|Kyoto Station is the starting point for sightseeing in Kyoto, a city where old and new exist side by side. The station building, a new landmark of the old city of Kyoto, opened in 1997 and boasts a concourse with an impressive 60-meter atrium, 45-meter raised glass-made passage connecting the eastern and western parts of the station. The station building comprises of a department store, a hotel and cultural facilities such as a theatrical space with a state-of-art audio-visual technology and museums that exhibit tea ceremonies, textiles, ceramics and paintings which all create an intersection for traditional art in the ancient capital and art and culture of today.
Department stores, restaurants, shopping arcades, theaters and hotels can be found around the modern station, however old temples such as the Higashi Honganji Temple, Nishi-Honganji Temple and Toji Temple are also dotted around the area, providing an oasis in the city and resting places for the people of Kyoto. Nishi-Honganji Temple, commonly known as "onishi-san", is the head temple of the Jodo-shinshu Honganji sect and includes in its spacious grounds the Goei-do and Hiunkaku buildings, and the Kara-mon Gate. The most popular building however is the Shoin, where dazzling masterpieces of 16th century art can be seen in the wall paintings and decorations inside. The five-storied pagoda in Toji Temple, 56.9 meters high, is the largest of the ancient pagodas still in existence, and a symbol of Kyoto. Twenty-one Buddhist statues in the auditorium are considered the physical expression of esoteric Buddhist teaching.
How to get there?
From Tokyo Station, by the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line to Kyoto Station. From Osaka Station, 20 minutes by JR Tokaido Honsen Line Rapid Train to Kyoto.