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Monday, February 11, 2008

Kyoto's Nijo Station

NIjo Station, KyotoJapan Railway (JR)'s Nijo Station is two stops from Kyoto Station on the Saiin Line, which heads west out of the city towards rural Kyoto Prefecture. It is a short walk from here to Nijo Castle.

The Station was rebuilt in 1996 when the tracks were elevated. It now is best known for its distinctive hat-like roof.

The former station building is still intact and can be seen just down line at the Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum, which was opened in 1972 to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of railway operations in Japan. The former station house was built in 1904 and is a Meiji Period wooden structure that is warm and cozy--everything in other words the new building is not.

What the new building may lack in coziness, however, it makes up in scale. The sloping roof moreover evokes an ancient straw Japanese hat.

Both the JR line and the Tozai subway line stop here. The JR line is convenient for Kyoto Station and points west, including Arashiyama. The subway runs under the northern edge of downtown, stopping in front of Nijo Castle, City Hall, and close to the museum district.

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