Kyoto Railway Station. Japan

Kyoto Station: the city’s central hub

Kyoto has been the capital of Japan for over 1,000 years. Not surprisingly, transport routes from all corners of the country are established and maintained with this city. Even today, the ancient capital has not lost its importance. A symbolic event of this was the opening of a major transport hub “Kyoto-eki” in 1997. All modes of transport connecting the city with other parts of the country converge here.

Arriving at the central station for the first time is somewhat confusing. At first glance, the futuristic design of the building somewhat does not correlate with the image of the ancient capital. When discussing the project there was a lot of debate, but this version was approved as reflecting the development of the city.

A trip to the future

Tours of Kyoto begin from the moment you arrive at the station. The station’s main lobby is striking with its unusual construction, consisting of a dense grid of metal beams. The Japanese call the lobby the “Matrix. The design approach reflects the rectangular layout of Kyoto and reminiscent of the arched vaults of old European railway stations.

The designer of the futuristic architectural composition is Hiroshi Hara, who has previously been noted for other unusual projects.

the entrance to the Kyoto station building high-speed Shinkansen trains

Kioto station building exterior view of Kioto station

Like a gigantic spider, the station pulls transport arteries in different directions. Here the railroad tracks of public and private companies converge. From the station you can take trains to Tokyo, Hiroshima, Osaka and suburban destinations. Kyoto-eki is served by the high-speed Shinkansen from Tokyo. A subway line approaches the building, and there is a bus terminal on the north side.

There are two exits to the city. The northern “Karasuma” is the busiest. From it begins the street of the same name. From here you can get straight to the famous “Kyoto Tower Hotel”, which can be a landmark in the city. The southern exit faces Toji Temple, and there are a couple of hotels here as well.

What is in the station building

In addition to its logistical functions, the station offers several other types of services and facilities. There are two tourist information centers where you can get detailed advice in several languages. There are several shopping and entertainment centers in the station building. The largest is the 10-storey “Isetan”. Tourists are invited to several restaurants and cafes for different tastes. In “Kyoto-eki” you can even find a small museum.

The station is also a convenient viewing platform. On the roof above the shopping complexes there is a small square. It can be reached by using the internal stairs of the shopping complex. Access is free. Panoramic views from a long balcony on the 11th floor along the entire station.

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We are also pleased to offer you economy tours and a free plan – such trips give you the opportunity to visit Japan at a relatively inexpensive price.

Japan is known not only for its unique culture but also for its amazing nature. Staying in the vicinity of Kyoto you will get to know the Japanese nature. Walks through the famous bamboo grove, visiting fishing villages, samurai castles, and, of course, the whole range of Japanese cuisine. Tourists are accompanied on their entire journey through the Land of the Rising Sun by a personal guide.

The tour includes Japan’s most popular attractions. The route passes through major cities, including Japan’s multimillion-dollar capital. The tour program includes temples, picturesque gardens, castles, hot springs, and cozy restaurants. Two weeks allow you to expand the travel program and visit Nara, Hiroshima, Yokohama, Osaka and other cities.

The economy version of the trip to Japan allows you to see almost the same thing as the extended tour, but at a much lower cost. You will visit Tokyo, Kyoto, Yokohama, Kamakura and see with their own eyes how ancient history is harmoniously woven into the modernity, bordering on a fantastic future. The tour program includes the most popular tourist attractions in Japan.

Perhaps the best combination of Japanese design art and the amazing nature of the islands is the numerous gardens. In Tokyo it is Koishikawa Korakuen Landscape Park, Rikugien. A garden in Japan is not just paths and beautiful vegetation. The best illustration of Japanese “singularity” is Ryoanji, a complex of stones with a secret. The program includes visits to the parks of Kyoto, Nara, Okayama.

The tour demonstrates the multifaceted culture of Japan. The travel program includes a variety of attractions, together depicting the real face of the Land of the Rising Sun. The route will take you through the dazzling streets of Tokyo, sophisticated Kyoto with its ancient temples and pavilions, the Japanese capital of gold leaf Kanazawa, where you can make yourself a souvenir in a master class.

Autumn tour reveals romantic motifs in the mysterious Japanese culture. This is the time when the leaves of the Momiji maples turn bright red. In the decoration of variegated vegetation, the famous temples and gardens take on a whole new look. The tour will be of interest even to those who have already been to Japan, but in other seasons.

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We are also happy to offer you Economy and Free Plan tours, which give you the opportunity to visit Japan for a relatively low price.

Kyoto Railway Station. Japan

Kyoto Station

Kyoto Station, Kyoto Station, or simply “Kyoto-eki” is the main transportation hub of the city. All modes of transport available in Kyoto – converge here.

Opening of the current Kyoto Station – took place in 1997 and was timed to 1200 anniversary of the city.

The station has a very futuristic design, which does not fit with the concept of “ancient capital”, and slightly breaks the stereotypes held by people visiting the city for the first time. The main lobby of the station, with its metal beams under the roof vault, is called “Matrix”. This design move is meant to reflect the rectangular layout of the streets of Kyoto, and reminds one of the semicircular vaults of the old Western-style train stations. By the way, the designer of this work – is Hiroshi Hara, well known in Japan for the design of the building “Umeda Sky Building” which is located in the city of Osaka.

Kyoto Station is the main transportation hub of the city: here converge many railroad routes of both the state company Japan Railways and private companies such as Kintetsu Railways. There is also a branch of the city subway Karasuma, and there is a central bus terminal at the northern exit.

By the way, the station has two main exits: the northern one, which is called “Karasuma” after the street “Karasuma-dori” running away from the station, and the southern one, “Hachijo”. The north exit is the busiest, and is considered the main exit to the city, to the buses, stores, or hotels – one of which, the Kyoto Tower Hotel, is just outside the station. The south exit is opposite, quiet and peaceful. There are a couple of hotels close to the south exit and Toji Temple.

The Kyoto Tower (京都タワー Kyo:to tawa: ) is the tallest building in Kyoto, Japan. The tower is a steel structure 131 meters high (spire) and weighs about 800 tons. The tower was designed by the architect Makoto Tanahashi. The public opening of the tower took place on December 28, 1964 .

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The steel tower is the tallest building in Kyoto. Its observation deck is 100 m high, and together with the spire it reaches a height of 131 m. The tower weighs 800 tons and is installed on the roof of a nine-story building that houses a three-star hotel and several stores. One automatically wants to attribute some kind of meaning to the tower, such as the function of a TV tower or a radio mast. But no: It was built specifically as an observation tower.

Planning began in the early 1960s and it was supposed to be completed in time for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964. The work began in 1963 on the site of the former Kyoto Central Post Office and was completed by the very end of 1964. The rings are covered with light steel plates 1.2-2.2 cm thick, which have been fused together and painted white. The overall effect was planned so that the tower would resemble a Japanese candle.

The designer of the structure was Makoto Tanahashi, a doctoral student in engineering at Kyoto University. He had built such a safety margin into the plan that the tower would successfully withstand typhoons and earthquakes. According to theoretical calculations, the Kyoto Tower can withstand wind gusts up to 90 meters per second and withstand shocks of magnitude greater than those that once caused the disasters in Kobe and Tokyo.

Within the first year of its opening to the public, the tower’s observation deck was visited by 1 million people. Over the years, the tower’s attraction for tourists significantly decreased, and in the late 20th century the annual number of visitors was about 400 thousand.

The construction of the tower caused widespread public outcry even in the planning stage. Not everyone agreed that such a modern needle-shaped structure was necessary in the ancient capital of Japan.

Functionally, the Kyoto Tower consists of two parts. The first is a steel barrel; tourists can buy tickets and use one of the tower’s nine elevators. Telescopes are placed at the top, and a 360-degree view opens up there: you can see almost all of Kyoto from the tower, as well as the distant mountains. On a clear day, you can even distinguish some of Osaka’s buildings to the south.

The second part is what supports the trunk (and gives the tower its first 30 or so meters of height). On the first floor of this building are commercial areas, a gift store, an All for 100 Yen store, and a bookstore. A spa center is open on the basement floor. And above the Kyoto Tower Hotel is, surrounding the trunk of the tower, a three-story restaurant.

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This cafe is to the left of the station exit, its north side (main entrance). It is a convenient place to meet.

Untitled location

Across the street from the station building is the Starbucks Cafe. It is just on the first floor of the Kyoto Tower building, on the corner. It’s also a convenient place to meet. And you can also use Starbucks free wi-fi (but you have to register first. see instructions on how to use the Internet in Japanese Starbucks).

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The huge Kyoto Station building is shared by hundreds of different organizations. For example, the station houses two tourist information centers. The first, the main Kyoto Tourist Center, is located on the second floor of the station. The staff of the center speaks foreign languages, and if you are lucky – you can get detailed advice in your native Russian language. The second tourist center is on the 9th floor. Here you can get free internet access, and the staff also knows a couple of foreign languages.

Shopping and entertainment is well organized here: at Kyoto station there are several shopping centers. The largest of them is Isetan, which occupies 10 floors in the western part of the station complex. In the “Isetan” shopping center you can find almost everything. There are many restaurants of different price categories (mainly on the 11th floor) and on the 7th floor of the complex you can find a small museum.

Under Kyoto Station – located below the shopping centers “Porta” and “Kubik”. The first one is rather under the bus terminal, and offers its visitors more than 100 different stores and restaurants. From the mall – you can also get to the city subway.

The second, called “The Cube” is located directly under the station. There are also many interesting things, ranging from clothing – ending with food and local souvenirs. By the way, part of the restaurants from the 11th floor above the shopping center “Isetan” – is part of the complex “Kubik”.

Above the shopping areas, on the roof, a small square is organized. You can get there by any external stairs in the central part of the shopping center.

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From the restaurants on the 11th floor there is a long balcony stretching along the entire station, 45 meters above the ground.

On the roofKyoto Station from the other side

Central place in the fifteen-storey building of the station, a length of almost five hundred meters, occupies the hall (atrium). Above the hall is the waiting area. Above the atrium there’s a hotel and a garden for restaurants with a small pergola and a sculpture with a bell, or rather a bell tower, which suggests its purpose for weddings. This is on the east side.

The most interesting, the western part, is built in the shape of a large sixteen-story letter “U,” with escalators running from the base to the rung of the rung, which floats out of the station part. On top of the rungs is the “Happiness Terrace” with views of the city, nightingales singing and the smell of jasmine, to which an amphitheater staircase with 171 steps leads. They say there are often held performances, and this staircase holds about five thousand spectators. We did not have a chance to see it. Under the terrace is the Isetan/ 伊勢丹 shopping center of the Japanese chain, cinemas, a theater, an art museum, two tourist information centers on the second and ninth floors.

Between the hotel and the park, under the roof, you can walk along a glass corridor with observation corners, which is located at the height of the tenth floor. This “Aerial Skywalk” connects the eastern part of this building with the western part. Walking along it you can see an impressive overall view of the station building itself and the view of Kyoto.

The tracks in the station are on several levels – below the ground are the subway, then the commuter trains, and above the ground is the shinkaisen. Under the bus station square on the Karasuma Dori (Karasuma Dori/ 烏丸通) side is the Porta shopping center. It is the largest underground shopping center in Kyoto and has a fairly large selection of local ceramics and fabrics.

Public transportation links the station to other parts of the city, with the north exit leading to local buses and the south exit leading to long-distance buses.

Kyoto Station has many platforms from which you can access both high-speed trains to Tokyo, Osaka, or Hiroshima, as well as local service to the suburbs of Kyoto or to the same Osaka, which is located an hour away.

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