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You can also make inquiries at one of the tourist offices or the Kyoto City International Foundation (tel. 075/752-3010; www.kcif.or.jp), which provides information in English for people living in Japan and some tourist information. It's open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 9pm.

Area Code -- If you're calling a Kyoto number from outside Kyoto but within Japan, the area code for Kyoto is 075. For calls within Kyoto, don't dial the area code.

Climate -- Kyoto is generally hotter and more humid than Tokyo in summer and colder than Tokyo in winter.

Currency Exchange -- In addition to banks, places to exchange money after banks close are large department stores like Isetan, Takashimaya, and Daimaru, and the Kyoto Handicraft Center. You can also exchange money at the World Currency Shop on the eighth floor of Kyoto Station (tel. 075/365-7750), open Monday to Friday 11am to 5pm. When changing money, be sure to bring your passport. The most convenient ATMs accepting foreign credit cards are at Kyoto Central Post Office next to Kyoto Station or at one of many 7-Eleven convenience stores in Kyoto.

Electricity -- In both Kyoto and Nara it's 100 volts, 60 cycles, almost the same as in the United States (110 volts, 60 cycles); your two-pronged appliances should work, but they'll run a little slowly (there are no three-pronged plugs in Japan).

Hospitals -- Most hospitals are not equipped to handle emergencies 24 hours a day, but a system has been set up in which hospitals handle emergencies on a rotating basis. Hospitals in Kyoto include Japan Baptist Hospital (Nihon Baputesuto Byoin), north of Kikage, east of Shirakawa, Sakyo-ku (tel. 075/781-5191), Kyoto University Hospital (Kyoto Daigaku Byoin), Shogoin Kawahara-cho, Sakyo-ku (tel. 075/751-3111), and Kyoto Municipal Hospital (Kyoto Shiritsu Byoin), Gojo Dori Onmae, Nakagyo-ku (tel. 075/311-5311). There's also a holiday emergency clinic on Shichihonmatsu Street, north of Marutamachi (tel. 075/811-5072). For less urgent care, Sakabe International Clinic, Gokomachi, Nijo-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku (tel. 075/231-1624), has an English-speaking staff. In addition, the Kyoto City International Foundation (tel. 075/752-3010) has information on English-speaking doctors and dentists.

Internet Access -- Media Café Popeye has two locations in central Kyoto: next to the Kyoto Royal Hotel & Spa at Sanjo Kawaramachi (tel. 075/253-5300) and just north of Shijo Dori and east of Teramachi, above a United Colors of Benetton shop (tel. 075/257-5512; entrance around the back). Both are open 24 hours and charge ¥420 for 1 hour, with discounts for additional hours. There's an Internet cafe in the Kyoto Handicraft Center, open daily 10am to 7pm and charging ¥400 for the first 30 minutes and ¥200 for every 30 minutes after that.

Lost Property -- If you leave something on the Shinkansen bullet train, you have to call the last stop of the train (regardless of where you got off). For trains terminating in Kyoto call tel. 075/691-1000. Items lost at Kyoto Station are turned in to the lost-and-found office (tel. 075/371-0134), which is open daily 8am to 7:30pm. If you lost something along a street or outside, contact the nearest koban (police box). Taxi Kyodo Center (tel. 075/672-1110) handles lost and found for all taxi companies.

Luggage Storage & Lockers -- Kyoto Station has lockers for storing luggage beginning at ¥300 for 24 hours, including lockers large enough for big suitcases (¥600) on its south (Shinkansen) side.

Mail -- The Kyoto Central Post Office, located just west of Kyoto Station's Central (north) Exit (tel. 075/365-2471), is open Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm, Saturday 9am to 7pm, Sunday and holidays 9am to 7pm. You can mail packages bound for international destinations here. To the south of the Central Post Office's main entrance is a counter offering 24-hour postal service; stamps for letters are also sold from vending machines. There are also ATMs here, where you can obtain currency Monday to Saturday from 5 minutes past midnight to 11:55pm, Sundays and holidays 5 minutes past midnight to 8pm, and consecutive holidays (for example, 3-day weekends) 7am to 8pm.

Police -- The national emergency telephone number is tel. 110.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.