Kyōto Station

Kyōto Station  is the most important transportation hub in Kyoto, Japan.

It has Japan's second-largest train station building (after Nagoya Station) and is one of the country's largest buildings, incorporating a shopping mall, hotel, movie theater, Isetan department store, and several local government facilities under one 15-story roof. It also housed the Kyoto City Air Terminal until August 31, 2002.


The governmental railway from Kōbe reached Kyoto on September 5, 1876, but the station was under construction and a temporary facility called Ōmiya-dōri (Ōmiya Street) Temporary Station was used until the opening of the main station. The first Kyōto Station opened for service by decree of Emperor Meiji on February 5, 1877.

In 1889, the railway became a part of the trunk line to Tokyo (Tōkaidō Main Line). Subsequently the station became the terminal of two private railways, Nara Railway (1895, present-day Nara Line) and Kyoto Railway (1897, present-day Sagano Line), that connected the station with southern and northern regions of Kyoto Prefecture, respectively.

The station was replaced by a newer, Renaissance-inspired facility in 1914, which featured a broad square (the site of demolished first station) leading from the station to Shichijō Avenue. Before and during World War II, the square was often used by imperial motorcades when Emperor Showa traveled between Kyoto and Tokyo. The station was spacious and designed to handle a large number of people, but when a few thousand people gathered to bid farewell to naval recruits on January 8, 1934, 77 people were crushed to death.T his station burned to the ground in 1950 and was replaced by a more utilitarian concrete facility in 1952.

The current Kyōto Station opened in 1997, commemorating Kyoto's 1,200th anniversary. It is 70 meters high and 470 meters from east to west, with a total floor area of 238,000 square meters. Architecturally, it exhibits many characteristics of futurism, with a slightly irregular cubic facade of plate glass over a steel frame. The architect was Hiroshi Hara.

Kyoto, one of the least modern cities in Japan by virtue of its many cultural heritage sites, was largely reluctant to accept such an ambitious structure in the mid-1990s: The station's completion began a wave of new high-rise developments in the city that culminated in the 20-story Kyocera Building. Hence some criticize the station's design for taking part in breaking down the traditional cityscape.

Aside from the main building on the north side of the station, the Hachijō-guchi building on the south side was built to house Tōkaidō Shinkansen which started operation in 1964. The underground facilities of the station, including the shopping mall Porta beneath the station square, was constructed when the subway opened in 1981.


Kyōto Station is served by the following railway lines:

    * Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central)
          o Tōkaidō Shinkansen
    * West Japan Railway Company (JR West)
          o Tōkaidō Main Line (Biwako Line and JR Kyoto Line)
          o San'in Main Line (Sagano Line)
          o Nara Line
    * Kintetsu
          o Kyoto Line
    * Kyoto Municipal Subway
          o Karasuma Line

In addition to the lines above, the following lines, among others, have through services to Kyōto Station:

    * JR West
          o Kosei Line
          o Kusatsu Line

JR West / JR Central


There is one side platform and four island platforms serving eight tracks for the Tōkaidō Line (Biwako Line, JR Kyoto Line) and Kosei Line at ground level, three dead-end platforms serving four tracks for the San'in Line (Sagano Line) to the west of platform 0 at ground level, and two dead-end platforms serving three tracks to the south of platform 7 at ground level. There are two island platforms serving four tracks for the Shinkansen, which are elevated.

Limited express trains and express trains

for the Hokuriku Line

    * limited express Thunderbird: Osaka - Kanazawa, Toyama, Uozu, Wakura Onsen
    * limited express Nihonkai: Osaka - Aomori
    * extra limited express Twilight Express: Osaka - Sapporo
    * express Kitaguni: Osaka - Niigata

for the Tōkaidō Line, the Chūō Line, and the Takayama Line

    * limited express Shinano: Osaka - Nagano
    * limited express Hida: Osaka - Takayama
    * limited express Biwako Express: Osaka - Maibara

for the Sanin region via the Chizu Express Chizu Line

    * limited express Super Hakuto: Kyoto - Tottori, Kurayoshi

for the Hanwa Line, Kansai Airport Line and the Kinokuni Line

    * Kansai Airport limited express Haruka: Maibara, Kyoto - Kansai Airport
    * limited express Kuroshio, Super Kuroshio, Ocean Arrow: Kyoto, Shin-Osaka - Shirahama, Shingu

for the San'in Line, the Maizuru Line and the Kitakinki Tango Railway lines

    * limited express Kinosaki: Kyoto - Fukuchiyama, Toyooka, Kinosaki Onsen
    * limited express Hashidate: Kyoto - Miyazu, Amanohashidate, Toyooka
    * limited express Maizuru: Kyoto - Higashi-Maizuru
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