The building’s cool design isn’t the best solution for freezing weather.
There are many cool things to see in Kyotoand it starts the second you get off the train. Kyoto Station is a sleek, modern building, with the full assortment of restaurants and souvenir shops you’d expect at Japan’s major rail hubs. What makes it particularly enjoyable, however, is the gigantic central hall that lets in fresh air and natural sunlight, giving the impression of being both inside and outside the station.
Unfortunately, it turns out that Kyoto Station’s unique architectural design isn’t exactly suited for snowstorms..
▼ This is inside the station.
— Lifetime booking party (@glasphiesleob) January 24, 2023
Japan is currently experiencing a cold spell and around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, snow began to fall in Kyoto. It subsided later in the afternoon, but started again in the evening and conditions worsened as the night progressed.
▼ “It’s snowing inside Kyoto Station.”
It’s snowing at Kyoto station pic.twitter.com/DR6ckosmwa
– kamui.com (@djkamui_com) January 24, 2023
Nor was the amount of snow dumped on the city the only shocking aspect of the weather. Strong winds swept through Japan’s former capital, and sometimes the snow didn’t fall as long as it was blown sideways until it collided with some sort of upright object.
Hiroshi Hara Now…wouldn’t it be nice if you thought a bit about the snow during the construction of Kyoto Station? pic.twitter.com/gO4jElK2Jt
—Wakami (@wakamie17) January 24, 2023
▼ The station’s Mister Donut branch has undergone a melting redecoration even as it served these new Toshi Yoroizuka collaboration donuts.
Misudo under the grand staircase of Kyoto station, so much snow and grass pic.twitter.com/HjU516lvOZ
— Maromaro (@maroojimarosan) January 24, 2023
At times when the storm died down and the snowfall became milder, it actually looked rather scenic, assuming you were viewing the scene from a place where you were warm yourself, preferably with a good cup of hot green tea or a cup of cocoa in your hands.
It’s snowing inside Kyoto station and I’m laughing pic.twitter.com/nFDgPrrmUU
— Kazuma (@Kazuma1993FJR) January 24, 2023
But as surreal as it must have been to have to deal with the weather inside the station, it was still far better than facing the full force of the elements completely outside the building.
This is my first time at Kyoto station like this pic.twitter.com/RPanlqcHad
– Akaino (@akaroke_924) January 24, 2023
To the credit of the station’s designers, snowstorms this intense are rare in Kyoto, so it’s understandable that they weren’t a major concern when planning the building. Still, we bet many train travelers are happy that there’s only one day of light, patchy snow in Kyoto’s forecast for the coming week.