Understand the evolution of Japanese arts at Kyoto National Museum, one of the most prestigious museums in the country. Originally set in an 1895 building, a huge modern wing with special pavilions was added in 2014. In numerous galleries, the museum tells a concise story of pre-modern Japanese art and Asian art through archeological relics, illustrated handscrolls, calligraphy, ceramics, textiles, and costumes. You can also see a collection of Buddhist paintings, lacquerware, and metalwork. Outdoor exhibits feature stone sculptures from Korea, early stone Buddhas, and Rodin’s "Thinker." Grab a drink at the lovely tea and coffee house, which sits in a spacious landscape garden. The museum is a five-minute walk from Shichijo station. Plan your visit to Kyoto National Museum and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Kyoto online visit planner.
Kyoto National Museum reviews
Main exhibition closed. Unusually uptight museum staff Ticket confusion with credit cards. Staff keyed in on being highly vigilant of foreigners. Not very interesting.
Main exhibition closed. Unusually uptight museum staff Ticket confusion with credit cards. Staff keyed in on being highly vigilant of foreigners. Not very interesting. more »
Definitely underwhelming for the price of the ticket. A few poteery shards from Jomon era and Bronze Age, scrolls from a couple of temples, desultory ceramics. 5-8 nice statues, but again with the...
Definitely underwhelming for the price of the ticket. A few poteery shards from Jomon era and Bronze Age, scrolls from a couple of temples, desultory ceramics. 5-8 nice statues, but again with the... more »
Although the main buildings are closed until the new year, there were still plenty of fascinating things to see in the gardens. The architecture of the main hall and gate is also fascinating as it was constructed in 1895 and does not resemble other Japanese-style buildings. I visited around noon on a week day and there were only a few others walking around. It was very peaceful and I’m excited to return when the exhibits open again!
The exhibitions are changed frequently, so every visit a couple of weeks apart promises to present a new set of well preserved national treasures alongside those that remain all year round. Access is cheap for a national museum of this kind; access is discounted for students and it is free for some exceptions such as students of Kyoto University.
Plan your trip to Kyoto
- Get a personalized tripA full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
- Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
- Book itChoose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
- Manage itEverything in one place. Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Kyoto
Side trips from Kyoto
Historic Sites in Kyoto
Shopping in Kyoto
Hidden gems in Kyoto
Nearby attractions in Kyoto
Trips in Kyoto National Museum by other users
21 days in East Asia BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM Tokyo Kyoto Osaka 10 days in Kyoto BY A USER FROM UKRAINE Sanjusangendo Temple Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine Gion 15 days in Japan BY A USER FROM LUXEMBOURG Tokyo Kyoto Osaka 17 days in Japan BY A USER FROM ITALY Tokyo Matsumoto Osaka 15 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Tokyo Hakone-machi Kyoto 17 days in Osaka & Kyoto BY A USER FROM CANADA Osaka Kyoto