The city of Kyoto is famous for being the old capital of Japan and for being the centre of tradition with hundreds of shrines and temples, geisha and maiko and world heritage sites. However, one of the biggest landmarks in Kyoto is from a much more recent time.
Kyoto tower was built in the 1960s and dominates the skyline around Kyoto tower. There has always been a bit of controversy around the tower however as although some people like that it adds a nice modern touch to Kyoto, others feel like it doesn’t belong in Kyoto as it is so different to the traditional aesthetic you find elsewhere in the city. The Tower sits on top of a hotel and is a tall, white metal tower which was originally designed to look like a Japanese candle stretching up to a height of 131 meters. So love it or hate it there’s no way you can miss it!
The tower has a few different attractions to make it worth a visit. Firstly is the observation platform- if you take the lift up you have a great view of the whole city and the surrounding mountains. In the summertime, there is a beer garden open around the base of the main tower where you can party on the rooftop with all you can eat and drink!
Nearer the ground floor there are lots of traditional shops which are great for picking up gifts and souvenirs, and lots of Japanese sweets. There is a tourist information centre on the third floor too to help you plan the rest of your trip.
Finally, in the basement you’ll find some lovely Japanese-style public baths where you can soak away all your troubles in the hot water.
Kyoto tower is directly across from the central exit of Kyoto station so it’s easy to find and worth a visit while you’re in Kyoto.