Kyoto has a thorough bus system that runs throughout the city and to major sight-seeing areas, and most routes have announcements in English. Check any of the tourist information centers to pick up an English bus map. To use the bus, enter from the back, and pay (drop money into plastic well in terminal next to driver) as you exit in the front. If you need change, do it before your stop- below the pay well, there is a slot to insert coins and bills that dispenses change. The bus fare for traveling within central Kyoto is usually a flat fare of \220. For buses serving the outskirts, take a numbered ticket from the machine just next to the entrance doors. Insert this ticket along with your fare. A board above the driver displays the fare corresponding to your ticket number. There are no transfer tickets. One and two-day passes are available at the main bus terminals. A book of \220 tickets can be purchased from the drivers. For detailed information on buses and to purchase tickets and passes, visit the main bus information center in front of Kyoto Station.
The taxi is a very convenient way to travel, and cabs can be flagged down at any time around most places in Kyoto. If you miss the last train, taxis may be your only travel option. Cabs have automatic back doors so there is no need to open or close the doors yourself, as the driver will control this mechanism. The front seat, on the other hand, is not automatic so you will have to open and close it yourself. Fares start anywhere from \580 to 630 for the first 2km. There is a 20% surcharge between midnight and 6am.
Japan was declared a "wheelman's paradise" by British adventurer John Foster Frazer who toured from Europe to The Americas in 1899. Kyoto especially is great to explore on bicycle because the city is relatively flat and there are many bike-paths available. There are numerous bike rental shops in and around the city, with varying rates according to type of bicycle, and how long you intend to rent.