Kyoto Station

We have our favourite airport: Hong Kong and now we have a favourite train station: Kyoto station (without a doubt). Opened in 1997 to commemorate Kyoto’s 1200th anniversary. Designed by Japanese architect Hara Hiroshi, it caused a lot of discussion and controversy. Considering how traditionally Japanese Kyoto is, I am not surprised. The design of the station is so futuristic I would think it would be more at home in Tokyo.

It is a fantastic train station. The building has 15 floors which includes a shopping mall, theatre, many restaurants and a hotel. There are many places to rest and relax in and around the station while waiting for your train. Great overall design and a big plus: we have never managed to get lost in it!

Exposed steel beam roof. Almost 70meters high. Lots of light and air.

Daikaidan or Great Staircase.

Happy Terrace – at the very top of the Great Staircase, on the roof of the station. Travelers and locals rest and relax among the bamboo.

Near the top of the Daikaidan is the entrance to the Skyway tunnel where you can walk the entire length of Kyoto station. 45 meters above the central hall and surrounded by glass, there are some great views not only of the station but Kyoto as well.

Kyoto Tower (131 meters high) from the tunnel.

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