Kyoto Sights

Kyoto National Museum (Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan)

  • 527 Chaya-machi Map It
  • Higashiyama-ku

Published 12/10/2015

Fodor's Review

The national museum is one of three established in the late 19th century (the others are in Tokyo and Nara) to preserve Japanese antiquities and traditional culture. The original 1897 redbrick French Renaissance–style building is still in use, these days for special exhibitions, but in 2014 an angular limestone, steel, and glass structure designed by Yoshio Taniguchi became the much-praised home of the permanent collection. The architect's other commissions include the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures at the Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo Sea Life Park, and the 2004 redesign of New York City's Museum of Modern Art.

Calligraphy, textiles and costumes, lacquerware, metalwork, and sculpture are exhibited on the first floor. Paintings are on the second floor, the strengths being religious and secular Japanese painting, works from China, and medieval ink and Momoyama-Edo painting. Archaeological relics and ceramics fill the third floor. The labels are in English and Japanese, and audio guides are available for a fee.

Sight Information


527 Chaya-machi, at corner of Shichijo-dori and Higashi-oji-dori, Kyoto, 605-0931, Japan

Map It



Sight Details:

  • ¥520 (admission varies with exhibitions), ¥500 for audio guide
  • Early Jan.–late Dec., Tues.–Sun. 9:30–5; sometimes closed for exhibition installation

Published 12/10/2015


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