If you don’t want to waste a huge amount of time in Japan’s cultural capital, here’s something you’ll want to avoid.

While the city is particularly striking during cherry blossom season or as the leaves change color in the fall, Kyoto is beautiful at any time of year. Japan’s former capital is filled with temples, shrines, gardens, and palaces, and they’re as beautiful as they are culturally significant.

So with Japan’s Golden Week vacation period set to start on Saturday, and this year lasting an extra-long 10 days, many travelers are packing their bags for a trip to Kyoto. However, before you head out to see the city’s must-see sites, Kyoto resident and Japanese Twitter user @fujifuji225ML01 has a warning about something you definitely should not do: try to take the bus from Kyoto Station to wherever you’re headed.

“Important information for people coming to Kyoto during the 10 days of Golden Week!!!!!

The Kyoto City buses will be incredibly crowded, and if you’re planning to get on one, it’ s going to take you more than 20 minutes just to get out of Kyoto Station.”

Kyoto has been becoming increasingly congested during peak travel periods, and with JR Kyoto Station being the primary tourism entry point for the city (thanks to being where the Shinkansen bullet train comes into town), there’s likely to be a huge bottleneck in the flow of humanity going from the train to buses to get to their hotels or sightseeing destinations.

▼ How can you tell this photo wasn’t taking during vacation time in Kyoto? There are empty seats.

Other commenters chimed in to confirm that Kyoto’s buses are ridiculously packed, including one who replied with “I’d recommend just not coming to Kyoto during Golden Week (from a Kyoto resident).” Of course, peak travel times exist because they’re when the most people have time off from work or school, and so you might find yourself having to choose between going to Kyoto when the city is crowded or never going at all, so if you end up having to fight the crowds, what can you do to make the battle easier?

For starters, @fujifuji225ML01 suggests just hoofing it from Kyoto Station. “It’s faster to just walk to your destination from Kyoto Station [than to wait for a bus with enough space for you to get on]” he says, to which one commenter added “And you might find cool sightseeing stuff along the way.” Another walking proponent pointed out that it’s only two kilometers (1.2 miles) from Kyoto Station to the dining and entertainment district of Shijo, a fairly managable walk, and from there it’s not much farther to the picturesque banks of the Kamogawa River. Rental bicycles are another great way to get around the city, especially since Kyoto’s downtown area and most of its surrounding temple districts are built on relatively flat land, with few steep hills to ride up.

There was also one optimist who commented “Maybe everyone will see @fujifuji225ML01’s tweet and avoid the buses, and so they’ll actually end up not being crowded at all.” That’s unlikely to happen, though, so if you’re headed to Kyoto during a peak travel time, make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes, and try to pack light.

Source: Twitter/@fujifuji225ML01 via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s always up for exploring Japan on foot.