Friday, March 14, 2008

Kyoto's Cloud City

20080310-KyotoTower-02, originally uploaded by sleepytako.

Built in 1964 at a height of 131m the very retro, often disparaged Kyoto tower has always been an icon of an aesthetic of Japanese design that doesn't get much play in the west or Japan. It seems that all the major cities of Japan need a tower of some sort and all them feature prominently in their town's iconography but Kyoto tower, even-though it's most likely the first thing you'd notice leaving Kyoto station, is almost ignored from the cities self identification. During my study abroad days none of my teachers or fellow students liked it either. I guess I'm in the minority on this issue. No matter. It reminds me of Cloud City from The Empire Strikes Back and the idea that Lando is up there totally just makes it seem cooler to me.

-Kyoto Tower is located across the street from the main exit of JR Kyoto Station.
-The trip to the top costs ¥770
-Open all year
-Operating Hours are 9:00-21:00

The building underneath the tower has a hotel, bathhouse(!?!?), restaurants, cafes, omiyage shops. I actually haven't made my way to the top of the tower yet, so I'll have to go up, check out the bathhouse and report back about all that at Kansai Onsen Review.

Kyoto Tower homepage (in Japanese)


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