[JAPAN] How to Get to Kyoto from Tokyo without a JR Pass

  1. Book a night bus/highway bus from Willer Bus website ahead of time and you can pay it anywhere. See links for the reservation link and how and where to pay your tickets.
  • ReservationWebsite: Willer Express // Click the link to read more regarding the payment methods of Willer Express: Method of Payment.
  • Here are the 5 steps to reserve a seat with Willer Express:
    1. Select Bus
    2. Select Route, Gender and Number of Passengers.
    3. Select Seat Type
    4. Select Options
    5. Confirm
    6. Pay at designated payment cetners – More details on this link -> Method of Payment.
  1. Go to your designated stations and wait for your bus. Look at the Bus Information board/LED Display for your designated boarding gates or track.
  2. Big bags and trolleys should be placed on the luggage compartment.
  3. Be sure to practice the proper etiquette inside the bus. Put your phones on silent and just talk very gently to your companions as there are other people who also need to sleep on those hours.


In our case we selected the RELAX seat for JPY 4700 (Prices will vary). It has a big leg room and leg rest, it also includes a fleece blanket, a small pillow and a canopy, plus the seat can be reclined up to 140 degrees. Here are some snippets if you cannot open the Instagram post.


This waiting area at Marunouchi Kajibashi Parking Lot. This bus station waiting area isn’t that big as the the typical train station’s waiting area.


The LED display where they will tell you which gate the bus will depart and the service status.


For sure these (Japanes) bus companies  are taking good care of the bags on the compartment.


Who’s not gonna love this seat??? 🙂 The hood, eye cover, the blanket and the phone chargers are included…


plus a big leg room!

From Marunouchi Kajibashi Parking Lot, Tokyo it took 8 hours for us to reach Kyoto. The bus left at 10:30 PM and we arrived in Kyoto Station at 6:30 AM. 

There are no restaurants inside the bus station but few meters from the station lies restaurants, several fast food shops and convenience stores.

Marunouchi Kajibashi Parking Lot

  • 3 Chome-8-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo

4 responses to “[JAPAN] How to Get to Kyoto from Tokyo without a JR Pass”

  1. […] Previous postHow to Get to Kyoto from Tokyo without a JR Pass […]


  2. Definitely saving this for my next trip to Japan!


  3. A helpful post, indeed. We are traveling to Japan next spring and definitely going to Kyoto from Tokyo. The Willer Bus looks like a great alternative to the JR pass. I was not aware of it. Will factor it into my Japan plans.


  4. Thanks for such a detailed outline! I soooo want to visit Japan someday!


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