If you are a citizen of one of the over 60 countries and regions, with which Japan has a "general visa exemption arrangement", you need only a valid passport to enter Japan as a "temporary visitor". Otherwise, you need to obtain a visa before entering Japan. To apply for a visa, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan website. Temporary visitors from most countries are allowed to stay for up to 90 days. All foreign tourists in Japan are required to carry their passports with them at all times.
Kyoto is in a part of Kansai region, and an international flight arriving to Kansai international airport may be the first choice for people coming to Kyoto. From Kansai airport, airport express Haruka is a direct transportation to Japan Railway (JR) Kyoto station (JPY 2,770–3,280, 80 minutes). Also, airport limousine buses for Kyoto take you to the southern square of JR Kyoto station (JPY 2,500, 90 minutes).
When your inernational flight to Japan arrives to Narita international airport or Haneda airport (Tokyo international airport), taking a domestic flight to Osaka/Itami airport (Osaka inernational airpot) is the fastest access to Kansai region. Note that there is no direct international flight to Osaka/Itami airport. Between Osaka/Itami airport and JR Kyoto station limousine bus service is available (JPY 1,280, 50 minutes).
From Narita airport or Haneda Airport, railway is another choice to access to Kansai region with the scenery from a car window (e.g., Mt. Fuji). First, get on a Narita Express for Tokyo from Narita (Narita airport to JR Tokyo station) or a Keikyu train for Shinagawa from Haneda (Haneda airport to Shinagawa station), then change to Shinkansen superexpress (JR Tokyo or Shinagawa to JR Kyoto).
Kyoto University consists of three campuses, Yoshida, Uji, and Katsura. Among them, Yoshida campus situated in the north-east of the city center is the largest one, and divided into several sub-campuses. Our meeting place, the Clock Tower, is the landmark of the main campus in Yoshida campus.
Getting to Kyoto University Yoshida campus by public transportation, Kyoto City Bus (see also, this guidebook) is convenient.
From JR Kyoto station to Yoshida campus, take a #17 bus bound for "Ginkakuji, Kinrin Shako" and get off at "Hyakumanben" or a #206 bus bound for "Kitaoji Bus Terminal via Higashiyama dori" and get off "Kyodai Seimon-mae".
From Kawaramachi-Sanjo area or Shijo-Kawaramachi area, the downtown area with many shops, restaurants, and hotels, to Yoshida campus, take a #3 bus bound for "Kitashirakawa Shibusecho / Kyoto Zoukei Univ." or a #17 bus bound for "Ginkakuji, Kinrin Shako", then get off the bus at "Hyakumanben". A #201 bus bound for "Gion, Hyakumanben" from Shijo-Kawaramachi also takes you to "Kyodai Seimon-mae".
By taking a taxi, it takes about 20 minutes and costs approximately JPY 1,800 from JR Kyoto station to Yoshida campus. From Kawaramachi-Sanjo area, it takes 15 minutes and the fare will be about JPY 1,000. The destination to tell the taxi driver is "KYOU-DA-I, SE-I-MO-N, TO-KE-I-DA-I" which means "Kyoto University, the main gate, the clock tower".
When you want to get around in Kyoto city by bike, please visit the web site of Kyoto Cycling Tour Project. They offer rental bikes with a rate of JPY 1,000~/day and you can book on-line. Hotel Co-op Inn, one of several pickup locations in and around Kyoto central, locates in the downtown area.