Area Guide

[Kyoto] Kyoto Tower (京都タワー): Panoramic Views of Japan’s Former Capital, Standing 131 Meters Tall Just Across from Kyoto Station

Kyoto Tower: Iconic Landmark & Urban Beacon

The Kyoto Tower, situated in Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, is managed by Keihan Hotels & Resorts Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of the Keihan Group. This tower prominently stands in front of the Karasuma Central Gate of Kyoto Station, with the Kyoto Tower Building serving as its pedestal, towering to a height of 131 meters, making it the tallest structure in Kyoto City.

The history of the Kyoto Tower dates back to 1953 when deliberations began regarding the utilization of the land vacated by the relocation of the Kyoto Central Post Office, formerly located on the north side of Kyoto Station. Recognizing its pivotal location facing Kyoto Station, the gateway to Kyoto as an international cultural and tourist city, there arose a demand for its development that befits its significance and holds public utility.

The distinctive feature of the Kyoto Tower lies in its innovative structural design. It pioneered the use of the “monocoque structure” (stress-enveloped structure), employing cylindrical steel plates without any iron frames, a groundbreaking technique in Japan. With a design safety factor exceeding twice that of ordinary buildings, it boasts resilience against typhoons and earthquakes.

Furthermore, the graceful and slender form of the Kyoto Tower, inspired by a lighthouse motif, symbolizes the illumination of Kyoto’s urban landscape, reminiscent of waves on the rooftops of traditional Kyoto houses, gently illuminating the cityscape devoid of the sea.

The Kyoto Tower offers amenities such as an observation deck located 100 meters above ground, providing a panoramic view of the ancient city of Kyoto, surrounded by the Kyoto Three Mountains. It also features dining establishments including a rooftop beer garden and BBQ facilities, as well as the Kyoto Tower Hotel for accommodation. Conveniently located a mere two-minute walk from JR Kyoto Station, it offers a vantage point to behold Kyoto’s tourist attractions from above.

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