Kyoto Station is an entrance to Kyoto City where many tourists visit all year around. All Tokaido Shinkansen are available. Available conventional lines are the Tokaido Main Line, the San'in Main Line, the Nara Line and the JR Kyoto Line. Kyoto Station is used as a base for Kyoto tourism.
There are many car rental service offices in various locations around Kyoto Station including at the Karasuma-Chuo Exit. Although many railways are available, it is convenient to travel by rental car if you are planning to go sightseeing from Kyoto Station.
Nijo Castle is about 13 minutes, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (the Kinkaku-ji) is about 24 minutes and Arashiyama is about 30 minutes by car from Kyoto Station along prefectural road 29. These are very popular tourist attractions. Although the tourism season brings heavy traffic, it can become an enjoyable experience because you will be able to see the landscapes of Kyoto City leisurely while driving.