How much should I budget for a 1-week trip to Kyoto?


The undervalued yen makes traveling in Japan much more affordable than it seems. Kyoto is usually much cheaper than Tokyo outside of the peak seasons (spring and fall).

JPY 8993 is the average price per day for travel in Kyoto. This means one week will cost on average JPY 62,954 per person.

The average accommodation in Kyoto is around JPY 5000 per night, but can vary greatly. Beware that Saturday rates may apply at hotels.

What should I pack for a trip to Kyoto?


Items you should pack include:

  • Passport and visa (if needed)
  • Paper flight ticket (even if you’re using e-ticket)
  • Printed out hotel reservations (good for showing taxi drivers or station officials)
  • Japan Rail Pass (if you plan on traveling to multiple destinations in Japan)
  • Travel insurance (highly important, since healthcare is expensive)
  • VISA or Mastercard (American Express isn’t widely accepted), ATM card/debit card
  • A hardcopy map of the city
  • Lonely Planet Kyoto city guide (good recommendations on food, sites, and helpful phrases)
  • A suitcase and day backpack should be enough for a solo traveler
  • For summer clothing, short sleeves and light cotton or linen and heat-wicking fabrics are good for Kyoto’s hot and humid summers
  • A light fleece and an umbrella/rain jacket (can buy at convenience stores). For winter, spring, and fall you should plan on taking multiple layers. Kyoto’s temperatures range from -5 to 15 degrees during the winter, and 25 to 40 degrees during the summer
  • A quick drying towel
  • Tissues
  • A mobile battery with charger
  • Earplugs
  • Earbuds/airpods

Also, be sure to bring:

  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen (summer)
  • Deodorant
  • Small first aid kit
  • Sunglasses (summer)
  • Chargers
  • Universal adapter
  • Camera (or add-on lens or your cell phone)
  • A good phone case

Many items such as SIM cards, basic medications, toiletries, raincoat/umbrellas, maps and chargers can be found in convenience stores.

What time of the year can I find the cheapest flights to Kyoto?


The cheapest flights are between November and March, excluding the holiday season in December and January. This is because the most expensive flights are during the spring (cherry blossom season followed by Golden Week), summer (summer vacation, Obon week), and earlier autumn (fall foliage) seasons.

Which airlines offer reasonably priced flights to Kyoto?


This is all dependent on where you are traveling from.

Many low cost carriers such as Peach, Scoot, Jetstar, AirAsia, Jeju Air, Cebu Pacific Air, and Spring Air fly into Kansai International Airport, but most of these are from neighboring Asian countries or Honolulu.

Legacy carriers including Japan Airlines and ANA will be more expensive than these low-cost carriers, but the price difference varies based off of the route, duration, time of day, and season. However these legacy carriers are reasonably priced compared to Tokyo, and offer top notch service.

Most major Asian, European, and North American carriers fly to Kansai International Airport.

What facilities and services will I find at Kansai International Airport?


Kansai Airport is one of the top rated Skytrax airports, and offers many facilities such as currency exchange booths, airline and public lounges, free high speed internet, luggage storage and coin lockers, and shopping malls with restaurants, duty free stores and vending machines.

 

Currency exchange
Airport lounges
Luggage storage
Shopping
Currency exchange

The currency exchange booths are located in Terminal 1 on levels 1, 2 and 4 (including five booths outside of immigration), as well as in Terminal 2 (level 1, outside and inside immigration/security).

Airport lounges

Airport lounges include showers, spas, free food and beverages, wifi, newspapers and magazines, and desk spaces. The KIX Airport Lounge is open to all travelers with rates starting at JPY 310 per person, and is located outside security in the domestic area (Terminal 1, level 2). Other lounges include:

  • Regus Business Lounge (outside gate, terminal 1)
  • Boteju (level 3, terminal 1)
  • Card Members Lounge Hiei (level 3 Terminal 1) for eligible cardholders
  • Card Members Lounge Rokko (terminal 1 internationals area)
  • Card Members Lounge Annex Rokko (terminal 1 international area)
  • KIX North Lounge (terminal 1 international area)
  • Lounge Pacific (inside security)

Airline lounges include:

  • Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge
  • ANA Signet Lounge in the domestic area (inside security)
  • Korean AirLines Business Class Lounge
  • ANA Lounge
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge
  • KIX Airside lounge for airlines such as Air France, KLM, China Airlines
  • JAL Sakura Lounge International
  • Asuka Lounge for airlines such as United, Lufthansa and Malaysian in the international area (inside security).
Luggage storage

Luggage storage is located on the ends of International Departures level (level 4). Luggage delivery (to your destination, takes about a day by mail) can be found in the arrivals area on level 1. Coin lockers can be found on all levels.

Shopping

The shopping areas and malls are located on level 2 and 3 (3 includes most of the restaurants) outside of security and in the center of the concourse inside security. The Arrivals level 1 also includes some shops.

 

In Terminal 2 there is a surprising amount of duty free shopping inside the gate. There is also a shopping area under Hotel Nikko Kansai, near the train station.

 

Vending machines can be found all over the airport.