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.
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.
Light display locations: Kyoto Station Building, Grand Stairs, East Square and the Skywalk
Display dates: Nov. 15, 2019 – March 28, 2020
*Christmas tree: Nov. 15 – Dec. 25
Display times: 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Taking 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.
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.
Take 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.
*The Christmas tree is only until Dec. 25.
Taking 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.
From 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.
On 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.
From 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.
If 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.
From 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.
|Vanessa[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]|