Kyoto Station Travel Guide
Kyoto Station is at once the city's main transport hub, a marvel of contemporary architecture and brimming with shops, restaurants and hotels of all kind. Find out more with us.
Kyoto Station is one of Japan’s major railway stations, connecting the city to all regions of the country as well as every corner of Kyoto itself. Not only a station, it is an attraction in its own right as a marvellous example of contemporary glass and steel architecture. The ultra-modern structure crescendos in a giant main hall with a stepped side leading up to an open-air rooftop terrace.
Away from the architecture, the station is a terminal for a number of different major and local train lines, a bus depot and boasts a whole host of shopping, dining and accommodation options. Read on for a full look at Kyoto Station and all it has to offer.
Kyoto Station Exits and Map
Karasuma Exit (North)
The north exit of the central gate is called the Karasuma Exit. This side faces onto the Kyoto Bus Station and Kyoto Tower. This is the busiest side of the station with many hotel and shopping options nearby.
The Hachijo Exit faces south onto Hachijo Street, again, with various shopping and hotel options as well as the Shinkansen platforms and Kintetsu Kyoto Station.
Kyoto Station Train Lines
Eight different train lines pass through Kyoto Station, linking it to the rest of the city and the rest of Japan.
The Tokaido Shinkansen is a high-speed bullet train line operating between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stopping only at major stations in between. On this line, from Kyoto, it takes 40 minutes reach Nagoya, 2 hours 20 minutes to reach Tokyo and just 12 minutes to reach Osaka.
Tokaido Main Line
The Tokaido Main Line is a major railway line operating between Tokyo and Kobe. Be warned, however, although the overarching name endures, the line today is operated by a number of private companies, meaning, should you want to traverse the whole route, transferring onto different lines along the way is necessary.
Sanin Main Line
Western Japan railway line running parallel to the Sea of Japan between Kyoto and Yamaguchi and passing through Kyoto, Hyogo, Tottori, Shimane and Yamaguchi prefecture.
Commuter train line for the Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto metropolitan area which runs between Kizu Station in Kizugawa and Nara Station.
Japanese railway line owned and operated by Kintetsu Railway and connecting the cities of Kyoto, Uji and Nara.
One of two lines of the Kyoto Municipal Subway, the line is coloured green, serves seven of the eleven wards of Kyoto, and connects Kokusaikaikan in Sakyo-ku and Takeda in Minami-ku.
Commuter rail line for the Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto metropolitan area operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West). It originates at Yamashina Station in Yamashina-ku, Kyoto, and ends at Omi-Shiotsu Station in Nagahama, Shiga.
Operated by JR West, this line connects Tsuge on the Kansai Main Line with Kusatsu on the Biwako Line (Tokaido Main Line), running through Mie and Shiga prefectures along the route.
Kyoto city operates a tourist friendly bus service which is perhaps the easiest way to navigate the city. There are three services, each serving different areas of the city.
Bus 100: For Kiyomizu Temple, Heian Shrine and Ginkakuji Temple.
Bus 101: For Nijo Castle, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and Kinkaku-ji Temple.
Bus 102: For Ginkaku-ji Temple and Kinkaku-ji.
Fare: 220 yen per person
Kyoto Station Facilities
Kyoto Station Tourist Information
There are two tourist information centres located in Kyoto Station. On the second floor find the General Tourist Information Center and on the ninth floor find the International Information Center. Both offer multilingual staff ready to advise you on any problem or query as well as offer recommendations on the best things to do and see in the city. Free computer and internet access is also available.
Hours: 8:30 -17:00
Languages: English, Chinese and Korean (full-time), French, Spanish and German (part-time)
Shinkansen Information and Lost and Found
If you have any queries about the Shinkansen or you’ve lost/found anything on the Shinkansen trains then the information center on the south-side of the station is there to help.
Hours: 5:45 – 23:45
Languages: Japanese, English (10:00-16:00)
Coin lockers can be found all around the train station, the most convenient ones being near the ticket gates. There are also lockers just outside the Kyoto Theatre on the west side of the station as well as opposite the Cube Mall. Depending upon the size of your luggage fees vary from 300 to 700 yen per day. If your luggage is too bulky for a locker you can use the Baggage Room on the basement level. The baggage room is open from 8:00 – 20:00 with a fee of 420 yen per bag, per day.
Hotels Near Kyoto Station
For a full guide to hotels in and around Kyoto Station check out our dedicated article, but for now, take a look at our top picks:
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Built inside the Kyoto Station building complex, this hotel boasts a modern interior and unbeatable station access. The facilities on offer include a guest lounge, pool, fitness centre, concierge service and free internet access.
Access: Central Exit Kyoto Station
Price: Starting at 29,938 yen per night.
Ibis Styles Kyoto Station
Located just one minute away from JR Kyoto Station this hotel is perfectly situated for reaching the top tourist spots in Kyoto and is only a short train ride away from Osaka and Kobe. The 215 rooms feature free WiFi internet access and coin-operated laundry facilities. Perfect for both leisure and business travellers.
Access: 1 minute walk Hachijo West exit
Price: Starting at 16,240 yen per night.
Hyatt Regency Kyoto
This hotel provides a wide range of services to guests including a business centre, 24-hour concierge service, shops, high-speed internet access and a number of luxury restaurants serving Japanese, French and Italian cuisine.
Access: 5 minutes by taxi from JR Kyoto Station
Price: Starting at 48,530 yen per night.
Restaurants Near Kyoto Station
For a full guide to restaurants in and around Kyoto Station check out our dedicated article, but for now, take a look at our top picks:
An authentic and intimate Japanese restaurant with room for just 12 diners, this is an excellent dining experience. Chef Takatomo Izumi’s signature dish is tofu with a sesame sauce sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.
Access: 5-minute walk Karasuma Kyoto Station
Price: 5,000 – 10,000 yen
Hours: 12:00 – 13:45, 17:30 – 20:00
Close: Every Thursday
Address: 553−1, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
Katsukura, as the name suggests, is your best bet for some traditional katsu. Choose from various options and enjoy the free-flowing rice, miso soup, cabbage and sauces.
Access: Kyoto Station building
Price: 2,000 -4,000 yen
Kyoto Ramen Koji
If you are a ramen lover there is a hidden treasure waiting for you on Kyoto Station’s 10th floor. The whole floor dedicated to ramen restaurants of every style and region. All restaurants providing useful picture menus, there’s nothing stopping you from slurping away.
Access: Kyoto station building (10th floor)
Price: 2,000 -4,000 yen
Shopping Around Kyoto Station
Start your Kyoto shopping spree in the station itself at The Cube, a shopping mall occupying three floors of Kyoto Station. Pick up a local souvenir or the latest fashions, the choice is yours.
Access: Kyoto Station (B2F, B1F, 1F and 11F)
Hours: Shops (8:30-20:00), Restaurants (11:00-22:00)
Bic Camera, Kyoto
Japan is famous for its electronics and Bic Camera is the place to get them. From games consoles and toys to vaccum cleaners and mobile phones, find all this and more here. For tourists, the store also offers a tax-free options if a passport is presented.
Access: Next to Kyoto Station building
Website: Bic Camera
Aeon Mall, Kyoto
This is one large shopping malls in the city, located on the south side of the station. It offers a large range of Japanese and international retail chains as well as a large grocery store and 100 yen shop. Most of the shops offer much better value than those found within the station itself.
Access: 5 minutes walk Hachijo Exit
Address: Minami Ward, Kyoto,601-8417