Beautiful city so full of tourists a new £2.51 bus service has launched to top attractions | World | News

Traffic congestion as a result of over-tourism has led to the popular city launching an express bus service.

Launched last Saturday, the service connects the city’s station with its major tourist destinations, in a bid to tackle over-tourism and reduce the negative impacts of the influx on the environment and daily lives of residents. 

Japan’s popular city of Kyoto has been overcrowded with visitors, with more than 40 million domestic and foreign visitors hosted in 2022. Through the new tourist-oriented bus service, the city hopes to thin the crowds which have been clogging local lines that local residents – a population of over 1.4 million – rely on for daily use.

The service – the EX100 – will stop at popular tourist spots including the Kiyomizu-dera and the Ginkaku-ji temples, as well as the Gion area.

Since the reopening after the pandemic, Japan, in particular Tokyo and Kyoto, have been struggling with its overwhelming tourist numbers. Kyoto’s train network is far less extensive than Tokyo’s so buses are an integral part of the city for locals and tourists alike. 

The service will only run at weekends, on national holidays, the country’s bon summer period – based on the lunar calendar – and the year-end and New Year holiday period.

Fares will cost £2.51 for adults and £1.26 for children, double the price of the standard fare of £1.15 for other bus services within the city. 

The service has two routes, one non-stop service from Kyoto Station to Kiyomizu-dera Temple and another ten stop service, calling at sites including Heian Jingu Shrine and Ginkakuji Temple. The first bus departs just after 9am, with the last leaving for the station just after 5pm, with a total of 16 and 24 runs respectively.

The Sightseeing Limited Express Bus service is also included in the existing one-day subway and bus pass, which costs £5.52 for adults and £2.76 for children.

A woman from Singapore who visited Kyoto with her family said that the fares for the new bus service were a bit expensive, but acceptable. After using the new service to visit the Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art, she said that it was good that the bus was not so crowded.

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