Hi,I’m Keiko from Osaka!
The old capital, Kyoto, continues to be the center of arts and cultures today.
It is not surprising therefore that Kyoto hosts great museums that attract people from all over the world.
It’s relaxing to spend a rainy or sunny day in the museums in Kyoto.
Here are 10 museums you can visit to immerse yourself to the Japanese arts and cultures.
Local tells Top 10 Best Museums in Kyoto you shouldn’t miss!
1. Kyoto Railway Museum/京都鉄道博物館Newly established in April 2016, Kyoto Railway Museum introduces you to the history and evolution of the railway industry.
The museum displays 53 retired trains, from locomotives to the most recent electric trains and even allow visitors to examine the inner workings of the trains.
Around the exit area, you can also admire the charming former Nijo Station Building, which acts as a museum store.
2. Kyoto National Museum/京都国立博物館Kyoto National Museum is one of the four national museums in Japan.
The redbrick main building itself, originally built in 1897 by the Emperor’s architect, is a cultural property of Japan worth your look.
The building still hosts the special exhibitions even to this day.
Many of the great special exhibits are hosted here so you should check the event schedule.
The National Museum is across the street from Sanjyu Sangendo.
3.Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art/京都市美術館Kyoto Municipal Museum of Arts holds many permanent collections such as Japanese paintings, potteries, calligraphies, sculpture, etc.
Being adored by the locals, this is a great place to learn about and appreciate the Japanese arts.
Many of the exhibitions are free (admissions varies depending on the exhibitions).
Please take a note however that the main building is closed for renovation until March 2018 while the annex continues to be open.
4.National Museum of Modern Art,Kyoto/京都国立近代美術館Right next to the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art is the National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto, commonly known as MOMAK.
Established in 1963, MOMAK was originally a branch of the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, which later became independent.
The gallery has a great collection of the Japanese and western paintings, sculptures, crafts and photographs.
The entrance is ¥ 430 for the permanent collections, while there may be a separate fee for special exhibitions.
Currently, there is a great and colorful exhibition on Koji Kikutani.
5.Kyoto International Manga Museum/京都国際マンガミュージアムKyoto International Manga Museum was built in 2006 to collect, archive, and display manga (comics) as well as to contribute to the research of manga culture.
This four-story building holds around 300,000 items including some foreign comics, literally wall-to-wall.
For a manga lover, this is the dreamland.
On a sunny day, you can read your pick on the lawn outside.
Next,let’s go to Sake Brewery in Kyoto!
6. Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum/月桂冠大倉記念館Gekkeikan is one of the most famous sake (rice wine) makers in Japan as well as one of the oldest companies in the world.
Founded in 1637, Gekkeikan established its facility in Fushimi area of Kyoto, where conditions for sake making were superb.
The Museum features the facility and various tools that are used to make sake.
With the ¥300 entrance fee, you will learn the history and evolvement of the industry as well as the process of sake making, sample a few kinds of sake, and take home a souvenir bottle of their premium sake.
This is a must visit.
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7.Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts (Fureaikan)/京都伝統産業ふれあい館Around the corner from MOMAKS, there is a museum, which introduces you to the traditional crafts of Kyoto.
The museum celebrates Kyoto’s traditional crafts and art works including potteries, kimono, dolls, lacquer ware, woodblock prints, etc.
You can witness the local artisans demonstrate their amazing skills.
This beautiful gallery is free to enter and it is in a building called Miyako Messe.
8.The Museum of Kyoto/京都府京都文化博物館This is a nice museum where you will learn the history of Kyoto and its culture such as arts, history and festivals.
A perfect place for you to be introduced to what makes Kyoto, Kyoto.
Since most of the exhibitions are in Japanese, you might want to get an audio guide or an English speaking volunteer at the 2nd floor to appreciate the museum.
9.Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum/京都 清宗根付館Netsuke is a small ornament that people used to hang objects such as money, pen, tobacco, while wearing kimono.
Now internationally claimed collectible items, netsuke attracts collectors and art enthusiasts from all over the world.
Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum has a great collection of delicately made netsuke.
The museum displays around 400 netsuke among 4,500 items they own.
The building itself is an art and worth your visit, being the only samurai residence being restored in Kyoto, originally built in 1820s.
To get there, you can get the City Bus (#26, 28) to Mibudera-michi bus stop.
The admission is ¥1,000 yen.
10.Kyoto Kaleidoscope Museum/京都万華鏡ミュージアムThis unique museum displays around 50 kaleidoscopes from their 200 collections from all over Japan and overseas.
Some of the items are so unique they don’t even look like kaleidoscopes.
It is a great museum where you can touch the items yourself and enjoy the beauties.
You can also make your own kaleidoscopes if you are interested, which may be a fun activity to do with your children.
The Kaleidoscope Museum is located just behind the Museum of Kyoto.
Top 10 Best Museums in Kyoto
- Kyoto Railway Museum・・・ It introduces you to the history and evolution of the railway industry.
- Kyoto National Museum・・・Many of the great special exhibits are hosted here.
- Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art・・・It holds many permanent collections such as Japanese paintings, potteries, calligraphies, sculpture, etc.
- National Museum of Modern Art,Kyoto・・・The gallery has a great collection of the Japanese and western paintings, sculptures, crafts and photographs.
- Kyoto International Manga Museum・・・This four-story building holds around 300,000 items including some foreign comics, literally wall-to-wall.
- Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum・・・The Museum features the facility and various tools that are used to make sake.
- Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts・・・The museum celebrates Kyoto’s traditional crafts and art works.
- The Museum of Kyoto・・・You will learn the history of Kyoto and its culture such as arts, history and festivals.
- Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum・・・It is a small ornament that people used to hang objects such as money, pen, tobacco, while wearing kimono.
- Kyoto Kaleidoscope Museum・・・It displays around 50 kaleidoscopes from their 200 collections from all over Japan and overseas.
I hope that you’ll have a great time at museums in Kyoto!
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