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Why Kyoto station is special ?
The Kyoto Station (京都駅, Kyōto-eki) building was constructed on the 1200th anniversary of the capital's foundation in Kyoto. It was opened to the public in 1997 and stands in perfect contrast to many foreign tourists' image of Kyoto as the capital of traditional Japan.
Kyoto Station is the city's transportation hub, served by Japan Railways (including the Tokaido Shinkansen), Kintetsu Railways and the Karasuma Subway Line. It is also the site of a large bus terminal for city buses and long distance and overnight highway buses.
There are two sides to Kyoto Station: Karasuma and Hachijo. The busier Karasuma side to the north faces downtown and is named after the main street leading downtown. The main bus terminal is located on the Karasuma side, as are many hotels, shops and Kyoto Tower. The calmer Hachijo side to the south provides access to a few more hotels, Toji Temple and some more highway bus stops.
What to explore at Kyoto station?
Kyoto Station's stats are impressive - it comprises a huge 60 meter tall atrium, measures 470 meters from east to west, with a total floor space of 238,000 square meters. The Kyoto Station's building includes a department store, the Granvia Hotel, a theater, exhibition space, a museum as well as numerous shops and restaurants. The Sky Garden on the top 15th floor is a pleasant roof garden with incredible views of the city. Directly outside the station is Kyoto Tower, which is illuminated at night.
The Kyoto Eki Museum is on the 7th floor of Kyoto Station and is part of the Isetan Department Store. The Kyoto Eki museum regular puts on exhibitions of international art.
The main Kyoto Tourist Office (Kyo Navi; Tel 075 343 0548; 8.30am-7pm) is on the second floor of the station and has a vast amount of information on Kyoto and English- Korean- and Chinese-speaking staff who can help you find accommodation and provide advice for onward travel and upcoming events and festivals in Kyoto.