Friday, January 18, 2013

Kyoto Station is Enchanted

The very modern Kyoto Station

You don't really have go out of your way to see Kyoto Station. It will draw you in. You cannot escape it's gravitational pull. It seems like we transferred through it at least 4 times each day while sightseeing around this historic city.

Oh, and by the way, it's enchanted. That is the only explanation that I can come up with to understand how both hubby and I could never figure out where exactly in the station we were. Clearly, someone had cast a spell on us. Each time we'd enter from the street or emerge from a train or subway, it seemed like we were in an entirely unfamiliar section. We'd have multiple maps out, but none of them seemed to show the entire station layout -- just parts of it. Hubby and I stood there trying to piece together which sections of various maps overlapped in order to figure out the big picture. Of course the kids just patiently waited while we tried to puzzle it out... NOT!

We weren't so much worried about finding the right train as figuring out where our luggage was stored.

But to be honest, Kyoto Station isn't such a bad place to be lost. There are tons of women's clothing stores on one of the levels. (Don't ask me which one.) If I was a thousand dollars richer, I would have had quite a shopping spree. Not finding my luggage would be a moot point, right?

The station has plenty of restaurants, too. I think we had four of our six Kyoto meals there. There's even, mon dieu, a Cafe du Monde! Who goes to Japan to eat New Orleans food? Expats who live in Malaysia and long for a taste of the Deep South. We are the same family who went to Singapore for Tex-Mex.

At another place, I realized how authentic ramen soup loaded up with veggies, hard-boiled egg and sliced meats is vastly superior to the plain, instant ramen I ate during my thrifty, university student days. The efficiency of ordering each dish by number and having the waitress enter it immediately into her digital tablet at many restaurants impressed me, too.

By the third day, we finally got our bearings. The spell was broken, but the magic of Kyoto Station still lingers.

The Cafe du Monde is at the top of these escalators.

Related Post:
The 10,000 Torii Gates of Kyoto's Fushimi-Inari Shrine

This post is part of Friday Daydreamin' at R We There Yet Mom? Check it out for more travel inspiration.


  1. It's certainly a beautiful train station but it sounds very large and intimidating to someone who gets lost as easily as I do! :)

  2. Wow - so very modern looking but yes, enchanted as well. Thanks for showing it to us and thanks for linking up this week!

  3. Wow, I've never been to Kyoto (only Tokyo) and have never seen a train station like this before! Definitely a place to visit one day when I visit Japan again.

    How was Cafe Du Monde?! I recently had Japanese Italian food at a local restaurant in Toronto and it was surprisingly delicious!

    1. I enjoyed the coffee at Cafe Du Monde but ended up having to order a breakfast sandwich because they didn't have beignets that morning for some reason. I was quite bummed. I'll also admit that we ate Italian food twice in Kyoto station.

  4. It looks like a great place to change trains, but it must be ridiculously easy to get distracted while making a transfer. I envision myself missing at least 3 or 4 trains each time while Lori tours the stores...and maybe one more while I tour the restaurants.

  5. I can just picture the kids standing quietly and patiently while Mum and Dad read the map ... yeah right. The roof is amazing.

    Your description reminds me of Sungai Wang/BB Plaza in KL, just with better architecture. I swear I've been in that shopping centre at least 20 times and apart from a couple of small sections that I have memorised I get hopelessly lost every single time. It's a marvel of engineering and shopping psychology, with a little magic thrown in!


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