October 16, 2017
by Takumi Abe
Japanese life in morning
At Kyoto Station many people head to school or work at the beginning of the day. If you are there, you can feel Japanese daily life in the morning. We cannot see such a scene in temples or shrines. Commuters are coming and going in the station. You can see many faces with delightful, depressed or serious looks.
Kyoto Station starts “Rush Hour” at 7am with arriving trains. At this time, the station is crowded. I took pictures of commuters, tourists and station officers at this busy time. You can feel a very different atmosphere at Kiyomizu temple. I hope you enjoy the photos enough that you will want to visit Kyoto Station in the early morning. I was there for an hour from 7 AM.
No.1 Starting Gift Shop
People who come to Kyoto are not only tourists but also students on school excursions and salaried workers on business trips. Some of them use Kyoto Station for going back home. They buy souvenirs in gift shops in the station. Clerks want them to buy gifts so they put goods on the shelves.
No.2 Keeping clean for users
People are coming and going in the station. It is not easy to keep clean especially on rainy day. However, the station is always sanitary. In the background, there is a lot of hard work being done by the facility workers.
No.3 For Kyoto
At the same time as arriving trains, all the people go through automatic ticket gates. Their daily life in Kyoto begins. They head to school or work in the city.
No.4 Changing trains
Kyoto station has JR (Japan Railway) and Kintetsu (Kintetsu Railway). Some people change trains for JR or Kintetsu. Lots of people run into each other in the elevators and stairs. They walk in a hurry while somehow avoiding collision.
No. 5 If you need help
Station officers help everybody. They want users to feel comfortable. If you do not know where a destination is, officers answer and relieve your anxiety.
No.6 A student
Half of the station users are students. While waiting for trains, they chat with friends or read a book or study.
No.7 School trip
In Japan, Kyoto is a famous destination for school trips. Many students study the history of Kyoto and Japan. They also learn how to go to famous places.
No.8 Starting Sightseeing
Tourists also start here to get to tourist sites. In front of the map, some tourists check where their destination is. This map shows you locations. In a cafe, some tourists eat breakfast to build up energy for the day ahead.
No.9 A line
On platform 0, users make lines without disorder. They use phones for checking e-mails, messages or news. They look down on small screens. If you stand beyond the yellow line, you will be warned by the station staff.
No.10 In the busy time
In the rush hour, it is not easy to have inner peace. However, a place you always use looks different between busy times and free times. You may find another face of the Kyoto Station if you look.
Speaking of Kyoto, many people will come up with temples and shrines. However, if you are interested in daily Japanese life, you can see it in Kyoto Station. You can see common Japan. In famous places in Kyoto, you can feel old Japan. Kyoto Station however, is filled with another part of Japanese culture. These pictures taken in Kyoto station belong to this part. If you have time to stay in Kyoto, I want you to enjoy World Heritage sites, but I want you to see daily life in Japan. It may be fun to find differences between your own country’s life and that of Japan. You may be surprised . Kyoto station has both a traditional and contemporary atmosphere. I want you to take an interest in the morning time in Kyoto Station.