Famous Buildings of Kyoto and Tokyo: Defining One Country

Japan is best known for reflecting its history in almost every aspect of their societies. Both of its capitals are famous for being cities in which the most modern aspects of our culture live peacefully with the most ancient and traditional ones. It is a trait that places them between the best cities in the world. 

The architecture of Kyoto and Tokyo is known for retaining history within its walls. However, as their famous buildings prove it, each city has a unique style that distinguishes it from the other.

Kyoto: Where the Future Honors the Past

Kyoto may not be as prominent in skyscrapers as Tokyo, but this goes in favor of highlighting the city’s traditional attractions. Its seemingly low-profile appearance comes as a beautiful mask to preserve Japan’s culture in its purest form, while also introducing the world’s most modern constructions and lifestyles.

Some of Kyoto’s most prominent buildings are:

* Kinkakuji temple

People say that when the sun sets, this shrine built in 1397 looks like it’s dancing with the sun. Its main pavilion has three main floors, each with a defining architecture style. Visiting this iconic building feels like traveling to the past.

* Kyoto Station Building

This modern, futuristic station comes in a neat contrast with the city’s shrines. Opened in 1997, this station means to honor Japan’s traditional style by conveying it in a futuristic mold.

* Fushimi Inari

The temple of the 10,000 tori gates was built in the year 711 as a homage to the spirit of Inari and her red messenger foxes. Its many well-preserved gates are one of Japan’s main attractions.


* Kyoto Tower

This 131-meter structure stands as a modern landmark that oversees the city. Completed in 1964, it is a rare futuristic contrast to Tokyo’s more traditional tower.

Let’s move around Kyoto city by bike!

Kyoto Cycling Tour – Small Group Bike Tour

Tokyo: Building the World of Tomorrow

Tokyo may have a similar name than Kyoto, but its city stands as a more industrial, modern capital of Japan, and even though you’ll still have a taste of the country’s history, it lacks the antiqueness that defines Kyoto since its tall buildings overshadow the most historical monuments.

Some must-see buildings are:

* Tokyo Tower

A 332.9-meter communication tower built in 1958, it was once the tallest freestanding tower in the world. It has come to be known as a national landmark, and as such, it is repainted every five years and maintained thoroughly.


* Asakusa Tourist Information Center

<Flickr | Jun560>
A futuristic building beautifully built in Asakusa in the year 2012.

* Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo’s new tower, also built in 2012, seems to come from some time far away in the future.

Two Similar Names, Two Different Styles

Kyoto and Tokyo are both Japan’s most iconic cities, within its streets their citizens build the future while preserving the past.

Tokyo’s hectic, modern style clashes with Kyoto’s preservation of history as a way to make a path for our modern lives.