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 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.