you have a more specific stop in either of the two cities you can look up the stops on a map to get off sooner, but most tourists will move from one main station to another, which is why we’ve highlighted these two main terminals.
You will undoubtedly find services of transport that are more frequent, faster and stress free, but don’t sell yourself short, riding the train is a very organized, affordable and a great way to get to know a place as locals do. We discovered how to use this train by asking our hotel concierge to give us the directions, then by asking some questions in the terminal. It was a fun way to interact with local people and discover how the train system works.
This train service has an express, limited express, sub express and rapid express options. We used the limited express and the ride took only around 1 hour. This was one of the more affordable tickets coming out to just under 470 yen, which is half the price that a JR railway ticket would cost for the same route. Simply approach the automated machines, which you must pay with cash and you can select in English the range price of the station to which you are heading. If you are going the full length of the line pay the full price, if less ask a gate agent what range applies to your stop.