7 day sample itinerary: Tokyo - Kyoto - Nara
Activating the JR Pass at Kyoto Station
Kyoto station is the gateway to Kyoto, Osaka and the rest of the Kansai area for many travelers arriving by Shinkansen from Tokyo or from Kansai International Airport. Activating your Japan Rail Pass here is not hard, but can sometimes be a little confusing so here is a little guide to help you.
Where and when to activate your JR-Pass at the JR-West ticket office
The first step of business is to make your way to the Central Entrance, this is the entrance on the opposite side to the big red Kyoto Tower. In case you enter from a different entrance simply follow the signs to the Central Gate that can be found all over the station.
Once in front of the Central Gate head left to the to the JR Ticket Office. This area is marked by a green sign that simply displays ‘’tickets’’. Enter and and walk all the way to the far right, here is a desk that is exclusively signposted for JR-Pass users. Handover your voucher and let the staff see your passport to obtain the JR-Pass.
The JR-West ticket office is open Monday to Sunday: 5:30-23:00
Maps and online resources
In addition, Kyoto station comes equipped with many convenient facilities:
- There is a foreign currency exchange just behind the ticket office.
- The Tourist Information Centre speaks 5 languages and can help with almost anything.
- Just outside on the left side is a post office that offers an ATM service usable with most foreign cards.
Final (secret) Tip!
I hoped this guide helped. As a final pointer, did you know that you can visit the top of Kyoto station? Here you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Kyoto Skyline. It is a great spot to go if you have some time left before boarding your train!
Written by Daniel-san