Kyoto National Museum in Kyoto

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Domo arigato.
  • Kyoto National Museum Meiji Kotokan

  • Kyoto National Museum Sign

  • Kyoto National Museum Entrance

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Facts & Figures

The Kyoto National Museum belongs to the top 4 national museums in Japan. The other 3 are Nara National Museum, Tokyo National Museum and Kyushu Naional Museum. The museum, one of the oldest in Japan, houses over 12000 art objects with the focus on pre-modern Japanese and Asian works. Best Ryokans in Kyoto Explore Ryokans in Kyoto >
Ryokans are the perfect way to discover old Japanese culture and traditions.
The red brick hall, also called Meiji Kotokan, is an great example of French Renaissance architecture style. Be aware of the amazing special exhibitions held during the year.

  • Kyoto National Museum:
  • Opening Hours - 9:30 am to 5:00 pm (Tuesday till Thursday, last entry 4:30 pm)
  • Opening Hours - 9:30 am to 8:00 pm (Friday, last entry 7:30 pm)
  • Admission Fee - 500 yen (Adults), 250 yen (Elementary and Junior High School Students)

My tips for local activities

Explore the best parts of my favourite city Kyoto with a local guide. The tour takes approximately 3,5hrs. Check out this page > for more details.


Kyoto National Museum was designed by the architect Katayama Tokumain (1854-1917). He was influenced by the Western architecture style. The museum opened its doors for the public in 1897. In 1969 the Meiji Kotokan (main exhibition hall) was designated an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. Architect Morita Keiichi was responsible for the design of the Collections Hall (New Exhibition Hall), which opened in 1966. In 2014 a new wing, called Heisei Chishinkan, was completed by architect Taniguchi Yoshio.


Map of Japan

Kyoto National Museum is located near Sanjusangen-do Temple within the Higashiyama district in Kyoto.
Address: 527 Chaya-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0931

How to get to Kyoto National Museum?

  • 20min walk from Kyoto Station or
  • 10min from Kyoto Station to Hakubutsukan-Sanjusangen-do-Mae stop by bus nr. 100, 206 and 208

Sightseeing spots


Meiji Kotokan (Main Exhibition Hall) - Kyoto was the capital of Japan for more than 1000 years. Many items (paintings, sculptures, costumes, ceramics, calligraphy etc.) on display are related to this time period.

Heisei Chishinkan - The new contemporary wing is housing changing thematic exhibitions.

Festival & Events in Kyoto (dates can change without notice)


Miyako Odori (1st - 31th)
The traditional annual spring dance of the Kyoto district Gion Kobu performed by Geiko and Maiko is a must-see on your Kyoto visit. Don't miss the most popular dances the Miyako Odori "Cherry Blossom Dances" or "Dances of the Old Capital" at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater (located close to Gion Corner).


Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.


Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).


Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.

My 100 Best Moments in Japan

Yokohama Street Scene

I have visited Japan nearly every year since 2004. This is my collection of the 100 best moments in my favourite country. Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will start your own journey soon.
Find out more >

Books about Japan

My recommended books about Japan

Reading books is a great source of inspiration for me. Check out my recommended list of books about the fascinating country Japan.
My Book recommendations >