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Kyoto National Museum

As one of the principal museums of Japan, this site displays fascinating artifacts across impressive structures to tell the story of Kyoto’s place in the country.

The Kyoto National Museum endeavors to showcase the best of Japanese art and history. The museum, which was founded in 1897, uses the displays to teach visitors about Kyoto before and after its inception as the capital city. The complex is one of the national museums of Japan. Its collections of more than 12,000 items are spread across several impressive buildings. With a café, tearoom and store, tourists can spend a pleasant afternoon around the site’s grounds.

Enter through the Main Gate and its dome spires. From here, admire the redbrick Special Exhibition Hall with a backdrop of green, rolling mountains. There are elaborate fountains in the foreground. Browse the building’s galleries and temporary displays in dimly lit settings. Learn about the displays through their descriptions in English. Find exhibitions on many topics, from sculptures, music and other artwork to temples and historic artifacts. The demonstrations vary throughout the year.

Quench your thirst at the traditional Japanese teahouse, Tan’an, in the East Garden. Make your way to Café Karafuneya for rest and some food. Peruse the museum store to find souvenirs such as books, postcards and other informative items.

Exhibitions are closed on Mondays but stay open later on Fridays. Otherwise, viewings commence in the morning and conclude late in the afternoon. Admission fees vary depending on particular exhibitions.

You can find the Kyoto National Museum right next to the Sanjūsangen-dō Temple and the Toyokuni Shrine in the Higashiyama Ward. Take a bus from Kyoto Station. Hakubutsukan Sanjusangendo-mae bus stop is just 1 minute on foot from the museum. The site is a short walk from Shichijo Station, which is on the Keihan Railroad. If you drive to the museum, you can park in the lot for free for the first hour; just be sure to present your parking ticket in the museum to receive the discount.


Guide to Exploring around Kyoto National Museum


Lodging Near Kyoto National Museum

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RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
    4.0 out of 5.0
     
     

    Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Kyoto Railway Museum and Kawaramachi are also within 2 mi ...

    RIHGA Royal Hotel KyotoAU$137

    Hyatt Regency Kyoto

    Hyatt Regency Kyoto

      4.5 out of 5.0
       
       

      Located in Higashiyama, this luxury hotel is steps away from Kyoto National Museum and Sanjusangendo Temple. Kyoto Tower and Kiyomizu Temple are also within ...

      Hyatt Regency KyotoAU$426

      THE GENERAL KYOTO Takatsuji Tominokoji

      THE GENERAL KYOTO Takatsuji Tominokoji

        3.5 out of 5.0
         
         
        5.0 out of 5 (1 reviews)

        Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nishiki Market, Kawaramachi and Pontocho. Kyoto MINAMIZA Theatre and Shijo Omiya are also ...

        THE GENERAL KYOTO Takatsuji TominokojiAU$94

        Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae

        Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae

          4.0 out of 5.0
           
           

          Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Higashi Honganji Temple. Kyoto Aquarium and Sanjusangendo Temple are also ...

          Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto EkimaeAU$189

          ibis Styles Kyoto Station

          ibis Styles Kyoto Station

          47 Higashikujo Kamitonoda-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
            3.0 out of 5.0
             
             

            Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kyoto Tower and Toji Temple. Kenninji Temple and Fushimi Inari Shrine are also within 3 mi (5 km). ...

            ibis Styles Kyoto StationAU$81

            Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

            Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

              5.0 out of 5.0
               
               

              Located in Higashiyama, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Sanjusangendo Temple, Kiyomizu Temple and Gion Corner. Kyoto Tower and Heian Shrine are also ...

              Four Seasons Hotel KyotoAU$1,332

              Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto

              Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto

                4.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 

                Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Kyoto TERRSA, Kyoto Tower and Higashi Honganji Temple. Sanjusangendo Temple and Toji Temple are ...

                Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande KyotoAU$158

                APA Hotel Kyoto Ekihigashi

                APA Hotel Kyoto Ekihigashi

                Higashishiokojicho, 552-1, Kyoto, Kyoto
                  3.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Sanjusangendo Temple. Nishiki Market and Toji Temple are also within 2 mi ...

                  APA Hotel Kyoto EkihigashiAU$67

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