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Our trip to Koyasan by train and "substitute bus"

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3,882 posts
665 reviews
Our trip to Koyasan by train and "substitute bus"

For those of you concerned about travels to Koyasan with the train/cable car out of commission due to the typhoon damage, our trip from Namba to Koyasan and back went like this -

The first part describing getting there including timings is here in post number 14:


The return trip went like this -

Just down from Koyasan. Here are the timings we experienced:

• Board Nankai local bus in Koyasan at stop 17 at 8:48, two minutes behind posted schedule.

• Arrive at Koyasan Station (top of the funicular) by 8:58.

• Directed by Nankai bus line personnel to a ticket sales agent in the station, where we buy two one way tickets to Namba Nankai Station @ ¥1260.

• Queue up at 9:00 behind the couple that galloped off the bus using sharp elbows to be first in line.

• We are soon allowed to board the bus. Unlike the bare-bones city bus that brought us up, this is a tour bus with comfortable reclining seats, little fold-away trays for food – and a luggage compartment below, with Nankai staff loading suitcases and backpacks and pretty much anything larger than a briefcase. The luggage racks on the bus are neither tall nor deep, and they are filled with very small suitcases and small backpacks. There is no toilet aboard.

• The bus departs at 9:11. All the seats are taken, but there is no one left at the station to wait for the next bus.

• Although the drive down is complicated by many private cars negotiating the winding road up, making the bus wait to take hairpin turns, we arrive at Hashimoto Station and begin debarking at 10:22. It has taken 1 hour and 11 minutes to get here, with no waiting at Koyasan Station for a bus.

• The next train for Namba departs at 10:35, allowing plenty of time to use the restrooms and to get from A to B. In fact we sit on the train for several minutes waiting for the train to depart.

• The train departs on time but runs a little slow, arriving at Namba Nankai Station at 11:32, about seven minutes behind the schedule posted on line.

The trip from Koyasan Station to Namba Nankai Station, threatened to take as much as 4-6 hours, has this time taken us 2 hours and 21 minutes. In the days when one could take the cable car, the trip was supposed to take about 1 hour and 47 minutes.

Once again, the weather was foul at the start, but with a forecast for a better late morning and afternoon. It appeared to us that more day trippers were driving up to Koyasan than when we went up, on a day of continuous rain. It is doubtful whether the trip down could be done so quickly if the weather were good and the legendary traffic jams of people trying to get to Koyasan occurred.

Once again, we left somewhat early, but late enough for a big busful of others to have the same idea. It appears the Nankai bus company have desperately called in all available buses to deal with the emergency situation. We lucked into a very large and comfortable tour bus. The somewhat smaller local buses, which were by far the majority of Nankai buses we saw, could probably not have accommodated as many people as were on our bus, leaving some to wait for the next bus, with the knock-on effect that eventually there would be a long wait for a bus.

2 replies to this topic
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
323 posts
11 reviews
1. Re: Our trip to Koyasan by train and "substitute bus"

Thanks. I really appreciate your updates since we will be doing this same trip next month. Thank you for taking the time to post your report.

Level Contributor
3,882 posts
665 reviews
2. Re: Our trip to Koyasan by train and "substitute bus"

You are entirely welcome, AmIMadOrWhat.

Do remember that each bus trip is different depending on road and weather conditions and which sort of bus you are given and time of day - we found that leaving early worked best both ways.

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