Depending on what country you are coming from you may need a visa for entering Japan. Here is visa information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Participants who need a visa should contact Jörg Brendle as early as possible because we need to fill out some forms and mail them to you.
The most convenient international airport for coming to Kyoto is Kansai International Airport (KIX). Here is a list of airlines flying into Kansai Airport. And here is KIX's flight network, a map of cities which have direct connections to Kansai Airport.
If you arrive at another international airport, try to get a connecting flight to either Kansai Airport or Osaka International Airport (ITM) or even Kobe Airport (UKB). If you cannot get a connecting flight, take the Shinkansen (bullet train) to JR Kyoto station (see below).
Here are some webpages where you can find train schedules in Japan.
- Norikae-Annai (Train Route Finder)
- JR odekake net (Japanese only)(West Japan Railway Company)NB: Train tickets in Japan always have to be kept till the end of the trip. They are needed for getting out of the train system, and then disappear automatically in the exit gate. Thus, if you need proof of your trip for later refund, please insist on obtaining a separate receipt when buying the ticket.
Express trains in Japan (= trains for which seat reservation is possible), like the Shinkansen superexpress or the Haruka express (see below) etc., have cars with reserved seats and cars with non-reserved seats. This is simple if you buy a ticket with seat reservation because the ticket says the car number. If you have a ticket without seat reservation, make sure you get on one of the cars with non-reserved seats (jiyuseki, 自由席). On the Sinkansen, this is usually cars 1-3, but it varies significantly for other express trains.
The most convenient connection from Kansai International Airport to Kyoto is by JR train: take the Haruka express train bound for JR Kyoto station. Trains depart every 30 minutes, and the journey takes about 75 minutes. The fare is 3,490 yen with seat reservation and 2,980 yen without.
Alternatively, but still on the JR line, you can take the Kanku Rapid (Kanku Kaisoku, 関空快速) train to Osaka and change there to the Special Rapid Service (Shinkaisoku, 新快速) for Kyoto. This is a bit more complicated, more time-consuming (about 2 hours), but much cheaper (1,830 yen).NB: There are two train stations at Kansai Airport: the JR station and the Nankai station. Please make sure you go to the JR station. Confusingly, their ticket gates are adjacent to each other.
Here is access information for Kansai International Airport. Some more webpages:
- MK Taxi Skygateshuttle (KIX or ITM <--> Kyoto, KIX <--> Kobe)
- YASAKA TAXI Kansai Airport Shuttle (KIX <--> Kyoto)NB: Both shuttle services require a reservation.
If you arrive at Osaka-Itami Airport, the most convenient way to go to Kyoto is by bus. If you arrive at Kobe Airport, first take the Port Liner to Sannomiya Station and then the JR train (special rapid service = Shinkaisoku) to JR Kyoto.
Here is access information of the Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences (RIMS), including a map showing the exact location of the institute. The most convenient way to get to RIMS from either JR Kyoto station or from downtown Kyoto is by city bus No. 17 bound for Ginkakuji/Kinrin Shako-mae. At JR Kyoto station take this bus from platform A2 of the bus terminal. If you are staying in downtown Kyoto (the Shijo - Sanjo, Kawaramachi - Karasuma area), you should take this bus either from Shijo Kawaramachi bus stop or from Kawaramachi Sanjo bus stop. Get off at either Kyodai Nogakubu-mae (京大農学部前) bus stop or Kitashirakawa (北白川) bus stop and walk to RIMS. The bus fare is 220 yen, which should be paid as you get off the bus.NB: There are other bus companies operating in Kyoto, like Kyoto bus, Keihan bus, Hankyu bus etc. Do not confuse city bus No. 17 with bus No. 17 of other bus lines.
Alternatively you can take the subway (Karasuma Line, 烏丸線) bound for Kokusai Kaikan, either from JR Kyoto station or (if staying downtown) from Shijo or Karasuma Oike station, change at Imadegawa station to city bus No. 203 bound for Ginkakuji-michi/Ginrin Shako-mae (銀閣寺道/銀林車庫前), and get off again at either Kyodai Nogakubu-mae (京大農学部前) or Kitashirakawa (北白川). This is more expensive because you have to pay separately for subway and bus.
If you take a taxi, you may want to show this slip (prepared by RIMS) to the driver. Taxi drivers are not tipped in Japan. (Neither are waiters in restaurants etc.)
Here are some webpages with information on public transport in Kyoto.
If you often use the public transport system (bus or subway), it may be better to buy one of the cards sold from ticket machines in train stations or at small kiosks. See here (go to the bottom of this webpage) for such cards.