Kyoto Station is far more than a busy transport hub – it’s an attraction in its own right featuring shopping malls, multiple restaurants, and many other things to see and do. This modern, almost futuristic building stands in direct contrast to the traditional buildings found in the city; the station's vast main hall features an exposed-steel beamed roof, and historical aspects of Kyoto are filtered through a modern lens.
Those looking for some retail therapy will enjoy Kyoto Station’s Isetan department store, Porta underground shopping mall, and Cube shopping mall. There are some great food courts to be found within each of these, with popular eateries such as Kyoto Ramen Koji and Eat Paradise for those who need refueling.
Aside from shopping and eating, there is an open-air observation deck on the station’s top floor, which can be reached via a series of escalators and an additional flight of stairs. From here, views of the city unfold before you (albeit through heavily tinted windows). Elsewhere, the Skyway Tunnel will allow you to walk the length of Kyoto Station some 45 meters above the main hall, revealing views of both the city and station below.
Various day and night tours of the city depart from Kyoto Station. You can also enjoy a day trip by arriving into the station on a Kyoto rail tour by bullet train from Tokyo.
Kyoto Station has two main access points – the north and the south. The Karasuma north side faces downtown and leads out to Kyoto Bus Station and Kyoto Tower. The Hachijo side to the south provides access to a few hotels and bus stops, as well as the Toji Temple.
Did You Know? The current Kyoto Station building opened in 1997 to commemorate the city’s 1200th anniversary.