Mar. 09, 2018 UPDATE

Kyoto Tower, the entrance to Kyoto, has now been visited by 31 million people!

We went to an event to commemorate the 31 millionth visitor to Kyoto Tower, a popular destination also among foreign tourists
Kenji[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

You get to see Kyoto Tower right away when you exit Kyoto Station, but I think although many people have seen the tower from outside, have you actually been to the observatory deck? Together with the event to commemorate the 31 millionth visitor to Kyoto Tower, we are going to look at the scenery you get to see from the observatory! 

Read more about Kyoto Tower here:

On February 8, 2018, there was a ceremony at Kyoto Station to celebrate the 31 millionth visitor to Kyoto Tower. I’ll talk more about the ceremony later, but first, let’s take a look at the tower itself. 

This is what Kyoto Tower looks like. It’s located right in front of Kyoto Station’s Karasumaguchi exit, and famous as a symbol of Kyoto. Counting from the ground level, it’s 131 meters tall, and it was built in 1964 to be a lighthouse-like symbol to the sealess city of Kyoto. 

The tower is illuminated at night like this. The starting time for the illuminations differs depending on the season, in winter it starts at 4:45 p.m. in the earliest and in summer at 7:00 p.m. in the latest. Sometimes for events, the tower turns into different colors like pink. 

After you buy a ticket from a vending machine on the 1st or 11th floor and take the elevator to the observatory deck, you’ll get to see this. 

This day the weather was not that good, but on a nice clear day, you can even see Osaka Castle and Abeno Harukas Tower in Osaka. 

Kyoto Station looks like this from Kyoto Tower. 

You can see the names of the famous sightseeing places in Kyoto written on the glass, so it’s fun trying to look for them while you enjoy the scenery. 

There is also an interactive screen which will show you more information about the sightseeing spots if you tap on them (information is available in English, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean). 

So, on this day, they had a ceremony at the tower to commemorate its 31 millionth visitor. The visitors to Kyoto Tower were down to a third of its peak once, but now with the many foreign tourists visiting Kyoto, and the renovation of the Kyoto Tower Sando shopping center have made the tower a popular destination again. 

The mascot of Kyoto Tower, Tawawa-chan, also looks happy. 

As a “yuru-chara” mascot, Tawawa-chan promotes Kyoto Tower. Tawawa-chan is very popular in Kyoto, and extremely cute. 

At the observation deck, you can also buy all kinds of Tawawa-chan merchandise. 

The observation deck is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (you need to enter before 8:40 p.m.) so when you come to Kyoto, you could first go see the sightseeing places you’re going to hit from the observation deck or go see them one last time before you leave Kyoto behind. If you haven’t been to Kyoto Tower yet, I recommend making the trip to the observation deck as a memento of your visit to the ancient capital. 

A comment from the staff
It had been quite a while since my last visit to the tower, but the view from the observation deck was just great! It’s nice getting to see the temples of Kyoto from up high, so if you haven’t been to Kyoto Tower yet, I heartily recommend it!

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