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Kyoto Station - Kyoto

Located in the heart of Kyoto City in Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto Station (京都駅) is one of Japan's largest train station buildings. It serves as the main gateway for locals and foreigners coming in and out of the city.

Kyoto Station (京都駅)

Kyoto Station History

Kyoto Station opened for service on February 5, 1877, by decree of Emperor Meiji. In 1889, its railway connected to Tokyo giving way to the present day Tokaido Main Line. In 1895, the station became a terminal to the Nara Railway (present-day Nara Line) connecting Kyoto with the southern regions of Kyoto Prefecture and Nara City. Then in 1897, the station became a terminal to the Kyoto Railway (present-day Sagano Line) connecting Kyoto Station with the northern regions of Kyoto Prefecture.  

First Kyoto Station building*

Second Kyoto Station building*

Third Kyoto Station building*

The station got a facelift in 1914 and a Renaissance-inspired facility replaced the old station. This new station was spacious and designed to handle large numbers of people. Sadly, it was gutted by fire in 1950. It was then replaced by a concrete facility in 1952. 

Present-day Kyoto Station building

The current facility was constructed on the 1200th anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. It was opened to the public in 1997. The new facility stands 70 meters high and measures 470 meters from east to west with a total floor area of 278,000 square meters. This new Kyoto Station building has a futuristic design which was conceived by Japanese architect Hara Hiroshi.  

Kyoto Station
Hachijo Side of Kyoto Station

Kyoto Station
A closer picture of the Hachijo Side

Karasuma side of Kyoto Station as seen from Kyoto Tower

My sister Aya at the Karasuma side entrance

Presently, Kyoto Station serves as a terminal to Japan Railways (JR), Kintetsu Railways, and the Karasuma Subway Line. There is also a bus terminal on the Karasuma side of Kyoto Station while a taxi bay is found on the Hachijo side of the station. 

Going inside the Hachijo side

Inside Kyoto Station Karasuma Side

 Christmas at Kyoto Station

Aside from serving as the city's main transportation hub, Kyoto Station also houses a hotel, a theater, an art museum, several shopping malls, restaurants, and tourist attractions such as the Skyway and the Observation Deck which tourists could visit for free. Well to sum it, Kyoto Station is an all-in-one package. 

2019 Kyoto Station Grand Stairway Illumination

I got to visit Kyoto Station several times already but mostly I was just availing its transportation services and not exploring it as a tourist destination. The first time we got to see it was during our 2014 Japan trip then, during our 2018 Japan trip we got to ride the train and the bus from the station numerous times. It was only during our 2019 Japan trip that we got to fully explored it and since our 2019 trip was in December, we got to witness the "Daikaidon" or the Grand Stairway Illumination

Kyoto Station Skyway

Kyoto Station
A nighttime visit to Kyoto Station Observation Deck

Kyoto Station Admission Fee:

You don't need to pay any admission fee to explore Kyoto Station. The same goes if you want to visit the Skyway and Observation Deck. 

Kyoto Station Opening Hours:

The general counters in the station are open from 5:30AM to 11PM.

Why visit Kyoto Station?

A trip to Kyoto won't be complete without visiting or passing through Kyoto Station (that is unless you brought your own car). It is highly recommended to head up to the Skyway and Observation Deck at night and enjoy the city lights from this awesome viewpoint.

*Note: These photos were from Kyotostation.com

Getting to Kyoto Station:


From Kansai International Airport ride the Kanku-Rapid Kyobashi train of the Kansaikuko Line to Osaka Station. Transfer to the JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line heading to Kyoto Station. 
Travel cost: 1910 yen. 
Travel time: 1 hr 48 minutes

Ratings:
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Overall rating


Comments

  1. I've been to Kyoto station and never knew the history! Now I need to go back!

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    Replies
    1. A little bit of history sure do change how we see things. :)

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  2. Very interesting. Stations hold a strange fascination for a lot of people, including myself.

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    Replies
    1. Cool. That reminds me of the fascination of the Japanese with trains and collecting stuff.

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  3. When I first arrived to Kyoto I found the station pretty confusing compared to other stations in Japan, above all the bus connections. But I loved your post!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. Yup, Kyoto Station is very complex and might overwhelm first time visitors. Thank you for dropping by. :)

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  4. Wow awesome you recommend a good place to visit. I m just thinking that how it feels to visit skyway at night.

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    Replies
    1. Well it's futuristic with a touch of magical. The changing light patterns make it attractive to visitors. Not to mention the view outside. :)

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  5. The transition is amazing. Great way to embrace history.

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  6. thank you for sharing. Very informative post !

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  7. I haven't been to Kyoto (we supposed to travel this July but we cancelled it). You making us miss Japan even more.

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    Replies
    1. You should come visit Kyoto if your plan pushes through in the near future Blair. :)

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  8. The station alone looks like nice place to visit, even if you're not going to ride the train

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  9. It is nice to have a little glimpse of this before having my first trip to Japan! Hoping soon! Coz COVID is holding up all our travel plans :'(

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    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear that. Praying for the vaccine for Covid.

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  10. After reading your sharing, I missed my Kyoto Osaka trip 3 years ago, wish can revisit again to enjoy Japan. cheers, siennylovesdrawing

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    Replies
    1. I'm happy I made you reminisce your trip to Japan. I hope we could all go back soon.

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  11. I'm soooooooo jealous right now!!!!!! I've never heard of Daikaidon but deng! That looks grand! I've never traveled to Kyoto at night and I feel like I missed a lot of awesome things! It always excites me to read about Japan and it's history and you're doing an absolutely fab job in doing so! Thanks brother!

    PS: What's your fave city in Japan?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Polly! Happy to hear from you again.
      Alam mo panalo talaga ang Japan. Dami mo mapupuntahan uma man o gabi. Next travel mo explore at night. Hehe.

      Fave city would always be Osaka. Mahilig ako kumain eh. Hahaha.

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  12. Whenever I go to Osaka or go on a highway bus to southern Japan, I stop at Kyoto Station,. It is a beautiful but can be complex station. I love the ceiling of the mall next to the station.

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    Replies
    1. That's true. It's a very complex station. However, if you take time to explore it you'd be shocked that it has a lot of things to offer to tourists for free.

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  13. Such beautiful place in Kyoto Station I would love to go there someday and also Japan is one of my dream place to visit someday.

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    Replies
    1. If you're single and you have work, it's easy to visit Japan frequently. My biggest regret was not exploring the world when I was single.

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  14. This seems like such a lively place to visit. Always feels good to explore new places.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you Nikhila. Surprisingly, this is a tourist spot in itself.

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  15. That sounds really awesome. It seems like you had a wonderful experience there. I wish I could go there too.

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  16. I’ve only been to Tokyo and was to visit Kyoto this year. You have some beautiful pictures.

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    Replies
    1. Oh that's awesome. I have only been to Tokyo once. Come visit Kyoto when you visit again.

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  17. I had plans to be there this year for the Olympics. I am sad things have changed.

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    Replies
    1. Don't worry this too shall pass. You would get to visit this awesome place someday.

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