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Meiji Kotokan, venue for the museum's special exhibitions

Opened in 1897, the Kyoto National Museum (京都国立博物館, Kyōto Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan) is one of Japan's oldest and most distinguished museums. It is one of only four top-level national museums alongside the Tokyo National Museum, Nara National Museum and Kyushu National Museum.

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.

The Heisei Chishinkan exhibits the museum's permanent collection

Access

The Kyoto National Museum is located across the street from Sanjusangendo, next to the Hakubutsukan-Sanjusangendo-mae bus stop (10 minutes, 230 yen from Kyoto Station by bus numbers 100, 206 or 208). Alternatively, the museum can be reached in a five minute walk from Shichijo Station along the Keihan Line or in a 20-25 minute walk from Kyoto Station.

How to get to and around Kyoto

Hours & Fees

Hours

9:30 to 17:00 (permanent collection), typically 9:30 to 18:00 (special exhibitions); admission ends 30 minutes before closing

Closed

Mondays (or the following day if Monday is a public holiday), New Year holidays

Admission

520 yen (permanent exhibition), typically 1500 yen for special exhibitions

English

Good (signs and audio guides)

Hotels around Kyoto

Recommended Hotels
Backpackers Hostel Ks House Kyoto
One of Kyoto's most popular hostels. A ten minute walk from Kyoto Station.
Book:
Agoda Booking
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Located inside Kyoto Station, this is Kyoto's most convenient 4-star hotel.
Book:
Agoda Booking
Hyatt Regency Kyoto Hotel
Elegant luxury hotel located near Sanjusangendo Temple.
Book:
Agoda Booking
Khaosan Kyoto Guest House
Cheap and popular hostel located in the heart of the city near Kawaramachi Station.
Book:
Agoda Booking
New Miyako Hotel Kyoto
Reasonably priced 3-star hotel located just across the street from Kyoto Station.
Book:
Agoda Booking
Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto
Modern hotel along Sanjo Street close to Pontocho and other dining options.
Book:
Agoda Booking

Tours and Experiences

Page last updated: January 25, 2017