Kyoto-eki or Kyoto Station, Kyoto’s most important transportation and Japan’s second-largest train station building, is served by the Tokaido Shinkansen on the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central), West Japan Railway Company (JR West), Kintetstu Railways and the Karasuma Line on the Kyoto Municipal Subway. Built on the 1200th anniversary of the capital’s foundation in Kyoto, it opened to the public in 1997 and stands in modernist contract to the traditional image of Kyoto. The futuristic design, conceived by Japanese architect Hara Hiroshi, features an exposed steel beam roof, called the Matrix, and a façade of plate glass over the steel frame. An immense 15-story building rises 70 meters high, stretching 470 meters long, with a total floor area of 238,000 square meters, incorporates a shopping mall, hotel, movie theater, Isetan department store, an art museum and several government facilities in additional to its railway services. A Skyway tunnel allows visitors to walk the length of Kyoto Station, 45 meters above the central hall, starting from the 11th floor.

 

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