Information & Facts
Kyoto has four distinct seasons, its climate ensuring very hot
temperatures in summer and winter weather characterised by
temperatures below freezing and occasional snowfall. Kyoto summers
are hot and humid, with very little wind, and the temperatures can
rise to 104°F (40°C).
The best way to access Kyoto's tourist attractions (which are
not located near subway stations) is by bus. The city is served by
multiple bus companies with direct lines from Kyoto Station and
several points in the city centre. An English map of the Kyoto City
bus network is available from tourist offices, and signs are in
English as well as Japanese. Fares are paid on leaving the bus. The
only drawback to the buses is that traffic density makes them slow
and they can become very crowded. For getting around the city
centre the subway is recommended. Two subway lines cross the city,
from north to south and east to west. Kyoto has a high
concentration of taxis, particularly in the city centre.
Japanese is the official language. Most Japanese people
will have studied English at school, but few can speak it well or
understand what is said to them.
The currency is the Japanese Yen (JPY), which is equal to 100
sen. Major credit cards are accepted in the larger hotels and
stores, but most Japanese operate with cash. Cash and travellers
cheques can be exchanged in banks, post offices and currency
exchange bureaux. Banks are usually open Monday to Friday 9am to
3pm. Travellers cheques offer the best exchange rate and are best
taken in US dollars. ATMs do not accept all credit and debit cards;
only the international ATMs in post offices, airports and some
Local time is GMT +9.