Located in the tallest structure in the city of Kyoto in Japan, is the Kyoto tower observation deck, tucked at a height of 100 metres above the ground, offering some of the most panoramic aerial views of the tranquil city, the tower is only accessible to visitors with Kyoto Tower tickets. The observation deck at Kyoto tower is one of the best places in the city, and is perched atop the Kyoto Tower Hotel, from where you can soak in some of the most beautiful views of the Kyoto Bonchi, or Kyoto Flat Basin, in addition to other natural and man-made attractions all the way up to Osaka.
In addition to that, you can also witness numerous popular landmarks of Kyoto from the Kyoto tower observation deck, including the Toji Temple and the Chion-In Temple, top the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, Sanjusangedo, as well as the Higashiyama and Arashiyama mountains, among others. The observation deck at Kyoto tower is accessible by an elevator inside the tower, which takes a few short seconds to take you all the way 100 metres up. It is also fully equipped with free-mounted binoculars as well as touchscreen information panels which allow visitors to witness, and gain insights, into what the city looks like throughout the day during different seasons of the year.
The Kyoto tower observation deck boasts several facilities, which make your visit to this attraction a lot easier, and more exciting. In addition to free binoculars and telescopes, you can also find touchscreen information panels at the observation deck.
Set up on the observation deck at Kyoto tower, located on the 5th floor, at a height of 100 metres from the ground, are the telescopes that are available to use by visitors. Completely free of any charge, these telescopes are great to enjoy close-up views of the many attractions of the city of Kyoto. In addition to enjoying looking at the mountains surrounding the city, you can even enjoy a glimpse of the city of Osaka from here on a clear day.
The observation deck at the Kyoto Tower also boasts of 8 tourist information panels or monitors, all of which are fully touchscreen. These information panels are great to gain more insights into the different attractions and landmarks of the city, in addition to those that are visible from the observation deck. You can also use these panels to download additional information about these landmarks on your smartphone since these panels are the first ones in the country that have the technology of moving QR codes.
When visiting the Kyoto tower observation deck, you can catch the sights of numerous popular world heritage sites, in addition to some of the most famous shrines and temples of Japan that are located in the city of Kyoto. Apart from well-known sites like Toji and the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, you can also witness landmarks like Hongwanji from high up above.
One of the best world heritage sites that you can spot from the Kyoto tower observation deck is Toji, which is known as the head temple of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. Dating back to 796, this temple was built towards the east of the Rajomon Gate, as a means to spiritually protect the country of Japan. Toji is best known for its 5-storey pagoda, which is also a national treasure and is the tallest pagoda in the entire country.
Another one of the most famous tourist attractions and world heritage sites that is visible from the observation deck of the Kyoto Tower is the age-old Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. This Buddhist temple dates all the way to the 8th century and is situated 18 metres atop a cliff, thereby being clearly visible from the deck. Also known as the Temple of the Pure Water Spring, this temple is particularly famous for its 3-storey pagoda and the waters of the Otowa spring, which have medicinal qualities.
When visiting the observation deck at Kyoto tower, you can also catch clear views of Hongwanji, which is the main temple of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha Buddhist organisation. These headquarters are home to several buildings from the Momoyama period and the abode of the National Treasures. In addition to having the oldest surviving Noh performance stage in all of Japan, or the Hongwanji North Stage, this site also contains the Karamon Gate and is quite close to the Kyoto Tower.
In addition to the wide array of world heritage sites and structures, the Kyoto tower observation deck also offers visitors a chance to view several national treasures from high up above the ground. Some of these national treasures include the Sanmon Gate of Tofukuji, Sanjusangendo and Chion-in Sanmon, among others.
Located on the Tofukuji grounds is the historic Sanmon Gate, a national treasure that was built sometime in the 14th century, during the Muromachi Period in Japan. The gate boasts features and elements of the Wayo or Japanese, Zenshuyo or Chinese as well as the Daibutsuyo or Indian styles of architecture, and is said to be the oldest and largest national treasure at any Zen Buddhist temple. From the observation deck of the Kyoto Tower, you can also witness the Rakunan area of the city, which is normally closed to public access.
One of the best national treasures that you can spot from the observation deck at Kyoto tower is Sanjusangendo, a structure from the 12th century that houses over 1000 statues of Kannon, as well as the 1000-armed goddess of mercy. Built in a corner of the Horyuji-done Palace by Taira no Kiyomori, Sanjusangendo served as the seat of the imperial government under Emperor Go Shirakawa. This ancient structure has been well preserved for more than 7 centuries, making it an amazing place to see from the Kyoto Tower.
During your visit to the Kyoto Tower observation deck, you must not miss out on viewing the sights of Chion-in Sanmon, which is the head temple of Buddhism’s Pure Land Sect. located in the Higashiyama ward of Kyoto, this temple is home to a Sanmon gate which is regarded as the largest surviving wooden structure of its kind in the whole country. You can also catch sight of other buildings in the temple complex, including the structures of Mieido, Shuedo, Seishido as well as Daishoro.
Location: The Kyoto tower observation deck is located at;721-1 Higashishiokoji-cho, Karasuma-dori Shichijo-sagaro, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8216, Japan.
Timings: The observation deck at the Kyoto Tower remains open from 10:30 a.m. to 09:00 p.m., with the last entry available at 08:40 p.m.
Best time to visit:
The best time to visit the Kyoto tower observation deck is during the early hours of the day, as soon as it is open for visitors, at around 09:00 a.m., since it is during this time when the crowds here are very less and you can enjoy witnessing the different attractions from here. Alternatively, you can also visit the observation deck in the early evenings to catch panoramic views of the setting sun from here.
By Train: If commuting by train to the Kyoto Tower Observation deck, get down at the JR Kyoto Station, from where the tower is just a two minute walk away.
By Car: If commuting by car, you can take the Meishin Expressway, Kyoto Minami IC or the Hanshin Expressway, Route 8 Kyoto, Kamitoba IC, from which, the Kyoto Tower is at a distance of 15 and 20 minutes, respectively.
By Bus: If commuting by bus, catch the Airport Limousine Bus from the Kansai International Airport, which takes about 85 minutes approximately. From the Osaka International airport, the same bus journey takes about 60 minutes to reach. Both the bus routes halt at the JR Kyoto Station Central, from which the Kyoto Tower is 2 minute walk away.
What is special about Kyoto Tower?
The Kyoto Tower is the tallest structure in this Japanese city, with a height of 131 metres, and is home to the Kyoto tower observation deck, from where you can witness some of the most popular landmarks and structures of the city. It serves as a beautiful modern contrast to the otherwise age-old shrines and temples in Kyoto. The tower is located atop a commercial building and is home to souvenir shops, and restaurants as well as a hotel and a public bath. Built-in a shape that resembles a traditional Buddhist candle, the Kyoto Tower is also special for its design, which can withstand typhoons as well as high-magnitude earthquakes.
How old is the Kyoto Tower?
The Kyoto Tower in Japan is 58 years old and was built in 1964. It was proposed to be built in the early 1960s, and was supposed to be completed in time for the 1964 Summer Olympics which were to be held in Tokyo. The construction of the tower began in early 1963, and was finally completed towards the end of 1964.
How big is the Kyoto Tower?
The Kyoto Tower is the tallest structure in the Japanese city of Kyoto, with a height of 131 metres, or 430 feet. It weighs a whopping 800 tonnes and is perched atop a 9-storey building. The steel tower has an observation deck located at 100 metres or 328 feet, with its spire located at 131 metres. The building on which the Kyoto Tower is located is also home to a hotel, souvenir shops as well as restaurants.
What is the best time to visit Kyoto Tower?
The best time to visit Kyoto Tower is in the first half of the day, at around 11:00 a.m. This is when there are lesser crowds here, and you can enjoy exploring the different attractions of the tower at your own comfort and pace, without having to rush.
Which is the nearest station to Kyoto Tower?
The Kyoto Station is the nearest station to Kyoto Tower and is located directly opposite it. The Kyoto Tower is located right in front of the Kyoto Station Karasuma Central Gate, at a distance of around 500 metres. It would take anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes to get to the Kyoto Tower from the Kyoto Station.
Are there any restaurants in Kyoto Tower?
Yes, there are several Kyoto Tower restaurants where you can enjoy a delicious dine-in.