Sightseeing Spot


Best Spots Close to Kyoto Station!

Best Spots Close to Kyoto Station!

There are a number of famous and slightly obscure sightseeing spots near Kyoto Station that you can easily stop by on foot or by Kyoto City Bus. In this article, we'll share with you six spots that are close to Kyoto Station.  (Information as of January 2017)

Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower is located about a two-minute walk from the central exit of Kyoto Station. From the observation rooms on the 4th and 5th floors, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of Kyoto, the Higashiyama area, and even Osaka Prefecture in the distance on a clear day.

The beer garden on the roof of the hotel in the tower building is also popular. There is a large bathhouse called "YUU" on the third basement floor. It is open from 7:00 a.m. On weekdays, adults can borrow one face towel for free and use the bath for only 750 yen. Feel free to stop by and take a bath before or after sightseeing in Kyoto.

Kyoto Tower Observatory Business Hours:  9:00 - 21:00  (Last entry 20:40)

Access:  2 minutes on foot from Kyoto Station Central Exit  (Karasuma Exit)

Kyoto Railway Museum

The Kyoto Railway Museum opened in April 2016. This is one of the largest railroad museums in Japan, with 53 valuable cars on display, ranging from SL to Shinkansen. Among them, eight SL cars are preserved in motion and can be driven by themselves. 

The steam locomotives and trains lined up in the exhibition space that resembles a station platform are displayed not as individual cars, but as a train formation with a passenger car connected to the back. If you are a railroad enthusiast, this is a museum that you can see, touch, and experience, and you will definitely want to come back more than once.

Business hours:  10:00 - 17:30  (Admission until 17:00. Closed on Wednesdays and New Year holidays)

Access:  20 minutes on foot from Kyoto Station Central Exit (Karasuma Exit)
A short walk from the Kyoto City Bus "Umekoji Koen / Kyoto Railway Museum Mae"

Toji (Five-Storied Pagoda)

Toji Temple, the fundamental dojo of the Shingon sect of Buddhism and the head temple of the Toji Shingon sect of Buddhism, was built about 1,200 years ago as a government temple for the protection of Heian-kyo (former names for capital Kyoto) and is the only surviving remains of Heian-kyo. It is famous for the oldest surviving group of esoteric Buddhist sculptures in Japan in the lecture hall (Important Cultural Property), the Kondo (National Treasure), and the 55-meter-high five-story pagoda (National Treasure), which was rebuilt by Iemitsu Tokugawa. Toji Temple was registered as a World Cultural Heritage site in 1994 as part of the "Cultural Properties of the Ancient Capital of Kyoto.

Visiting time:  8:30 - 17:00  (16:30 reception closed)

Access:   15 minutes on foot from the Hachijo exit of Kyoto Station

Sumiya Hospitality Culture Museum

Sumiya Hospitality Culture Museum is a two-story wooden building that flourished as a large private banquet hall during the Edo period and is the only known remains of the Ageya architecture. The Museum itself was designated as an Important Cultural Property in 1952, and in 1983, the artwork in its collection, "Red and White Plum Blossoms" by Buson, was also designated as an Important Cultural Property. Shimabara's Ageya is also known as a place with close ties to the Shinsengumi (special police force) of the late Edo period.

Opening hours:  10:00 - 16:00  (Closed on Mondays, open from March 15th to July 18th, September 15th to December 15th)

Access:  7 minutes on foot from JR Tambaguchi Station

Nishi Honganji Temple (Onishi-san)

Nishi Honganji Temple is the head temple of the Honganji School of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, founded by Shinran Shonin. The official name of the temple is "Honganji". Most of the buildings on the temple grounds, including the famous Mikado and Hiunkaku, are designated as National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. The often-heard term "Onishi-san" is a way of distinguishing the temple from the Shinshu-Otani sect of Higashi Honganji.

Opening and closing gate time:  5:30 - 17:30  (depending on the time of year)

Access:  15 minutes on foot from Kyoto Station Central Exit (Karasuma Exit)
A short walk from the Kyoto City Bus stop "Nishi Honganji Mae"

Higashi Honganji Temple

Higashi Honganji is the common name of the head temple of the Shinshu Otani sect. Its official name is "Shinshu Honbyo". It is also sometimes called "O Higashi-san". The temple is famous for its Mikado Hall, one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, and Amida Hall.

Higashi Honganji Temple was founded in 1602 by Shonin Kyonyo, who received a donation of temple land from Ieyasu Tokugawa. He was the eldest son of Kennyo, the 11th head of Nishi Honganji, and it is said that the reason why Honganji was divided into West and East had to do with the history of fate between Honganji and Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi over the unification of Japan.

Opening time:  5:50 - 17:30  (March - October),  6:20 - 16:30  (November-February)

Access:  7 minutes on foot from Kyoto Station Central Exit (Karasuma Exit)
About a 1-minute walk from the Kyoto City Bus "Karasuma Nanajo"

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