Local Bus Journey to Kyoto (Part 1)

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Local Bus Journey to Kyoto


Japan Hour:

Local Bus Journey to Kyoto (Part 1)

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This week, we will travel by local buses from Yamaguchi Prefecture's Kintai Bridge - one of Japan’s three famous bridges - to Kyoto's scenic area of Amanohashidate.

We start by hopping on the 9am bus and riding for 20 minutes to Iwakuni Station, which is 5km away from Kintai Bridge. From Iwakuni, we want to head to Hiroshima and after making enquiries at the station, we are told to take a bus to Waki Station first. We miss the 9.30am bus so manage to have some breakfast before boarding the next bus, which departs for Waki at 10am.

We arrive at Waki Station in 20 minutes but find out there is no connecting bus from Waki Station to Otake in Hiroshima Prefecture. We thus have to walk for 3km before taking a bus to Kuba Station. The bus travels north along the Seto Inland Sea. We next want to head to Miyajimaguchi, but unfortunately, we have missed the only bus which goes there daily at 11.40am. So we decide to take the 1pm bus to Onochosha. We make use of the waiting time to have okonomiyaki for lunch. After this, we travel for about 30 minutes to Onochosha and then to Miyajimaguchi. From here, we take another bus to Ajina Station and then hop on a connecting bus heading to Ajinadai-kita.

At Ajinadai-kita, we have to wait for half an hour before taking the 4.10pm bus to the Hiroshima Bus Centre. It takes us around an hour to reach the bus terminal. We go to the information desk and after discussing the various routes, we decide to make our way to Saijo Station on the 5.50pm bus. We arrive at 7.30pm and then hop on the 7.45pm bus to Takehara in Hiroshima. We reach Takehara after an hour. It’s too late to take the bus to our next destination, Mihara, so we spend the night at Takehara. We check into a new and stylish hotel near the station, where we feast on Taoshita beef for dinner.

The next day, we board the 6.35am bus departing for Mihara. The bus journey along the Seto Inland Sea takes about an hour and from Mihara Station, we catch the 8am bus to Tozanguchi. We change buses and make our way to Onomichi Station, which is 15 minutes away. Onomichi used to be a thriving port town during the Edo era and is famous for its hilly streets. We have breakfast at a ramen shop here before taking the bus to Fukuyama, a major metropolis second to Hiroshima City.

Before boarding the next bus, we visit the Fukuyama Castle, one of Japan’s 100 famous castles. It was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu’s cousin, Mizuno Katsunari. From the castle, we can see the bullet trains passing by and even the Sea of Japan. We then make our way to Kasaoka in Okayama Prefecture, which is an hour away from Fukuyama. We reach Kasaoka at 12.30pm and then board the 1.15pm bus departing for Noritoki. There is no bus going to Yorishima from here, so we walk to the Yorishima city hall, while enjoying the awesome scenery.

We reach Yorishima after 1.5 hours, at 3pm. From here, we take a 45-minute bus ride to Shinkurashiki Station and then ride on another bus to the Kurashiki Art College, 10 minutes away. We hop on another bus, head to Kurashiki and later catch the 6.20pm bus from the depot to Okayama. We reach Okayama at 7.40pm and want to go to the visitor centre. However, it is closed by this time and will only open at 8am the next day. So we check into Toyoko Inn and spend the night at Okayama.


1) If you have missed the last bus for the day, check into a hotel near the station
2) If there is no bus to your next destination, be prepared to walk for quite a distance