A tacky rocket poised for liftoff on the doorstep of Kyoto Station, this pinnacle of bad taste affords a great view of the city.
Kyoto Tower: Korkusung / Shutterstock.com
Author Alex Kerr described Kyoto Tower as “a stake through the heart of the city” and he’s got a point. It’s hideous and it’s got nothing in common with the history or culture of the city. But in 1963, when the 131-meter tower went up, it must have seemed to city residents a bold declaration of the city’s entry into the modern world. The best thing about the tower, from a traveler’s perspective, is this: When you’re inside it, admiring the great views over the city, you can’t see the tower itself.
Shichijo sagaru, Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo-ku
9am-9pm, last entry 8.40pm
High school students: \620
Elementary and junior high school students: \520
Children: (over 3 years old): \150
Non-smoking area: Yes
5min walk from Kyoto Station Karasuma central gate
Official Website (English)
Where Is This Place Located?See these places on our Kyoto Google map:
- Open the Kyoto map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router.
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass - here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Icoca card makes travelling around Kyoto easy - here's how.
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)