Photo by Mujo Viva Square Ice Rink Opens in Umekoji Park in Kyoto 2019-12-16 Mon 2019-12-16 Mon It’s the winter season in Japan and though the autumn leaves have (mostly disappeared) there are still plenty of ways to enjoy your stay. Newly opened this December, Viva Square offers both Kyoto locals and tourists a conveniently located ice rink. You can find Viva Square at the north end of Umekoji Park 梅小路公園 by Umekoji Kyotonishi Station 梅小路京都西駅. I personally tested out the ice rink on December 12, and while walking through Umekoji Park found plenty of Japanese Maples showing off their bright red and orange leaves for those strolling around. Photo by Mujo When I visited, being a weekday afternoon, there were only a handful of people skating around. There were a few couples, and from the looks of their shaky legs it was perhaps their first time on ice. But I’m certainly not one to judge, and fell down a few times too. A group of elementary schoolers tentatively shuffled around the rink as they held onto the rail for dear life. But by the time I left they were all giggling and chasing each other zig-zag across the ice. Staff and some more experienced skaters glided more gracefully than the rest of us, trying out their double axels and spins…okay maybe they weren’t Olympic level, but… Photo by Mujo The staff were very friendly and helpful, even letting my friend change shoe sizes to get just the right fit. They told us that after sunset the rink is lit up until closing time. First-timers and beginners can also get a short 15-minute lesson for 500 yen (in Japanese). Directions It’s easily walkable from Kyoto Station in about 15 minutes. Just head straight west from the North side of the station. Eventually you’ll come across Umekoji Park. Here you’ll also find Kyoto Aquarium and Kyoto Railway Museum. You can also ride the JR San-In Line 山陰本線 from Kyoto Station bound for Sonobe 園部行. If you head there by Kyoto City Bus, get off at either the Umekoji Park 梅小路公園 or Umekoji Kyotonishi Station 梅小路京都西駅前 bus stops. The ice rink is only open until March 3rd, at which point it will be turned into a roller-skating rink. Hours Weekdays 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm Weekends 10:00 am – 9:00 pm Note 1: From December 23rd – January 3rd, open hours will be 10:00 am – 9:00 pm. Note 2: Viva Square will be closed on January 1st and 20th. Admission Tickets can be purchased from the vending machine at the rink’s entrance. Or ask the staff for assistance. Please remember to bring a pair of gloves or the staff may not let you enter the ice rink. Adults 1,500 yen University students 1,200 yen High/Junior High school students 1,000 yen Elementary school students 800 yen Children more than 3 years old 500 yen Ice skate rentals are available for 500 yen Other Ice Rinks in the Kansa Area Until now, those looking for some ice-skating fun in Kyoto went to Kyoto Aquarina, located along the Kyoto Hankyu Line at Nishikyogyoku Station by Takebishi Stadium. If you are in Osaka, there are quite a few options such as the seasonally-open Umeda Ice Rink Tsurun-Tsurun by Grand Front Osaka. There is also the Naniwa Ice Rink within walking distance from Osaka-Namba Station. Wherever you decide to go this winter season, stay warm and be aware of the others skating around you. Enjoy! Below is an embed of Viva Square’s location on Google Maps. By - Mujo. Tags: Ice Skating / Kyoto / skating / Umekoji Park / Viva Square grape Japan Sightseeing Viva Square Ice Rink Opens in Umekoji Park in Kyoto Related Article Hemp Chocolate Buddha Heads From Kyoto Are The Delicious Treat Too Holy To Eat Walk Through The Stunning Autumn Leaves Of Kyoto’s Famous Arashiyama Sightseeing Course Kyoto’s Traditional Town House Hard Rock Cafe Reveals Innovative Japan-Inspired Menu Kyoto photographer captures a mystical photo of a forest scene draped in morning mist Interview with Kyoto Pop Singer Asachill Art Aquarium’s incredible exhibition now in the Historical City of Kyoto!