Kyoto Station Illumination 2019

Kyoto Station serves as Kyoto's main entry point which means it handles roughly thousands of local and foreign tourists per day. However, little do most know that Kyoto Station in itself is a tourist destination. 

Kyoto Station Illumination

Kyoto Station Illumination Details

The station has plenty of restaurants for food trippers, it also has numerous stores for shoppers. For those who love panoramic views, they can head up to Kyoto Station's Observation Deck or the Skywalk on the 10th floor.

Kyoto Station Christmas Tree

However, for those visiting in the months of November to March, Kyoto Station offers something worth seeing. During these months some areas of Kyoto Station are lit up with magnificent light displays commonly called in Japan as illumination festivalsKyoto Station has several illumination attractions in different parts of its vicinity. 

Skywalk Illumination

Skywalk Illumination

First is the Skywalk illumination on the 10th floor of the station. It features the Tunnel of Lights Illumination. The glass walkway lights up with different light patterns which adds a futuristic or sometimes romantic vibe while you walk through it. 

East Square Illumination

East Square Illumination

Second is the East Square Illumination on the 7th floor of the station. You can see an amazing view of the illumination on East Square from the far end of the Skywalk. Here, you'll find the gazebo which is the centerpiece of the square. The gazebo is illuminated which gives the square a magical feel. 

Grand Stairway Illumination

Grand Stairway Illumination

Lastly, Kyoto Station Illumination won't be complete without talking about the highlight of this illumination festival which is the Grand Stairway Illumination on the 4th floor of the station. Unlike the first two mentioned, this illumination has a musical performance coupled with a light display performance. With the over 15,000 LED lights, the station's lights & sounds presentations change seasonally but its most amazing presentation would always be its Christmas season presentation as it is partnered with the giant Christmas tree which gives it the nostalgic holiday feel. 

Please watch this short video clip of the Grand Staircase Illumination:

Kyoto Station Illumination Schedule:

The Kyoto Station Illumination festivals start at 5PM until 10:30PM

My family and I first got to watch the Kyoto Station Illumination last December 22, 2019. Since we live only a few blocks away from the station, we were able to see the illumination twice (well not all of us). My siblings and I saw it first after visiting the Pokemon Center Kyoto during the 4th day of our 2019 Japan trip while my parents got to see it the next day. 

Why experience the Kyoto Station Illumination?

Overall, we enjoyed the Kyoto Station Illumination. It was very memorable for us particularly my parents and siblings as it was their first time seeing an illumination festival. So, for those planning to visit Kyoto from November to March don't miss this one out. Aside from the relaxing lights and sound show it's also a perfect day ender for your adventure.

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 hour 48 minutes


Overall rating


  1. We visited last year and it seems like the presentation was the same.

    1. I think you're right. I visited last year and it's the same.


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