Local Information

A Geek's Guide to Kyoto for SIGCOMM2007 attendees -- contributed by Ole Jacobsen.
Google Maps for SIGCOMM2007
Travel Japanese for SIGCOMM2007 attendees (buying train tickets, taxi directions) pdf_logo.gif

- Visa Information - Transportation
- Visitor's Information - Getting Around Kyoto
- Links

Visa Information

Check a list of countries with visa exemptions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and see whether you need a visa. Countries requiring visas include China, India, Russia and Brazil. If you are not sure, ask your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate directly.
If you do need a visa, ACT EARLY! Depending on your nationality and the local embassy, visa applications can take up to ONE MONTH to be processed.
(more information about visas)



Airport Bus [to Kyoto Station] 2,300 JPY / 105 min.
Kansai International Airport (KIX)
Narita International Airport (NRT)

Shuttle Bus (MK Taxi) [direct to your hotel] 3,000 JPY / up to 180 min.
The Shuttle makes stops at different hotels to drop off passengers.
Reservation required.

Train [to Kyoto Sta.] 3,490 JPY / 75 min.
Access Information

To Kyoto International Conference Center
From Kyoto Station, it is a 20 min. ride on the subway Karasuma Line (340 JPY) to the final stop on the line [Kokusaikaikan mae]. Kyoto International Conference Center is directly in front of this subway stop. It is also 10 min walk from Iwakura station of the Eizan Railway to the venue.
(Map of conference hotels and the venue)

From Narita Airport/Tokyo
If you are comming through Narita Airport, a standard way is to take JR Narita Express from the airport to Tokyo Station (60min), and then, take Nozomi Superexpress to Kyoto (2hour-20min). You can buy both tickets at Narita Airport. (Narita Airport aceess information)
More information from Narita Airport

Getting Around Kyoto

bus subway taxi

(from http://www.city.kyoto.jp/)(from http://www.city.kyoto.jp/)(from http://www.city.kyoto.jp/)

Kyoto City (PDF, 36KB) Subway Line (PDF, 226KB) ICC Kyoto Area (PDF, 179KB)
The main methods of transportation used when traveling within Kyoto, are the Subway lines, Buses, and Taxis.

The immensely reliable Subway is the easiest method of transportation to reach the Kyoto International Conference Center, located at the north end of the Karasuma line. It is 20 mins. from Kyoto Station, and most of the signs are in Japanese and English. Tickets ranging from 210-340 yen are bought from bilingual machines located beside the ticket gates.
(from ICC Kyoto)

Bus (About the City bus, Route Map)
Most of Kyoto's innumerable temples, shrines and other cultural treasures are located away from the subway and are better accessed by the network of City Buses. Buses are entered through the rear doors, and the fare paid at the front when leaving the vehicle. Change should be made before the stop at the change machine beside the driver, although it is important to note that bills larger than 1000 yen are not accepted.
Most of central Kyoto city is accessible by a flat rate of 220 yen. For suburban destinations, the fare increases with distance, and requires you to take a number slip when getting on.
Take advantage of the following discount cards:
* Kyoto Sightseeing Card (1,200 yen for one day, 2,000 yen for two days)
Allows for the unlimited usage of Kyoto City Buses and the Kyoto Subway system.
* Kyoto City Bus One Day Card (500 yen)
Allows for the unlimited use of the Kyoto City Buses, within the set fare area.
(from ICC Kyoto)

Taxis are another option for traveling within Kyoto. Kyoto is the city with the largest number of taxis in Japan, and are consequently easily found on all major roads. Taxis are available if the light on the roof is on, and the sign in the bottom corner of the windshield is red. Fares start from around 600 yen for the first couple of kilometers. Japanese taxis are safe, clean and comfortable to ride. Remember NOT to touch the doors as they are fully automated.
(from ICC Kyoto)

MK Taxi
Blue Sky Taxi

Visitor's Information

Visitors to Kyoto in August should expect temperatures in the range of approximately 35C (high) to 20C (low). It's very sultry during August. There will be an occasional thundershower. Late summer is also the typhoon season in Japan.
Yahoo Weather (Kyoto)
Climate & Weather


* The Kyoto area uses 100V AC/60Hz.
* Devices that take 110V AC will work fine.
* The shape of power outlets http://kropla.com/!ab.htm is identical those used in the United States (two blades in parallel) except most outlets do not have third hole for a ground pin.

those used in the United States (two blades in parallel) except most outlets do not have third hole for a ground pin.


* Most small shops, taxicabs and train stations do not accept credit cards.
It is advised to carry some JPY cash.
* There is no tipping habit in Japan.
* VAT of 5% will be added to every purchase you make.
* 1USD = 120JPY ; 1EUR = 158JPY (roughly)
Yahoo currency converter
* Citibank ATMs are located in Kansai International Airport (KIX). Open 24 hrs.
List of Citibank branches in Kyoto area.
* Foreign credit, debit and cash cards can be used at Post Office ATMs.
Information for Post Office ATMs

The Japanese cellphone network is not compatible with GSM, but it IS compatible with 3G technology, see http://www.yikes.com/~ole/store/kyoto/Money-Phones-Power.html for details.
CDMA is in service, however, if you need a cellphone,

(1) rent it at the airport
Kansai Airport: Shop location
Narita Airport: Shop location
(2) buy prepaid-card phones at a convenience store.
Show ID to shop staff to buy. The cost is about 10,000 JPY - 20,000 JPY for the phone itself and have to get phone card as well. If your stay is short, a rental phone is much cheaper than prepaid phone.

Emergency calls: Fire department/Ambulance: 119, Police: 110

Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO)
Japan Information Network
Japan Information and Culture Center
Discover Japan (General Information)
Kyoto Convention Bureau
Kyoto City Tourism and Cultural Information
wikitravel Japan
about Japan (wikipedia)
Japanese mobile phone culture (wikipedia)
Japanese cellular phones FAQ
Most Useful & Most Useless Travel Tips in Japan
Toilets in Japan (wikipedia)
Onsen, Japanese hot springs (wikipedia)