Kyoto Station: a modern station with 15-story escalators
Kyoto Station has 12 floors above ground and 3 below which are connected by escalators
5 Apr 2022
Kyoto Station with 12 floors escalator
Kyoto Station with 12 floors escalator

Kyoto Station is the main train station and transportation hub in Kyoto, Japan. It has the second largest train station building in Japan, after Nagoya Station, and has a shopping mall, hotel, cinema, and several restaurants. This station is located in Kyoto's central business district.

The current station opened in 1997 and is a very modern facility. The building was designed by architect Hiroshi Hara and has 12 floors above ground and 3 below. The station is served by the Shinkansen high-speed rail line as well as several local and regional lines.

History of Kyoto Station

The original Kyoto Station / Wikipedia
The original Kyoto Station / Wikipedia

Kyoto Station was founded in 1877 when the city was still known as Heian-ky. At that time the station was just a small wooden structure with two platforms.

In 1889, the station was expanded to accommodate the increasing number of passengers using the train.

The new station has four platforms and a larger waiting area.

2nd development

2nd Kyoto Station Building / Wikipedia
2nd Kyoto Station Building / Wikipedia

In 1914, another expansion took place. This time, the station was rebuilt in stone to match the other buildings in the area.

The new station has six platforms and a much larger waiting area. It also has a clock tower, which is a landmark of the city.

3rd construction: Modernization with concrete

The wooden structure was destroyed by fire in 1935 and a current concrete building was erected in its place. The new station features a large central atrium that allows natural light to reach the basement. This design was ahead of its time and influenced many subsequent train station designs. The new station has eight platforms and a large waiting area. It also has an underground shopping mall, which is one of the first in Japan.

Modernization of Kyoto Station with concrete / Wikipedia
Modernization of Kyoto Station with concrete / Wikipedia

The last renovation took place between 2007 and 2014. This major project involved demolishing an old concrete station and rebuilding it from scratch. The new station has twelve platforms and a large underground mall with more than 200 shops. It is one of the largest railway stations in Asia and cost more than $1 billion to build.

Kyoto Station today /
Kyoto Station today / David Sun

Kyoto Station is one of the busiest train stations in Japan with more than 200,000 passengers passing through every day. The majority of these passengers are commuters traveling to and from work in the city center. However, the station also sees a large number of tourists coming to visit Kyoto's many historical sites and cultural attractions.

Hotels near Kyoto Station