If someone ask me about the place in Kyoto that we can see the modern and the ancient living peacefully in one body, the answer is absolutely Kyoto Station. Lying in the middle of modern blocks of shopping malls, restaurants, theaters and hotels, the station also receives the holy aroma from religious sites dotting around including Higashi-Hongan-ji, Nishi-Hongan-ji and To-ji temple. Anyway, Kyoto Station is still a transportation point and even excellently completing its mission as the major hub of the city.
Completed in 1997 in Shimogyo Shichijo district, Kyoto station was designed by the great artist Hiroshi Hara with the popular structure of Japanese stations, airports and other transportation facilities. However, no one can deny the imposingness of the construction when he stands there on the central point of Kyoto Station and taking a round look over all sides of the station. The major structure of Kyoto station is an impressive atrium of 60 meters in length. The construction also owns a long passageway coming over 45 meters to link the eastern parts to the western ones, the whole establishment is created by square pieces of glass. Besides, you can find an gorgeous stair of more than 170 steps inside Kyoto station.
Playing the important role as the entry point of the city, Kyoto station houses almost all the lifeline routes of city transportation system including JR train lines (Tokaido Shinkansen, JR Nara Line for Tofukuji, Inari, Uji and Nara, JR Kyoto Line for Osaka, Sannomiya and Himeji, JR Sagano Line for Nijo, Uzumasa, Saga-Arashiyama), Kyoto Subway lines (Karasuma Subway Line and Tozai Subway Line) and Kyoto city bus. Tokaido Shinkansen is outstanding as the high speed train transporting passengers between Kyoto and other major cities in Japan. JR Nara line, Sagano Line or Line for Osaka, Sannomiya and Himeji will bring you to different landscapes around kansai region as well as all over Japan. There are also a huge number of other train lines including Kintetsu Kyoto Line for Nara, Keihan Main Line or Eizan Electric Railway for Kibune, Kurama and Mount Hiei.
More than a transportation facility, Kyoto station is made from several commercial establishments. There are two main sides called Karasuma on the north and Hashijo on the south. Approached through the main Central gate, a building on Karasuma side is home for a hotel, the Kyoto theater and the Isetan department store. Visitors looking for information can find some help from Kyoto Station Building Information, Kyoto Tourist Information Center, Kyoto Prefectural International Center or Information and Lost and Found for the Shinkansen. People come to Kyoto Station maybe in their journey or they are enjoying some entertainment activities of shopping or dinning around the station. Together with shopping malls or specialty shops, there are restaurants, event venues and theaters near the station. Visiting three of the divine temples is also a not bad choice when you drop in Kyoto station.
Kyoto Station Building Information: from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Kyoto Tourist Information Center: from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm
Kyoto Prefectural International Center: from 10:00 sm to 6:00 pm
Information and Lost and Found for the Shinkansen: from 5:45 am to 11:45 pm.