Dec. 16, 2022 UPDATE

Guide to the Romantic Kyoto Station Christmas Lights

In this article, we take an in-depth look into Kyoto Station’s romantic Christmas lights.
Kyoto station

Every year, from November until the end of March, Kyoto Station hosts a constant display of magnificent lights, or as they’re called in Japan, illuminations. Also, only until Christmas day, the station puts on special Christmas themed illuminations as well. These incredible lights attract not only Japanese locals, but people from all over, to come, take photos and enjoy the Christmas spirit.

During this period, Kyoto Station also becomes a hot spot for young-and-in-love couples coming to bask in the romantic atmosphere of the lights.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look into the Christmas lights at Kyoto Station and show you around the station’s Grand Stairs, Skywalk and East Square.

Christmas tree

On the right-hand side of the central entrance is a gigantic towering Christmas tree. 

This, paired with the elevated roof, provides the station with an open, spacious feeling.

Basic Info

Light display locations: Kyoto Station Building, Grand Stairs, East Square and the Skywalk

Display dates: Nov. 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023

Display times: 5 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. 

Grand Stairs 4F

Grand Stairs 4FTaking the escalators to the 4th floor will land you in front of Kyoto Station’s Grand Stairs and its adjacent plaza. Celebrating the 60th anniversary of Kyoto and US sister city Boston’s relationship, this year’s LED dotted tree features a bright red sign of flowers that says “Merry Christmas.”

This area also plays host to musical performances and light displays as well, making it one of the most magical areas in the station.  

the 171 stairs

In front of the Christmas tree stretches the 171 stairs of the statoin’s Grand Stairs. 

Over 15,000 LED lights are spread across 125 of the stairs, creating what the station calls their “Grand Stairs Graphical Illumination Plus.” The theme of this visually stunning display of lights changes seasonally, but for the end of the year, it centers around Christmas. When seen from afar, the lights on the stairs combine to create a moving image, which at the end of the year, includes a giant Christmas tree that’s a hit with the many thousands of photo seekers.

beautiful viewTake the escalator up the stairs and you’ll be able to catch a beautiful view of the station’s Christmas tree and it’s reflection on the wall next to it. 

Grand Stairs Graphical Illumination Plus

Display times: 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Kyoto Station Observation Deck

Kyoto Station Observation DeckTaking the escalators by the Grand Stairs will take you to the highest point in Kyoto Station, the observation deck. Decorated with bamboo trees, this terrace offers a tranquil atmosphere and an area where you can relax and take in the city lights.

northern Kyoto CityFrom here you can peer through the glass and catch the endless stretch of lights that is southern Kyoto. However, on the other side, you’ll be treated to the lights of Kyoto Tower and northern Kyoto City. This area is 100% free and a wonderful place to take a date. 

*Open hours: 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Skywalk 10F

Skywalk 10FOn the 10th floor of Kyoto Station, after passing by some of the restaurants of the Ramen Koji food court, you’ll come across a sign that says, “Skywalk.” This glass walkway that runs the length of the station gives you an unobstructed view of the north side of Kyoto city and even features a tunnel of lights.

Kyoto TowerFrom the Skywalk, enjoy the incredible Kyoto City lights and the soaring Kyoto Tower.

While this walkway is inside the station, it receives very little foot traffic and might be one of the best spots to catch the city lights from.

*Open hours: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Display times: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

 Admission: Free 

East Square 7F

East Square 7FIf you head straight through the Skywalk and take the escalator down, you’ll find yourself in Kyoto Station East Square. Here you’ll find more incredible light displays as well as a twinkling gazebo, which acts as the centerpiece of the square. 

You’ll also likely find a fair amount of people trying to snap pictures here as well.

East SquareFrom the East Square, the station looks as if it’s engulfed in an air of fantasy as the grandeur of the Christmas tree and Grand Stairs stand on full display.

If it wasn’t already, this view from the East Square will be sure to cement Kyoto Station, and it’s incredible Christmas lights, in your memories forever.

*Open hours: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Display times: 5 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. 

Admission: Free

Vanessa[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]
While a lot of places start holding holiday light-up events around November, Kyoto Station truly stands out as being one of the best. And with its massive selection of restaurants too, it can be a great place for both couples and families to go.
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