KYOTO | Kyoto Tower: Sunset and City Lights


Red lights were my enemies on my way back to Kyoto Station from Gion. Walking along Shijo Avenue, I was looking for a place where I could stay and spot some geisha. I was already planning to go back to Mosaic Hostel Kyoto but I randomly checked Klook app and found out that the ticket I booked for Kyoto Tower is scheduled on that day. It was almost sunset and that’s the best time to utilize the pass.

kyoto tower sunset
Sun about to set.

However, I only had few minutes to skip my current location to Kyoto Tower Hotel, where Kyoto Tower extends up to 131 meters. Sashayed to the nearest bus stop and checked the bus routes and their destination was the immediate thing I did. My agony with the unfriendly traffic lights started. Our bus almost missed all the go lights on most intersections.


I was silently ranting about the situation knowing that I might miss the sunset. Before the bus reached a stop at Kyoto Station, I went in front of every passenger and jumped out of the vehicle first. The pedestrian crossing to the hotel was on green so I ran as fast as I could to join the crossing crowd.

When I entered the building, looking for the booth for the observation tickets was a breeze. I showed my Klook voucher and they told me to just proceed on the 11th floor. Tourists intending to go to the observation deck of Kyoto Tower need to transfer on a separate elevator on the 11th floor.

kyoto tower touch display
Touch panel displays on Kyoto Tower’s observation deck.

The lady in the inspection area asked for my ticket and I just showed her the voucher on my Klook app. She checked her list and in 15 seconds, I was on my way to the observation deck.

The hullabaloos ended well when I reached the viewing platform, thanks to Klook for solving my dilemmas during that time. The sun was about to set, a little chip of the largest star in the milky way peeked and finally bade everyone for a great day it had in Kyoto.

kyoto tower blue hour

Night surrounded the city and a different view started to show on Kyoto Tower’s observation deck. From pale blue, the horizon changed into a bright dark blue color and city lights started to blend in.

kyoto tower night view
Kyoto Station from Kyoto Tower’s observation deck.

There are several information touch displays where you can customize the view in either day, late afternoon, and night. The device also provides a brief history of Kyoto’s significant sites. Tawawa-chan Shrine, the highest-located spiritual place in Kyoto, is also on the observation deck. Binoculars are available for free. In addition, Kyoto attractions are marked on the glass windows that you could use to navigate the binoculars. Of course, some of these tourist spots are kilometers away, making your view on the binoculars very limited.

kyoto tower binoculars
Kyoto railways viewed from the binoculars.

kyoto tower

If you love memorable stamps, you can get one for Kyoto Tower. The stamp section is on a small table near the stairs. On the third floor, a glass-paneled lounge, Sky Lounge KUU-bar, is a great place for a happy hour while enjoying a night view of the city.

kyoto tower commemorative stamp
Kyoto Tower commemorative stamp.

To preserve the historic city of Kyoto, the city government implements a strict rule on the heights of all structures. The regulation excluded Kyoto Tower because it just sits on the rooftop of Kyoto Tower Hotel, making it a “separate structure”. Looking at the upper part of the tower makes you compare the structure to N Seoul Tower of Seoul and KL Menara of Kuala Lumpur. But note the lower segment of the tower that resembles a basin. Kyoto Tower was actually modeled and shaped to resemble a traditional Japanese Buddhist candle.

kyoto tower hotel
Kyoto Tower on the roofdeck of Kyoto Tower Hotel.

I thought the Kyoto Tower activity is a bit overrated. But on my visit, I was surprised to see a lot of foreign tourists, locals as well, availing the activity to view Kyoto in a different perspective. Dropping on every temple, shrine, and garden, you’ll be surprised that Kyoto is also a concrete jungle. With that, appreciation for the manner of preserving these cultural and historical sites is indeed impressive.

The tower is just across the bus terminal in Kyoto Station. For a hassle-free entry to Kyoto Tower, avail the activity from Klook Travel. Click here to get one.

KYOTO TOWER / Kyoto Tower Hotel

600-8216 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, Japan
Nearest Station: Kyoto Station


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