We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Substitute buses from Hachimoto to Koyasan?

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
11 posts
1 review
Substitute buses from Hachimoto to Koyasan?

My family and I are booked into a shukubou at Koyasan very soon - the nights of Nov. 3 and 4. We just received an email from them saying that due to line damage from Typhoon Lan, the trains to Koyasan cannot go past Hachimoto Station. Instead (they said), there is a temporary bus service to take people the rest of the way. However, the shukubou also warned that they couldn't provide any details of the buses or their reliability.

Can anyone kindly share any personal experience or knowledge they have on this -- especially the frequency of these buses? The Kyoto hotel where we're currently staying seem to think it could take many hours to get there. We're wondering whether to cancel our 2 nights at Koyasan and just stay put, given how vague the details are that we've been able to find to date.

Thank you!!

34 replies to this topic
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
11 posts
1 review
1. Re: Substitute buses from Hachimoto to Koyasan?

I just received the following email from our shukubou, and thought I'd share it here in case others are looking for the same info. (I'd still be grateful for input from anyone who has actually taken this bus, of course!)

Quote:

"We are writing to you regarding your reservation at Kumagaiji

The property has let us know that due to recent typhoons and landslide, the cable car to Koyasan station has been suspended, and the date of recovery is as of yet unconfirmed.

The property is still accessible by car.

If going by bus, please take a bus from Hashimoto station to Koyasan. It leaves twice an hour, and takes about 90 minutes. This is not a usual scheduled bus route, so it will not be possible to find information about it online. You can ask at the station for further information.

From Koyasan, you can take a local bus to a stop called Karukayado Mae. It should take about 15 minutes.

From Karukayado Mae, it is a two minute walk to the property.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please feel free to contact the property, or us with any additional questions.

Kind regards"

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara
Level Contributor
9,200 posts
2. Re: Substitute buses from Hachimoto to Koyasan?

Seems like someone's reply post in another thread already settled your problem. And so, take mine as Plan B if you like. There's a shuttle bus departing from Kansai Airport for Okunoin Temple, Koyasan:

http://www.kate.co.jp/en/timetable/detail/KS

The duration's longer than from Hashimoto's, and besides you need to backtrack 2km-plus once you arrive at Okunoin... But should you have a JR Pass, you may possibly like to factor that in.

Good luck!

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara
Level Contributor
9,200 posts
3. Re: Substitute buses from Hachimoto to Koyasan?

Forgot to say this:

By JR Pass I meant you're entitled to riding Haruka Limited Expresses (bound for KIX) on JR for free.

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
11 posts
1 review
4. Re: Substitute buses from Hachimoto to Koyasan?

Thank you so much! I think we'll go the original route, but it's really great to have a Plan B in our back pocket. Now we're truly set... thank you again?

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara
Level Contributor
9,200 posts
5. Re: Substitute buses from Hachimoto to Koyasan?

You're wecome, Julia M. Btw, Koyasan is pretty cold already after the nightfall, so if you are with small children then be prepared. One more thing: the approach road is so hilly and curvey as for them to develop motion sickness sometimes.

I suggest you take yours if any with you to Okunoin Temple in twilight hours so they have a sur-real experience, a skosh spooky though. ;) Yes, it's time now for you to enjoy great autumn colors up here! Have a blast!

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
11 posts
1 review
6. Re: Substitute buses from Hachimoto to Koyasan?

Thanks again, Shot! I'm not travelling with young kids, but others who read this may well be, so I'm glad you mentioned it. And luckily we've come prepared with warm clothes, so we should be OK.

Incidentally we spoke yesterday with someone at the English info desk at Kyoto Station who gave us a handout for travelling to Koyasan. She was unaware of the lines being out between Hashimoto/Gokurakubashi/Koyasan, though.

Anyway, her handout advised getting to the Nankai line via Shin-Imamiya station whereas the advice I found online said Namba station was the one to use. I guess it's a matter of whichever is handiest for the individual traveller....? We don't have a JR pass so I'm thinking Namba may be best for us.

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara
Level Contributor
9,200 posts
7. Re: Substitute buses from Hachimoto to Koyasan?

Now you corrected them, staff at the Info Center should be able to tell updated info on Koyasan to those wanting to head there! Tomorrow's a legal holiday here, so the turnout of the Japanese tourists hunting for red leaves would be by far greater if nothing had happened to the cable car. (I guess they already know.) Or possibly.. I hope not of course, the bust stop at Hashimoto Station may be teeming with people not up on the correct info. But who knows?

Yes, you're right in saying you choose Namba, 2 transfers involved though: Kyoto to Shin Osaka and then in here switch to Subway and get off at Namba. Yes, you can ride JR, where you have as many transfers along the way: Kyoto to Osaka and then take Osaka Loop Line: track 1. Navigating your way inside (busy) JR Osaka takes a little more getting used to than thought, imo. Yes, so is Subway Namba, but all you need to do once you get out the wicket is turn right (or go dead straight) and just follow the herd who walk ahead of you. If you see pic signboards depicting bouquets of roses on the left-hand side wall then you're in the right direction. They're for a big department store called Takashimaya, which is adjecent to Namba Station on Nankai Line. Yes, two long stairs of escalators along your way are a great landmark. You can't miss them.

Again, have a blast!

Edited: 02 November 2017, 14:11
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
11 posts
1 review
8. Re: Substitute buses from Hachimoto to Koyasan?

Wow, that's super helpful. Will be setting off shortly. Shot, thanks for all your kind assistance! I really appreciate it!!

P.S. If I hit any interesting new wrinkles along the way I'll share them here - just in case anyone else is reading this thread :-)

Breda, The...
Level Contributor
470 posts
4 reviews
9. Re: Substitute buses from Hachimoto to Koyasan?

I second the night tour at Okunoin. We stayed there and did the tour, one of the nicest memories of our trip.

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
11 posts
1 review
10. Re: Substitute buses from Hachimoto to Koyasan?

Ineke, thank you - we just did the night tour out of Ekoin and it was wonderful! I highly recommend it too. ¥1500 per person and well worth it.

In case others are travelling to Koyasan soon, I thought I'd share today's experience below.

We were told at the Shin-Imamaya ticket office that we would likely face a wait of 2 hours at Hashimoto Station just to get onto a bus, then a further 3 hours for the actual bus to get from Hashimoto Station to Koyasan Station. In fact we waited only half an hour to board a bus (noon to 12:30: two buses were filled with people who were queued ahead of us when we arrived, and we were first in the queue for the third). However, before that we did pay a supplement to get onto the first available train from Shin-Imamiya, which was a limited express train with reserved seating. This train had quite a number of empty seats. We reasoned that if we got to Hashimoto Station quicker, we'd get into the bus queue that much quicker, too. (You can buy the supplement on the Shin-Imamaya platform where you catch the train; there's a little machine that gives you the tickets - and any change that's due. A station attendant kindly helped us with this, but it's pretty easy to do.)

Note that the buses to Koyasan are BUSES - not coaches - so, no lavatory. Ensure you buy refreshments and use the loo before boarding, and remember that this ride is a long one. We had one 26" suitcase between us and were able to find a spot for it, but our bus didn't have a luggage compartment as such - which I imagine is the case for most of the buses they're putting on. If you have the option to bring fewer or smaller pieces, go for it and you won't regret it! A seat is found for all passengers on the bus (no standing); if there isn't enough room for you to get your own seat, it's the next bus for you.

Our approach was via Hwy 480, and it was frequently a painful crawl due to exceptionally heavy traffic in the Koyasan direction. However, it took a total of 2 hours - for us, at that time of day - rather than the projected 3 (we set out at 12:30 and arrived at 2:30). Still, a monk at our shukubou told us the traffic in Koyasan itself today was the worst (slowest, most congested) he's ever seen it. Admittedly it's probably the combination of the rail connection being down PLUS a national holiday (Culture Day) falling on the Friday of a long weekend! Hopefully it won't be quite so bad after this weekend.

Anyway, we did make it and we're happily settled into our shukubou. Thank you everyone for all your kind advice!!

Reply to: Substitute buses from Hachimoto to Koyasan?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted