Kyoto National Museum

Meiji ancient city Hall (Important Cultural Property)

Kyoto has played a central role in the development of Japanese culture for over a thousand years, and the Kyoto National Museum is one of the country’s oldest and most distinguished museums. Opened in 1897 in the Meiji Period, the museum is one of only four top-level national museums in Japan.

The museum's permanent collection is presented to the public in rotating exhibitions and consists of a wide variety of cultural properties, including archaeological relics, sculptures, ceramics, calligraphy, costumes and paintings. It is housed in the spacious galleries of the Heisei Chishinkan, a building designed by Taniguchi Yoshio and opened in 2014. The architect is also known for the Horyuji Homotsukan at the Tokyo National Museum, the Sea Life Aquarium at Tokyo's Kasai Rinkai Park, the Mimoca Art Museum in Marugame and his redesign of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, temporary special exhibitions are held in the museum's original main building that was constructed during the Meiji Period in 1895. Renamed the Meiji Kotokan, the redbrick building, together with the similarly styled main entrance gates, are beautiful examples of Meiji architecture and have been designated as Important Cultural Properties.

Heisei chishinkan grand lobby

Heisei chishinkan (Shooting by Toshiharu Kitajima)

How to get there

By public transportation
The Kyoto National Museum is next to the Hakubutsukan-Sanjusangendo-mae Bus Stop (10 minutes from Kyoto Station by bus numbers 100, 206 or 208). Alternatively, the museum is a 5-minute walk from Shichijo Station along the Keihan Line or a 20-25 minute walk from Kyoto Station.

Hours: 09:30 to 17:00 for the permanent exhibition, typically 09:30 to 18:00 for special exhibitions (admission ends 30 minutes before closing)

Admission: 520 yen for the permanent collection, typically 1,500 yen for special exhibitions

Address: 527 Chaya Town, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

Airport: Itami Airport
Kansai Airport


Mondays (or Tuesdays if Monday is a national holiday) and New Year holidays

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