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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Kyoto - Central Kyoto
Kyoto Station
# 1   of 59 most visited
sights in Kyoto

jump to:   access  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  tours  -  links

The Kyoto Station (sw, Kyōto-eki) building was constructed on the 1200th anniversary of the capital's foundation in Kyoto. It was opened to the public in 1997 and stands in perfect contrast to many foreign tourists' image of Kyoto as the capital of traditional Japan.

The building's futuristic design and atmosphere was conceived by the Japanese architect Hara Hiroshi. Hara's design attempts to convey historical Kyoto through a modern aesthetic. The station's large main hall with its exposed steel beamed roof, called the Matrix, is meant to reflect both the structure of the station and the grid like layout of Kyoto's street network. Hara also designed the Umeda Sky Building in Osaka.

Kyoto Station is the city's transportation hub, served by Japan Railways (including the Tokaido Shinkansen), Kintetsu Railways and the Karasuma Subway Line. It is also the site of a large bus terminal for city buses and long distance and overnight highway buses.

There are two sides to Kyoto Station: Karasuma and Hachijo. The busier Karasuma side to the north faces downtown and is named after the main street leading downtown. The main bus terminal is located on the Karasuma side, as are many hotels, shops and Kyoto Tower. The calmer Hachijo side to the south provides access to a few more hotels, Toji Temple and some more highway bus stops.

There are also two tourist information centers in the building. The general Tourist Information Center on the 2nd floor offers multilingual staff, pamphlets and some PC terminals for use by tourists. Even more English information is available at the International Information Center on the 9th floor. It is staffed by multilingual representatives and also provides free internet access.

Luggage storage and takuhaibin (delivery service) counters are available in the basement of the station. Coin lockers are scattered all over the building, but not seldomly fill up on busy days. Besides the station facilities, the building's 15 floors offer several other attractions and conveniences including the Granvia Hotel, an art museum, a theater and a vast array of shopping and dining options:

Shopping

Isetan Department Store
Hours: 10:00 to 20:00 (Restaurant open longer)
Closed: Irregular closures
JR Kyoto Isetan department store occupies 10 stories in the western portion of the station building. Goods on sale include clothing, accessories, fresh food, local souvenirs, stationery and more. Isetan also has a small art museum on its 7th floor as well as a range of restaurants on the 11th floor.
Porta Underground Shopping Mall
Shop Hours: 10:00 to 20:00 (until 20:30 on Fri and Sat)
Restaurant Hours: 11:00 to 22:00
Kyoto Station extends underground into the Porta shopping mall. The mall is located under the bus terminal and plaza on the Karasuma side of the station and offers roughly 100 shops and restaurants, as well as access to the Karasuma Subway Line.
The Cube Shopping Mall
Shop Hours: 8:30 to 20:00
Restaurant Hours: 11:00 to 22:00
The Cube is a shopping mall in the basement of the Kyoto Station building. It offers a lot of local souvenirs, such as sweets and pickles on the first basement floor, and fashion and accessories on the second basement floor. Some of the restaurants on the building's 11th floor are also considered part of The Cube.

Other Attractions

Observation Deck
Hours: Always open
Admission: Free
Reached via a long series of escalators and a final flight of stairs, an open air observation deck is located on the top floor of the station building. Unfortunately, the views from the deck are not very attractive, because they are only possible through heavily toned windows.
Skyway
Hours: 10:00 to 22:00
Admission: Free
The Skyway tunnel allows visitors to walk the length of Kyoto Station, 45 meters above the central hall. The Skyway's glass windows provide views of the city and station below. It starts from the restaurant floor on the 11th floor of the station building.

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
Kyoto Station is the city's main railway station, served by all trains of Japan Railways (including shinkansen), Kintetsu Railways and the Karasuma Subway Line. A large bus terminal is located in front of the station building.

How to get to and around Kyoto

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Hotels and Ryokan
Kyoto offers a wide range of accommodation for all budgets and tastes, including historic ryokan, Western style hotels and low-budget hostels. Among the most attractive districts to stay are the Kyoto Station area, the city center around Shijo Street and the Higashiyama District.
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Backpackers Hostel K's House Kyoto
Voted No.1 hostel chain worldwide for 2010&2011 by Hostelworld.com customers. 9 min. walk from JR Kyoto Station. Beds from 2,300 yen.
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Backpackers Hostel Ks House Kyoto
One of Kyoto's most popular hostels. A ten minute walk from Kyoto Station.
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Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Located inside Kyoto Station, this is Kyoto's most convenient 4-star hotel.
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Hyatt Regency Kyoto Hotel
Elegant luxury hotel located near Sanjusangendo Temple.
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Khaosan Kyoto Guest House
Cheap and popular hostel located in the heart of the city near Kawaramachi Station.
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New Miyako Hotel Kyoto
Reasonably priced 3-star hotel located just across the street from Kyoto Station.
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Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto
Modern hotel along Sanjo Street close to Pontocho and other dining options.
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Tours and Packages
Kyoto Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Kyoto and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Kyoto Station:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  interesting  
User Rating (by 1845 users):
73/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 783):
639.  Hearn Residence (Matsue)   73/100
640.  Nijo Market (Sapporo)   73/100
641.  Lake Shojiko (Fuji Five Lakes)   73/100
642.  Sakae (Nagoya)   73/100
643.  Momochi Seaside Park (Fukuoka)   73/100
644.  Kyoto Station (Kyoto)   73/100
645.  Todoroki Valley (Tokyo)   73/100
646.  Moji Port (Kitakyushu)   73/100
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648.  Yebisu Garden Place (Tokyo)   73/100
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6.  Ginza (Tokyo)   4591
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8.  Tokyo Tower (Tokyo)   3895
9.  Ikebukuro (Tokyo)   3822
10.  Roppongi (Tokyo)   3705
11.  Kyoto Station (Kyoto)   3517
12.  Kinkakuji (Kyoto)   3449
13.  Meiji Shrine (Tokyo)   3306
14.  Odaiba (Tokyo)   3238
15.  Kiyomizudera (Kyoto)   3025

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

English Links
Kyoto Station Buildings
English maps of the station building.
JR West
Official English website.
JR Central
Official English website.
Kintetsu Railways
Official English website.
Kyoto City Transportation Bureau
Official English website of the subway and city bus operator.

Japanese Links
Kyoto Station Buildings
Official website.
JR West
Official website.
JR Central
Official website.
Kintetsu Railways
Official website.
Kyoto City Transportation Bureau
Official website of the subway and city bus operator.
JR Kyoto Isetan
Official website.
Porta
Official website.
The Cube
Official website.

Online Reservations
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