Summary of Recommended Tourist Attractions in Kyoto Station Area.

This article summarizes the main tourist attractions in Kyoto Station Area.
In this area, you can find the Kyoto Station Building, which serves as the central hub for transportation, dining, and souvenirs in Kyoto.
Additionally, you’ll come across iconic landmarks like Kyoto Tower and Tō-ji Temple, famous for its five-story pagoda.

Be sure to check out this article and consider a trip to Kyoto.

The area around Kyoto Station serves as a central hub for exploring the city of Kyoto.
There are plenty of accommodation options available in the vicinity of the station, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to large hotels.
Using a city bus or subway pass can be convenient for sightseeing.

Kyoto Station Building

Inside Kyoto Station Building, you’ll find not only restaurants and souvenir shops but also a theater and an art museum.

There are hotels inside as well, so if you’re considering staying overnight around Kyoto Station, using one of the hotels within Kyoto Station Building is also recommended.

One thing you definitely must see in Kyoto Station Building is the Grand Staircase Graphical Illumination.

LED lights adorn 125 out of the 171 steps on this grand staircase, totaling 15,000 LED bulbs.

Seasonal illuminations range from themes inspired by Japanese cultural events like Girls’ Festival and cherry blossoms to Kyoto-specific events such as the Aoi Festival, Gion Festival, and the Gozan no Okuribi, all changing according to the season.

They also hold dramatic and fantastical large-scale illuminations for events like Christmas and Halloween.

The free rooftop observation deck, known as “Daikuu Hiroba,” is a hidden gem where you can have a panoramic view of the station surroundings. If you have some extra time, be sure to pay a visit.


  • Address: Higashi-Shiokoji-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: Directly connected to Kyoto Station
  • Phone: 075-361-4401
  • Official Website: Kyoto Station Building

Kyoto Station Building Skywalk

The “Kyoto Station Building Skywalk” is a 470-meter-long passageway located within Kyoto Station.

Along the walkway, there are about three spots where you can enjoy scenic views, offering a panoramic view of Kyoto city.

Furthermore, the passageway itself is illuminated after 5:00 PM.
When I visited around 6:00 PM, the walkway was lit up, and the colors were beautiful.
If the timing aligns, it’s also recommended to go between 5:00 PM and 10:00 PM.


  • Address: Higashishio-koji-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: 7th floor within JR Kyoto Station
  • Phone Number: 075-361-4401
  • Closed: None
  • Business Hours: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
  • Official URL: Kyoto Station Building Skywalk

Kyoto Ramen Koji (Ramen Lane)

Kyoto Ramen Koji is a facility located on the 11th floor of the Kyoto Station Building, just a 2-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station.
It brings together ramen shops from various regions of Japan.
The interior design, featuring elements like a stone garden and lattice ceilings, reflects the unique ambiance of Kyoto, creating a soothing atmosphere for visitors.

With a total of 10 shops, including the “Chasen” teahouse where you can savor matcha sweets, you can indulge in a diverse range of ramen options.
From the northern region of Hokkaido to the southern city of Hakata, Kyoto Ramen Koji gathers renowned ramen establishments from various areas.
As this place tends to get crowded during lunch and dinner hours, it’s recommended to visit just a bit before or after the peak times.


  • Address: 10th floor of Kyoto Station Building, 901 Higashishio-koji-cho, Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: 2-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station
  • Phone Number: Varies by store
  • Closed: Open year-round (Some stores may have temporary closures)
  • Business Hours: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM (Last order at 9:30 PM)
  • Price Range: ¥1,000 – ¥1,999 for all days
  • Official URL: Kyoto Ramen Koji

Kyoto Tower

Just a 1-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station stands Kyoto Tower.
This tower, which was born in December 1964, features a monocoque structure, using no steel frames.

Within the 131-meter-tall tower, you’ll find various facilities, including an observation deck that offers panoramic views of Kyoto, restaurants, and even a large bathhouse.
It’s worth noting that the design of Kyoto Tower was inspired by the waves of the tiled roofs of traditional machiya townhouses that line the city, imagining it as a lighthouse illuminating the landlocked city of Kyoto.

The top attraction at Kyoto Tower is the observation deck located at the tower’s uppermost part.
There are free-to-use binoculars available, allowing you to take in panoramic views of the city of Kyoto.

On clear days, Kyoto Tower offers views all the way to the Osaka cityscape, and when night falls, it transforms into a moody and captivating night scene, a stark contrast to the daytime view.


  • Address: 721-1 Higashishio-koji-cho, Shichijo-sagaru, Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: 2 minutes on foot from JR Kyoto Station
  • Phone Number: 075-361-3215
  • Closed: Open year-round
  • Opening Hours: 10:30 AM to 9:00 PM (Last admission at 8:30 PM)
  • Admission Fees:
    • Adults 800 yen
    • High School Students 650 yen
    • Middle/Elementary School Students 550 yen
    • Children (3 years and older) 150 yen
  • Official Website: Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower Sand

Just a 1-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station, you’ll find the commercial facility called “Kyoto Tower Sand” located within Kyoto Tower, which opened in April 2017.
Inside this facility, you can explore souvenir shops, gourmet options, and experiential workshops.

Kyoto Tower Sand spans from the underground 1st floor to the 2nd floor of Kyoto Tower.
The interior is organized with different themes for each floor.
The underground 1st floor focuses on “Culinary Delights (Gathering and Relaxing),” the 1st floor emphasizes “Souvenirs (Buying and Exploring),” and the 2nd floor embodies the concept of “Experiences (Learning and Playing).”

Kyoto Tower Sand’s underground 1st floor features a food hall with a range of seating options, from counter seating to tables.
Most of the table seating is available for open use, allowing you to choose your preferred spot.
With over 15 establishments offering Japanese, Western, Chinese, sweets, and bars, feel free to explore and discover a dining venue that suits your taste.

The 2nd floor features a floor with traditional craft workshops and shops where you can try your hand at making Japanese sweets.
Some of these establishments allow photography, so you can capture your experience.


  • Address: 721-1 Higashishio-koji-cho, Shichijo-sagaru, Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: 1-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station
  • Phone Number: 075-746-5830
  • Closed: Varies by store
  • Business Hours:
    • [B1F] 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
    • [1F] 10:30 AM to 8:30 PM
    • [2F] 10:30 AM to 7:00 PM
      • ※Some stores may have different hours
  • Admission Fee: Free (Some facilities may require a fee)
  • Official Website: Kyoto Tower Sand


Tō-ji Temple, founded by the renowned monk Kōbō Daishi, also known as Kūkai, is the head temple of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism, a subject often taught in Japanese history classes.

When it was constructed, its five-story pagoda was the tallest building in Japan, making it a recognizable souvenir often associated with Kyoto. Notably, Kyoto has four five-story pagodas in total:

  1. The most famous one is at Tō-ji Temple.
  2. There is one at Ninnaji Temple in Ukyo Ward.
  3. Daigoji Temple in Fushimi Ward also has a five-story pagoda.
  4. In Higashiyama Ward, you can find one at Hōkanji Temple.

Tō-ji Temple is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Inside, you’ll find a grand lecture hall with 21 Buddha statues, centered around Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairocana), creating a spectacular sight.
Interestingly, Tō-ji Temple is the only remaining structure from the Heian period in Japan.
It has stood for over 1,200 years since its establishment.

When Kyoto became the capital during the Heian period, this temple was founded as a national institution for Buddhism.
It was entrusted to Kōbō Daishi, who had studied Buddhism and Esoteric Buddhism in China.

After being entrusted to Kōbō Daishi, Tō-ji Temple became Japan’s first Esoteric Buddhist temple.

Kōbō Daishi resided in the Miei-do at Tō-ji Temple.
If you visit Tō-ji Temple, exploring the Miei-do will provide insight into the life of Kōbō Daishi at the temple.


  • Address: 1 Kujocho, Minami-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: 10-minute walk from Kintetsu To-ji Station
  • Phone: 075-691-3325
  • Closed: None
  • Visiting Hours:
    • [Opening Hours] 5:00 AM to 5:00 PM
    • [Kondo Hall and Lecture Hall] 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (last admission at 4:30 PM)
    • [Treasure Hall and Kanchi-in Sub-temple] 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (last admission at 4:30 PM)
    • *Night Special Admission: Operates with a day-to-night transition, from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM (last admission at 9:00 PM)
  • Admission Fees:
    • [Miei-do, Refectory, etc.] Free Admission
    • [Kondo Hall, Lecture Hall, Five-story Pagoda]
      • Adults: 800 yen
      • High school students: 700 yen
      • Middle school students and younger: 500 yen
    • [Night Special Admission]
      • Adults: 1,000 yen
      • Middle school students and younger: 500 yen
  • Please Note: Photography is not allowed inside the Kondo Hall and Lecture Hall.
  • Official Website: To-ji Temple

Kyoto Aquarium

Located about a 20-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station, this aquarium opened in 2012.
Under the concept of “Connecting Life with Water,” it showcases approximately 250 species of marine life.

Drawing inspiration from Kyoto’s flowing rivers, the aquarium boasts a strong focus on creatures found along riverbanks.
The Kyoto Aquarium is also famous as Japan’s first inland aquarium to utilize 100% artificial seawater.

It offers a rich array of displays unique to Kyoto, including the Japanese giant salamander, a natural monument living in the Kamogawa River.

Right in front of the aquarium, you’ll find the “Umekoji Park” with a large grassy area, making it an excellent destination for families with children to enjoy along with a visit to the aquarium. In the “Kyoto River Zone,” located immediately upon entering the aquarium, you’ll find displays featuring creatures that inhabit the riversides of Kyoto.

Among the various exhibits, one that stands out is the display of the Japanese giant salamander, which is designated as a Special Natural Monument.
The Japanese giant salamander, considered the largest amphibian in the world, walking gracefully, exudes both power and charm.

Furthermore, the “Kyoto Sea Zone,” which recreates the seas of Kyoto using an impressive 500 tons of artificial seawater, is another highlight among the many fascinating tanks within the facility.


  • Address: 35-1 Kankijicho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture (Inside Umekoji Park)
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:
    • 3-minute walk from Bus Stop “Nanajo-Omiya/Kyoto Aquarium” (Routes 205, 208, 103, 104, 110)
    • 20-minute walk from Kyoto Station
  • Phone Number: 075-354-3130
  • Closed: None (Temporary closures may occur for facility maintenance and weather conditions)
  • Business Hours: Please check the annual calendar for opening hours on the official website.
    • Special extended evening hours may be available.
    • Admission, ticket purchase, and annual passport processing are available until 1 hour before closing.
    • Opening hours are subject to change based on weather conditions and other factors.
  • Regular Admission Fees:
    • Adults (including university students): 2,200 yen
    • High School Students: 1,700 yen
    • Middle and Elementary School Students: 1,100 yen
    • Children (3 years and older): 700 yen
  • Official Website: Kyoto Aquarium

Umekoji Park

Umekoji Park is a spacious park located near Umekoji-Kyoto Nishi Station.

Within the park, you can find a grassy square, a riverside playground, the Shichijo Entrance Plaza, the paid Japanese garden “Shujaku no Niwa,” as well as restaurants and rest areas.

It’s not only large but also offers various ways to enjoy your time.


  • Address: 56-3 Kankiji-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: 3-minute walk from Umekoji-Kyoto Nishi Station Approximately 20-minute walk from Kyoto Station Karasuma Central Exit
  • Phone Number: 075-352-2500
  • Closed:
    • Every Monday (If Monday is a holiday, the following day)
    • Year-end and New Year holidays (December 28 to January 4)
    • ※Shujaku no Niwa (Garden) and Inochi no Mori (Forest) only
  • Business Hours: [Shujaku no Niwa (Garden) and Inochi no Mori (Forest)] 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Last admission at 4:30 PM)
  • Admission Fee: 200 yen ※For Shujaku no Niwa (Garden) and Inochi no Mori (Forest) only
  • Official Website: Umekoji Park

Kyoto Railway Museum

A railroad museum located approximately a 20-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station, it opened in 2016 with the concept of being a “railroad culture hub that walks with the community.”
The exhibits, designed for “seeing, touching, and experiencing,” cater to visitors of all ages, from adults to children.

The museum spans three floors (1st to 3rd) and features actual railway vehicles that were once in operation, including shinkansen (bullet trains) and steam locomotives.
Within the facility, you can also find cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops, making it a museum where you can enjoy a day out.

The “Roundhouse,” a designated Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government on the 1st floor, houses 20 locomotives, offering a spectacular sight of steam locomotives that were active from the Meiji era to the Showa era.

At the SL Plaza, located right next to the roundhouse, visitors have the opportunity to ride on vehicles pulled by actual steam locomotives.
You can capture images of these locomotives billowing black smoke as they chug along, or even experience the ride firsthand, offering various ways to enjoy the experience.

Moreover, be sure to explore other unique exhibits that can only be seen in this museum, including the “Former Nijo Station Building,” said to be Japan’s oldest wooden station building.


  • Address: Kanjijicho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:2-minute walk from Bus Stop “Umekoji Park/Kyoto Railway Museum” on Bus Routes 205 and 208 from JR Kyoto Station
  • Phone Number: 075-314-2996
  • Closed: Wednesdays, New Year’s holidays
  • Business Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Last admission at 4:30 PM)
  • Admission Fees:
    • General (Adults): 1,500 yen
    • University and High School Students: 1,300 yen
    • Middle and Elementary School Students: 500 yen
    • Children (3 years and older): 200 yen
  • Official Website: Kyoto Railway Museum

Nishi Hongan-ji

Nishi Hongan-ji is a vast temple located a 10-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station and is affectionately known as “Oshii-san” by the Kyoto locals.
It is considered the head temple of the Jodo Shinshu Hongan-ji-ha, a sect of Pure Land Buddhism founded by Saint Shinran.

The temple grounds have been designated as a national historic site and are registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under “Cultural Properties of Ancient Kyoto.”

The “Goei-do” hall, dedicated to the memory of Honen Shonin, is a historic building that was reconstructed in 1636.
In the center of this building, measuring 49 meters from east to west and 62 meters from north to south, is a wooden image of Saint Shinran.

In the Goei-do, designated as a national treasure, visitors are required to remove their shoes and can explore the interior of the building.

The corridor that connects the Amidado and Goei-do exudes the typical ambiance of Kyoto temples.

Both the “Goei-do Mon” and the “Amidado Mon” gates, which welcome visitors, are designated as important cultural properties.

Furthermore, all the national treasures and important cultural properties within the temple grounds can be viewed free of charge.


  • Address: 60 Monzen-cho, Higashi-iru, Hanayacho-dori, Horikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: 10-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station, 11-minute walk from Nishi Hongan-ji bus stop
  • Phone Number: 075-371-5181
  • Closed: Open year-round
  • Visiting Hours: 5:30 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
  • Official Website: Nishi Hongan-ji

Higashi Hongan-ji

Higashi Hongan-ji is the head temple of the Jodo Shinshu Otani-ha sect, a Pure Land Buddhist sect founded by Saint Shinran.
It is located a 7-minute walk from Kyoto Station. Since it’s not far from Nishi Hongan-ji, another temple of the same sect, you can explore both temples when sightseeing.

Within Higashi Hongan-ji’s grounds, you’ll find two large halls at the center, the Goei-do for the enshrined wooden image and the Amidado for the main deity.
The layout of the buildings closely resembles that of Nishi Hongan-ji, as they belong to the same sect.

The temple grounds are dotted with historical structures, and the architectural craftsmanship, which has also influenced traditional Japanese architecture, showcases an impressive level of precision that makes it hard to believe they were built so long ago.

The “Goei-do” at the heart of Higashi Hongan-ji is one of the largest Buddhist halls in Japan in terms of its width and area.
It is open to the public year-round and enshrines the image of Saint Shinran.

Although it appears to have two stories due to its double roof, it is, in fact, a single-story structure.

Between 2004 and 2008, extensive restoration work was carried out, and durable roof tiles that can withstand the elements were installed.
This architectural marvel, which is also a registered tangible cultural property, is truly impressive to behold.


  • Address: 754 Jotcho, Kamihorikawa-dori, Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: 7-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station
  • Phone Number: 075-371-9181
  • Closed: Open year-round
  • Business Hours:
    • [March 1st to October 31st] 5:50 AM to 5:30 PM
    • [November 1st to February 29th] 6:20 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
  • Official Website: Higashi Hongan-ji


Located an 8-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station, Shosei-en is a Japanese garden within the detached precinct of Higashi Hongan-ji temple.
Despite being within walking distance of Kyoto Station, it’s a lesser-known tourist spot, making it a perfect choice for those who want to leisurely enjoy nature.

With a sprawling 30,000 square meters of land, the garden boasts a variety of seasonal flowers, and its ever-changing landscapes are referred to as the “Thirteen Views.”

The origins of Shosei-en date back to 1641 when approximately 10,000 square meters of land were donated by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third shogun. The garden was initially created with the design influences of Ishikawa Jozan.

In 1936, it was designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty by the Japanese government. Within the garden, you can find various structures, such as “Rinsuitei” and “Enrindo.”


  • Address: Higashitamamizucho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: 10-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station
  • Phone Number: 075-371-9210
  • Closed: Open year-round
  • Business Hours:
    • [March to October] 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
    • [February to November] 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: Adults 500 yen, High School Students and younger 250 yen
  • Official Website: Shosei-en


Did the charm of this area come across to you?

Kyoto offers many other spots where you can experience deep history and magnificent nature.

These are summarized in other articles, so please be sure to check them out.


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