Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower: Tickets, Views & Things To Do Nearby

Kyoto Tower is an iconic landmark in Kyoto, Japan. Completed in 1964, the same year as the opening of the shinkansen and the Tokyo Olympics, the tower stands at 131 meters tall and is the tallest structure in Kyoto.

It is a rare modern landmark in a city famous for its ancient temples and shrines.

Kyoto Tower

The Observation deck of Kyoto Tower offers a stunning panoramic view of the city and is a popular tourist attraction. The tower also houses a 3-star hotel which is a good option if you want to stay close to Kyoto Station.

Key Takeaways

  • An observation tower right next to Kyoto station
  • The tower stands 131 meters tall and is the tallest structure in Kyoto.
  • Completed in 1964, the same year as the opening of the shinkansen and the Tokyo Olympics.
  • Houses a 3-star hotel and several stores.


Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower is a modern landmark in the ancient city of Kyoto. It was built in 1964, the same year as the opening of the shinkansen and the Tokyo Olympics.

The tower stands at 131 meters tall, making it the tallest structure in Kyoto. It was designed by architect Mamoru Yamada, who also designed the Sapporo TV Tower.

The construction of Kyoto Tower was part of a larger initiative to modernize the city’s infrastructure and promote tourism. The tower was built on the site of the former Kyoto Central Telephone Office, which was destroyed in a fire in 1950.

The construction of the tower was completed in just over a year and a half, and it was inaugurated on December 28, 1964.

Kyoto Tower

Over the years, Kyoto Tower has become an iconic symbol of the city. It has been featured in numerous films, TV shows, and advertisements.

In 1998, the tower underwent a major renovation, which included the installation of a new observation deck and the addition of an LED lighting system that illuminates the tower at night.

Design and Architecture

Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower, designed by modernist architect Mamoru Yamada, is a prominent landmark in Kyoto City. The tower stands at 131 meters tall and is built on a 9-meter foundation. The tower has a unique design that blends both modern and traditional elements. The tower’s observation deck offers a panoramic view of the city and is a popular tourist destination.

Kyoto Tower

The tower’s design incorporates several features that make it earthquake-resistant. The tower’s foundation is reinforced with a steel frame, and the structure is built to withstand strong winds and earthquakes. The tower’s design also includes a tuned mass damper, which helps to reduce the tower’s sway during high winds and earthquakes.

The tower’s exterior is covered in aluminum panels, which give it a sleek and modern appearance. The panels are designed to reflect the changing light of the day, giving the tower a different appearance depending on the time of day. The tower’s interior is designed to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The tower’s elevators are in the center of the tower, and the observation deck is on the top floor.

The tower’s design was influenced by the traditional architecture of Kyoto. The tower’s shape is reminiscent of the five-storied pagodas found in many of Kyoto’s temples. The tower’s color scheme is also inspired by traditional Japanese architecture, with red and white being the dominant colors.

Observation Deck

Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower’s Observation Deck is a must-visit attraction for anyone visiting the city. Standing at 100 meters high, the deck offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire city. You can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city and take in the stunning scenery from above.

The deck is on the top floor of the tower and is accessible by elevator. You can purchase tickets to the observation deck at the ticket counter on the first floor. The ticket prices are reasonable and provide excellent value for money.

Kyoto Tower

Once you reach the observation deck, you will be greeted with a stunning view of the city. The deck is spacious and offers plenty of room for those to move around and take in the sights. There are also binoculars available for rent for those who want a closer look at the city’s landmarks.

The deck is open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, and the last admission is at 8:40 pm. Visitors are advised to check the weather forecast before visiting the observation deck, as the view can be obstructed on cloudy or rainy days. However, on a clear day, the view is simply breathtaking and is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Kyoto.

Restaurants and Shops

The tower has restaurants and cafes that cater to different tastes and budgets. Whether you are in the mood for Japanese, Chinese, or Western cuisine, you will find something to satisfy your cravings.

One of the most popular restaurants in Kyoto Tower is Toh-En, a Chinese restaurant on the B1 level. Toh-En offers an enormous variety of choices on the menu such as Peking duck, sweet and sour pork, and mapo tofu. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere and is perfect for families or groups of friends.

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, head to the Pancake Room Kyoto Tower Sando. This cafe serves fluffy pancakes with different toppings such as fruit, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. The cafe also has a great view of the city and is a great place to take a break and relax.

In addition to restaurants, Kyoto Tower also has shops selling souvenirs, snacks, and other items. The tower has a large souvenir shop on the B1 level where you can buy traditional Japanese items such as fans, tea sets, and kimono. There are also several snack shops selling Japanese sweets and snacks such as mochi, senbei, and matcha-flavored treats.

Events and Activities

Kyoto Tower is not only a great place to enjoy the panoramic view of the city, but it also offers various events and activities that you can participate in. Here are some of the events and activities that you can enjoy at Kyoto Tower:

  • Light-up event: During the winter season, Kyoto Tower is illuminated with beautiful lights, creating a magical atmosphere. You can enjoy the view of the tower from afar or take a closer look by going up to the observation deck.
  • Kyoto Tower Sando: This is a shopping arcade on the first floor of the tower. You can find various souvenirs, snacks, and other goods related to Kyoto and Japan. It’s a great place to find gifts for friends and family.
  • Kyoto Tower Hotel: The tower also has a hotel where you can stay and enjoy the view of the city from their rooms. The hotel offers various amenities such as a public bath, a restaurant, and a bar.
  • Kyoto Tower Public Bath: The public bath on the third floor of the tower is a great place to relax and unwind after a long day of sightseeing. The bath offers a panoramic view of the city, and you can enjoy the hot spring water that comes from 1,000 meters underground.
  • Kyoto Tower Aquarium: This aquarium is on the basement floor of the tower and features various aquatic animals such as penguins, jellyfish, and sea otters. You can also enjoy a dolphin show and other events.

Overall, Kyoto Tower offers a unique experience that combines sightseeing, shopping, and entertainment. You can spend hours exploring the tower and participating in various events and activities. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Kyoto.

How to Get There

Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower is on the north side of Kyoto Station, making it a convenient landmark to find. Here are some ways to get there:

  • By Train: Take the train to Kyoto Station and exit from the Karasuma Exit. The tower is just a short walk away.

Once you arrive at the tower, you can purchase tickets for the observation deck at a booth on the first floor. Take the elevator to the 11th floor and transfer to another elevator to reach the observation deck on the 13th floor.

The Sum Up


Kyoto Tower is a unique landmark in the city of Kyoto, Japan. Its design is simple yet elegant, and it offers visitors stunning views of the city from its observation deck. The tower’s location in the heart of Kyoto makes it easily accessible to tourists and locals alike.

While the tower’s height may not be as impressive as other towers around the world, its significance lies in its adherence to Kyoto’s strict zoning laws, which keep buildings low to the ground. This makes the tower stand out even more, and it has become an iconic symbol of the city.

Visitors to Kyoto Tower can enjoy attractions, including a museum, restaurants, and a souvenir shop. The tower also serves as a popular meeting spot for all. Its central location makes it a convenient spot to meet before exploring the city.

All in all, Kyoto Tower is a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling to Kyoto. Its unique design, stunning views, and central location make it a perfect destination.