The Evolution of Kyoto Station

It is time for another off-topic post (or questionably on-topic!) about something near and dear to us: Japan. More specifically, let us take a look at how Kyoto’s main train station has changed over time.

A recent 2ch thread brings attention to Kyoto’s main train station, and how it has changed over time.

Where is the connection to idols, you may ask? Let me see here. Kyoto is in Kansai, right next to Osaka, which has Namba. And Namba can only mean NMB48! You see, there is a connection here. Read on!

I will refrain from expressing my feelings of amazement of the Japanese rail system. If reports are to be believed, of the top 50 busiest train stations in the world, 44 of them are located in Japan alone.

What is my point here? As Reika is wont to say, this is totally useless – but I merely wish to point out the long history of Japan and its railways.  On to my main topic: the evolution of Kyoto’s iconic main train station.

Present day Kyoto Station is a huge and monolithic structure — in fact, it is also the second largest building in Japan.  One would never guess that this station was much, much smaller.

The station itself has undergone four different transformations over the years.

The first version, built in 1877:

The first Kyoto Station
The first Kyoto Station

The second, built in 1914:

The 2nd Kyoto Station
The 2nd Kyoto Station

The third version, built in 1952 (presumably after a fire burnt it to the ground):

Kyoto Station number three
Kyoto Station number three

The fourth, modern day Kyoto Station (1997):

By calflier001 - KYOTO STATION JAPAN JUNE 2012, CC 表示-継承 2.0, $3

The 4th version is said to commemorate Kyoto’s 1200th anniversary.

Here’s a bonus pictures of Kyoto Tower (honestly, it hasn’t changed much):

Kyoto Tower 1964

And modern Kyoto Tower:

Kyoto Tower

I suppose that I just like “waxing nostalgic” and looking at old things.  I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Japan.

Author: yuki

  • Kevin Trejo

    wow that was so instructive, really I mean it. I love Kyoto more now

    • yuki

      Thanks man. Kyoto is one of my personal favorite places, with elements both modern and old, train stations included. It is hard to appreciate it without seeing it in person, but just thought I would share the love.

  • reika