What comes to mind when you think about Kyoto, the former capital city of Japan? Temples, Shrines, Samurai, Geisha… and more traditional and/or cultural stuff? When this is you, you might well be surprised. In Kyoto, it is not only about “old” buildings and culture. In fact, Kyoto is the ultimate place where you can experience both a traditional side as well as a more modern side of Japan at the same time! In this article, we will introduce places to visit near Kyoto station. Let’s get started!
Kyoto station is probably where most tourists start their trip in Kyoto. The transportation hub is one of the largest stations in Japan and served by several kinds of railway lines. It is estimated that over 700,000 passengers use the station every day! Kyoto’s gateway also functions as a shopping complex, comprised of department stores, hotels, movie theater, restaurants, and a number of souvenir shops. The main station building has a modern, impressive design, and they do some graphical illumination on the 171 stairs throughout the year. It is not just a station, and without a doubt worth visiting!
Kyoto Tower is a landmark located right in front of Kyoto station, and known as the tallest structure in Kyoto. It has an observation deck which is 100-meter-high above the ground. Visitors can enjoy the amazing view of the entire city of Kyoto. The lower floors are used for several purposes, including a hotel, restaurants, bars, and a large public bath on the basement floor! It is also directly connected to Kyoto station, which makes it easy for visitors to go there even on rainy days!
9am – 9.20pm (last entrance 9pm)
Admission ¥800 (adult, ¥400 (children)
Nijo–jo Castle was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate which governed Japan for over 260 years from 1603. It was originally built to show the power of the Shogunate throughout Japan so that they could control the whole country more easily. Ironically, this is where the Tokugawa Shogunate started and ended, when they officially returned the political power to the emperor in 1867. It is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has been ranked among the most visited tourist sites in Kyoto. Inside the Ninomaru-goten Palace, there are more than 3,600 wall paintings which are impressive and breathtaking!
Open 8.45am – 4pm
Nijo-jo castle/Ninomaru-goten Palace ¥1,030 (adult)
Kyoto Imperial Palace & Kyoto Gyoen
Kyoto Imperial Palace was used as a formal residence for the Imperial family from 1331 to 1869, until they moved to the current one located in Tokyo. The structure has been restored several times due to deterioration and fires, and the current one was built in 1855 during the Edo era. Visitors can enjoy comparing the architectural designs of each structure, describing a transition of culture and tradition.
The palace is located in a huge park called “Kyoto Gyoen National Garden” (in short, “Kyoto Gyoen” in Japanese) It was once a residential area exclusively used by the Imperial family and court nobles, but was opened to public in 1949. Currently it is under the management of the Ministry of the Environment. It has plenty of nature and offers a peaceful time for visitors, so just walking around the park is relaxing and enjoyable. In Spring, many people get together there in order to enjoy viewing around 1,000 cherry blossom trees in bloom!
Open 9am – 3.20pm (closed on Mondays & New Year)
*Opening hour might be changed due to the imperial court events, check the calendar below before your visit
Kyoto Gyoen National Garden
Open 8.30am – 4.30pm
Nishiki Market is a famous marketplace packed with small stores selling Japanese traditional foods. It is located in Nishiki Street, a narrow street in the very center of the city, and always lively and full of energy. There are around 130 stores along the 400-meter-long street, and they sell handy foods and drinks. From Kyoto station, you can take the subway and it is a 3-minute-ride to get to the nearest station named Shijo Station. It is only a 10-minute-walk from the station to the market. You might be overwhelmed with the crowds at first, but soon get used to the atmosphere and (hopefully) will find it exiting!
A great way to explore the area and to know more about Japanese culinary culture and how to enjoy the market and area properly., having a local guide is recommended. Please visit our website for more information about our tours!
Kyoto Ramen Street (Kyoto Ramen Koji)
If you would like to enjoy ramen near Kyoto Station, there are countless numbers of ramen restaurants. In fact, there is the perfect place where you can enjoy several type of ramen restaurants, all with a good reputations: Kyoto Ramen Street (Kyoto Ramen Koji in Japanese). The “street” is located on on the 10th floor of Kyoto station building and there are 9 ramen restaurants on the same floor, each of them has their own dining area.
Since the location is really convenient and all the restaurants are relatively small, it is better to avoid going there at the busy hours, especially during lunch time on weekends!
Open 11am – 10pm (last order 9.30pm)
Tsujiri Kyoto Isetan
If you are a fan of Japanese desserts, Matcha is something that you should definitely try in Kyoto! Matcha originally refers to an edible powder made from green tea leaves. There are numerous matcha-flavoured products selling in Kyoto, as it has one of the largest production areas of Matcha in Japan!
Tsujiri is a famous matcha store with several locations in Kyoto, and they serve tasty desserts such as matcha sundaes, ice creams, and even light meals ! The taste is a balanced mix of bitter and sweet, so it is delicious to try, even for adults!
Tsujiri Kyoto Isetan
10am – 8pm (last order 7.30pm)
Don’t forget to check out our private tour!
If you need some help to organize your trip to Kyoto, you should definitely check out our private tour including English guide. We’re glad to help you make your trip to Kyoto a safe, comfortable, and unforgettable memory!
1. Kyoto Food and Drink Tour @ Nishiki Street and Gion
Enjoy Japanese traditional cuisine while exploring a 400-year-old market with our knowledgeable guide!
2. Kyoto Private Full Day Walking Tour (Customizable)
The itinerary is changeable according to your interest and request!
3. Kyoto 2-Day Highlights Private Walking Tour Combo Package
Visit the top 10 tourist attractions in Kyoto with our friendly guide!
4. Virtual Kyoto Highlight Tour
You can also join our tour at home and learn about Kyoto before you come to Japan! Explore 5 spots including Kinkakuji, Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari etc. while the local guide telling you the small story abut the area.
Where to stay near Kyoto Station
- Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Located within Kyoto Station yet offers you the quiet and relaxing time, 9 restaurants in the complex where you can enjoy dine in.
- Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Station
Located 3 minutes away from Kyoto station, easy to access everywhere and breakfast buffet is served every morning.
- MIMARU KYOTO STATION
Great location, spacious and comfortable rooms, there is Pokémon room available for all the fans!
Kyoto is still developing, and will never stop to provide visitors unique experiences with its attractive tourist spots. People living in Kyoto are rather proud of what they have been preserving, and understand the importance of passing them down from generation to generation. They will happily educate you all about the beauty of Kyoto! Central Kyoto gives everyone visiting a great opportunity to witness how we can successfully maintain our lives while preserving cultural assets and traditions. You might even feel inspired!
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