I am not a very big fan of train stations. I always picture them to be a hub of non-stop commotion, extremely busy and dirty at times. But that was the exact opposite of what the Japan Railway (JR) Kyoto Station is. One travel book even listed it as one of the key attractions of Kyoto!
The Kyoto Train Station was built to commemorate the 1200th anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto as capital of Japan. It was completed in 1997. The futuristic design is in complete contrast to the old and traditional Japanese feel of Kyoto. It was designed by foremost Japanese architect Hara Hiroshi, the same designer of the Umeda Sky Building in Osaka.
The station’s large main hall with its exposed steel beamed roof, called the Matrix, is meant to reflect both the structure of the station and the grid like layout of Kyoto’s street network.
Going up the escalator on either side, you are greeted by several levels with different attractions. It becomes an oasis in a city busy with movement. You also get the chance to see the city’s icon “Kyoto Tower” from a better angle.
After admiring the terminal for several minutes, it was time for us to leave Kyoto. We had to catch our bullet train bound for Tokyo.
When you get to visit Kyoto, do not just admire the temples and shrines (there are a lot of them in Kyoto!) – the Kyoto Train Station is also one beautiful structure to see and explore.
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