By Mandy Bartok
Is it worth it to get a one-day pass for the Eizan Railway (Eiden) when visiting KIbune and Kurama? This article will break down the costs and expenses and give you a rough idea of whether or not the pass will be worth it or not.
The Eizan Railway departs from Demachiyanagi Station and reaches the famous cities of Kibune and Kurama. A one-way trip to Kibune-guchi Station or Kurama Station costs ¥420. It is pricey, but understandable as the train cuts through mountains due to the geographical nature of this part of northern Kyoto. The bus costs ¥160 per journey, or ¥500 if you buy the one-day pass from Kyoto Station.
If you are traveling during autumn, then there is no debate between taking the Kyoto Bus from Demachiyanagi Station or the Eizan Railway. During autumn, the maple passage and tunnel is an attraction in itself. The train rides through a sea of red, orange, and brown tones of maple trees between the stops Ichihara and Ninose.
If you you are not traveling during autumn time, let’s see if the ¥1000 one-day pass is worth it for you. Personally even though the train pass was not the cheapest, I found it to be very convenient for me. I arrived at Kibune-guchi station around noontime, so I knew that I would not have as much time as I would have liked to spend. Deciding to use the train system for maximum efficiency and time-saving turned out to be the best choice for me. The one-way journey took about thirty minutes to Kibune-guchi, and I walked for about twenty-five minutes to Kifune Jinja (There is also a bus available). I would have liked to attempt the hike from Kibune to Kurama or vice versa, but I did not have enough time. Instead I ate a leisurely lunch at a kawadoko restaurant. If you would like to traverse the two to three hour hike on Mount Kurama from Kibune to Kurama or vice versa, you probably do not need this pass, as you will not have to commute between these two stations in any way. Most attractions are in these two cities, so you may only need to use the bus system. If you are looking to visit some of the other attractions like Myoman-Ji Temple in near Kino Station or Enkoji Temple near Ichijoji Station, you might want to consider the pass because most if not all of those spots will be within walking distance of the train stations. The train is a lot faster than the bus, and will save you a lot of time as well. It is definitely doable to only spend ¥500 on transportation when traveling from Kyoto Station using the Kyoto City Bus and the Kyoto Bus systems, but the duration will be long and you will most likely spend more time on the buses than at the attractions. However, if you are on a strict budget and don’t mind starting the day earlier and ending the day later, the bus pass is the way to go for traveling on a tight budget! To reiterate, if you’re looking for more convenience and efficiency over a budget mode of transportation, I would recommend the train pass. It was efficient for me, and I didn’t have to wait long for each train departure, due to the convenient schedule!
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