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Culture / Tour Spots in Kyoto Area

  • Kyoto Aquarium
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Shimogyou-ku Kankijichou 35-1 (in Umekoji Park)
    An aquarium a 15 minute walk west from the Chuo exit at Kyoto Station which first opened in 2012. In addition to exhibits presenting the creatures living in the sea near Kyoto, the aquarium also has exhibits recreating the environments of the Kamogawa River and Yura River and the terraced rice fields and water channels at the foot of Kyoto’s mountains. The facility also strives to aid in environmental conservation through such activities as breeding endangered species living in Kyoto and making use of solar power.
  • National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
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    4.0
    123 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Sakyou-ku Okazakienshoujichou
    This art museum inside Okazaki Park in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City first opened its doors in 1963. The museum’s annex, a modern building of glass and gray walls, was completed in 1986. The museum collects and preserves modern art from both within Japan and around the world and boasts a collection of over 12,000 pieces. The museum places particular emphasis on art from Western Japan and the Kansai region with a focus on Kyoto and has a collection of many works from the Kyoto and Kansai art worlds. The museum also displays industrial art pieces. In addition to a permanent exhibit whose contents are changed periodically, the museum also holds special exhibitions. The adjoining authentic Italian café is also popular.

    This Gallery is somewhat difficult to get to, depending where you are staying... save stress catch a taxi but have google map pre-organised as most taxi drivers cannot speak even basic English. Like...

  • Kyoto City Zoo
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    3.5
    216 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Sakyou-ku Okazakihoushoujichou In Okazaki Park
    A zoo established by the city of Kyoto located in the Okazaki area of Sakyo Ward. This historic zoo was the second to be opened in the country, having begun operating in 1903. The zoo is dedicated to animal breeding and has achieved the first successful breeding in Japan of species such as lions, tigers, western lowland gorillas, and lar gibbons. The zoo houses numerous exhibits only found here, including an Asian elephant herd in the Forest of Elephants and a Gorilla House where visitors can see gorillas learning with the use of touch panels, a first in Japan. In the Otogi no Kuni (Fairy Land) exhibit Animals, used to the presence of humans such as domesticated farm animals can be viewed up close and touched, providing visitors to have fun while learning about the preciousness of life.

    Incredibly small enclosures for everything. Sad elephants. Over cramped spaces. These animals deserve so much better

  • Kyoto National Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Chayachou 527
    A museum located in the Chaya-cho neighborhood of Higashiyama Ward which first opened in 1897 as the Imperial Museum of Kyoto. The museum changed to its current name in 1952. Visitors can enjoy viewing the museum’s collection of masterpieces and historic objects, including National Treasures, such as paintings, carvings, writings, and swords. The museum also holds special exhibitions.
  • Kyoto International Manga Museum
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    4.0
    531 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Karasuma-ku Ikegami Le, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
    This manga museum in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto, is Japan's largest manga museum. It first opened in 2006. Including valuable works from the Meiji period and the post-WWII period as well as popular modern titles and foreign works, they have almost 300,000 pieces in their collection. One of their showcases is a ''Manga Wall'' with 50,000 volumes of manga arrayed on bookcases that visitors can freely read. The spacious building is the former Tatsuike Elementary School and people can be found everywhere inside or outside on the lawn reading manga. This is a popular location for foreign tourists and couples.

    I absolutely loved this place! I thought it would be more of a library but it was a good balance between library and museum. There were a lot of carefully curated exhibits that were very interesting...

  • Hosomi Museum
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    4.0
    71 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Sakyou-ku Okazakisaishoujichou 6-3
    An art museum primarily dedicated to ancient Japanese art located in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City. The museum first opened in 1998. The museum displays pieces collected by three generations of the Hosomi family, which was started by industrialist and Japanese art collector Kokoan Hosomi. The museum’s collection spans some 1,000 pieces and covers virtually every genre and period of Japanese art, including Shinto and Buddhist art, tea ceremony art, and Edo paintings. The museum holds a variety of special exhibits. It also houses a tea room and shop and is adjoined by a café, making it a popular place for art lovers.

    It's hard to believe that a museum with such a fine collection should present itself as if from the inside of a trash can. It's a desecration of the first order and confirms the truth that many...

  • Museum of Kyoto
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Nakagyou-ku Sanjoutakakura
    This museum introduces the history and traditions of Kyoto via a variety of means, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of Kyoto culture. The permanent exhibit presents the history of Kyoto from the Heian period to the Showa period via three zones, with a focus on fascinating actual Kyoto artifacts such as cultural properties and costumes used in the Gion Festival. The multiple special exhibits held each year are also popular with visitors. The museum’s theater presents masterworks of film relating to Kyoto. The red brick Annex building, an Important Cultural Property constructed in 1906, was originally the Kyoto branch office of the Bank of Japan. The museum’s Roji Tempo area recreates an Edo period street lined with Kyoto merchants’ homes, and here visitors can enjoy dining and shopping at numerous restaurants and shops. Karasuma Oike Station is the closest station to the museum.
  • Maruyama Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Maruyamachou
    Established in 1886, Maruyama Park is the oldest park in Kyoto City and is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty. A strolling garden built around a central pond created by the famed Ogawa Jihei VII, the graceful design makes use of natural hills. The garden vicinity is dotted with buildings such as a traditional Japanese ryotei restaurant, tea house, and the Maruyama Park Concert Hall as well as numerous other points of note, including Basho’s Hermitage and bronze statues of Sakamoto Ryoma and Nakaoka Shintaro. Also famous for its “Gion weeping cherry trees,” the beauty of the park’s cherries illuminated at night have become a must-see symbol of Kyoto. Gion-Shijo Station is the closest station to the park.
  • Yasaka Hall Gion Corner
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    3.0
    470 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Gionmachiminamigawa 570-2 Inside the Yakinikan
    Here you can enjoy seven of Japan's traditional arts in the space of about an hour including Kyomai traditional Kyoto dance, Kyogen comedy theater, Gagaku traditional court music, Bunraku puppet theater, koto music, tea ceremony, and ikebana flower arranging. It is located inside the Yasaka Hall in Gion, Kyoto City, nearby the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo theater. In the lobby you'll find pictures of annual festivals held in ''Kyoto Gokagai (five districts)'' (Gion Kobu, Miyagawa-cho, Ponto-cho, Kamishichiken, Gion Higashi) as well as a Maiko gallery showing the ornamental flower pins worn by the Maiko, their hairstyles, and other small items. This is a famous place for seeing the character of Japan and is popular amongst students on school trips and foreign visitors. It is a five-minute walk from Gion-Shijo Station on the Keihan Line.

    go to any other show/performance,is not worth it..very boring ,and for what it is ,is very expensive ,and in cash,no credit cards...

  • Shokoku-ji Temple Jotenkaku Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto City Kamigyo-ku Imadegawa-ku Karasuma Dongyu
    This art museum is on the grounds of Shokoku-ji Temple in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City. It opened in 1984 as part of the celebrations of Shokoku-ji Temple's 600-year anniversary. It collects and displays writings, paintings, and works of art from a variety of temples including Shokoku-ji Temple, Rokuon-ji Temple (the Golden Pavilion), Jisho-ji Temple (the Silver Pavilion), and other sub-temples. Here you can see five National Treasures of Japan, 145 Important Cultural Properties of Japan, and a great number of Cultural Properties of Japan. Their permanent displays include famous painted sliding doors from Rokuon-ji Temple by Ito Jakuchu, ''Budo Shokinzu'' (Grapes and Small Bird) and ''Tsukiyo Bashozu'' (Japanese banana on a moonlight night).
  • Shinsen-en
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    4.0
    96 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, Nakagyo-ku Oike Shinsen'en-cho, Higashi Nyuru temple town 166
    A garden located in the southern part of the grounds of Nijo Castle in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City that was originally an imperial garden that adjoined Heian Palace. The spacious grounds include a large pond said to be the home of a dragon god, an island in the pond, a stream, and a forest. Emperors, court nobles, and aristocrats once held parties here. A ceremony held here in 863 to appease the spirits of the deceased due to a disease epidemic is the origin of the Gion Festival. Legend has it that the samurai Minamoto no Yoshitsune met his wife, Shizuka Gozen, here as well. Each year from May 1 to 4, the Dainenbutsu Kyogen comic pantomime is held at the Kyogendo Hall, an event which includes the Shinsenen Festival.

    We went here after missing Nijo castles last admission. It’s quite and tranquil. Nice get away from the tourist and a place to rest.

  • Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Kiyomizu Buddhist temple in front of Shimokita Shimizu 3-337-1
    An art museum dedicated to collecting and displaying primarily cloisonné ware, gold and silver lacquerware, metalwork, earthenware, and carvings from the late Edo, Meiji, and Taisho periods. The owner, enchanted with the artworks of the Meiji period made with such fine technique, came up with the idea of opening a museum after attempting to purchase masterpieces from the period that had ended up overseas. The contents of the museum’s standing exhibits is completely changed out once each year. The Museum also holds special exhibitions every three months.
  • Raku Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto City Kamigyo-ku Osho-koji Road Ichijo Ru
    Raku ware is an art and craft form which has existed from some 450 years, since the Momoyama period. This art museum, adjoining the Raku ware studio, was founded in 1978 on Aburanokouji Street Ichijo kudaru by Raku Kichizaemon, 14th head of the family. The museum’s collection of historic pieces, tea ceremony implements, and ancient documents spanning have been passed down for 450 years to serve as models for the next generation and serves as the core of the tradition that is Raku ware.
  • Ryozen Museum of History
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    4.0
    54 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Higashiyama-ku Seikanjiryousanchou 1
    A museum located across from Kyoto Ryozen Gokoku Shrine and south of the Kodai-ji Zen Temple. The museum opened in 1970 as Japan’s first dedicated to the holistic researching of Japanese history from the end of the Edo period to the Meiji Restoration. The museum collects, researches, and displays the personal effects of historic personages and other artifacts from the period regardless of which side of the Restoration they were on. The museum exhibits pieces from among its collection of over 5,000 objects based on a given theme.

    We kept walking along San'nen-zaka Hill, Ninen-zaka Hill, and Ryoma-zaka Hill to get to Ryozen Museum of History. The museum is known (well-known or who-knows) with its exhibition of Bakumatsu...

  • Kyoto Prefectural Insho Domoto Museum of Fine Arts
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    4.0
    24 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Kita-ku Hiranokamiyanagichou 26-3
    An art museum located close to the Kinugasa Campus of Ritsumeikan University which collects the works of Japanese painter Insho Domoto, who flourished in the Taisho and Showa periods. Established in 1966 by the artist himself for the display of his works, in 1991 the museum was donated to Kyoto Prefecture. In addition to the artworks themselves, the entire museum, designed inside and out by Domoto, could be called a work of art by the man.

    This small museum is impressive (and free if you are over 65 and have a document to prove it). The collection is very interesting and well-displayed although there are fewer explanations in English...

  • Nomura Art Museum
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    4.0
    18 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Sakyou-ku Nanzenjishimokawarachou 61
    An art museum located near the north gate of the Nanzen-ji Zen Temple. The museum was founded in 1984 based largely around the collection of Tokushichi Nomura, founder of Nomura Securities. The museum’s collection consists of tea ceremony implements, paintings, calligraphy works, Noh masks, and Noh costumes gathered by Nomura, who, while being active as an industrialist, also greatly enjoyed the tea ceremony and Noh theater. The museum displays selections from its collection of some 1,700 items, including seven Important Cultural Properties such as calligraphic works by Sesson Shukei and Syuho Myocho.

    This is a great small museum, extremely well located in a beautiful neighborhood, near Nanzenji and the other great temples of Higashiyama. In our November visit they had a ground floor exhibit of...

  • Sumiya Motenashi Cultural and Art Museum
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    4.5
    47 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Shimogyou-ku Nishishinyashikiageyachou 32
    One often hears of geisha quarter “Shimabara” in Kyoto period dramas. Now it is Nishishinyashiki Ageya-cho, and what remains of that time is the Sumiya Motenashi Museum of Art and Culture. Sumiya was a high-class pleasure house built at the beginning of the establishment of Shimabara in 1641. The wide garden facing the tatami room has a tea house, and the place was used not only for parties but tea ceremonies and gathering of haiku poets too. In 1952 it was designated an Important Cultural Property of Japan as a place retaining the culture of feasts and hospitality.

    This place is a real find and usually off the beaten tourist track for non Japanese. To get the best its advisable to have the benefit of an interpreter. We hired a Japanese tour guide for the day as...

  • Uji City The Tale of Genji Museum
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    4.0
    123 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Ujishi Uji Higashiuchi 45-26
    This museum located in Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture collects and displays materials pertaining to the Genji Monogatari (Tale of Genji), the full-length novel by Murasaki Shikibu. Inside, it is divided into video exhibition rooms including the Heian-no-Ma which introduces the world of the Genji Monogatari and the life of Japanese nobles with models and video, and the Uji-no-Ma, which takes the theme of Uji Jujo (The 10 Quires of Uji) in the third part of the Genji Monogatari, which was set in Uji. There are also a teahouse offering Japanese sweets and a shop selling merchandise related to the Genji Monogatari.

    Genji Monogatari, history of Mr. Hilaru Genji is very famous non fiction old story in Japan. The place has so many details of the story. The place attracted to me to read the story again even...

  • Nishijin Textile Center
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    3.5
    149 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto prefecture Kyoto city Kamigyo-ku Horikawa dori Imadegawa south entrance west side
    This meeting hall in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture introduces the charm of Japanese clothing, especially Nishijin silk fabrics, and displays related items. The third floor has a show stage on which they hold the extravagant Kimono Show each hour. With the workshops allowing one to watch artisans up close and the reservation handmaking experience activities, there are facilities for one to watch, sow and experience while learning and having fun. There are also Japanese trinkets on sale including clothing sundries and mufflers made of pure Japan-produced silk.

    We visited here as part of a tour. After an interesting fashion show of modern product (arrive early if you expect a seat), we wandered through the museum and gift shop, which offers great deals on...

  • Uji City Botanical Park
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    4.0
    13 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kyoto Ujishi Hironochou Hachikenyadani 25-1
    This public park in Uji City, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture lies on a hilly area adjoining the Yamashiro Sogo Undo Koen athletic park. With 3,675 planters and a huge tiered platform, it boasts one of Japan’s largest multi-storey flower beds—the famous “Flower and Water Tapestry”—and a variety of patterns are on display depending on the season. There are a number of noteworthy spots including a greenhouse containing tropical and subtropical plants and a garden of flowering trees. The spring has cherry blossoms, the autumn has changing colored leaves, and from the end of May across June one can see watch fireflies floating among the trees.

    土日の昼間は小さいお子さんの家族連れが多いです。思ってた以上に見応えがあって、楽しめました!夏場は蛍鑑賞などもしているそうで、夜もたくさんの人で賑わっていました。

Kyoto Main Areas

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Its wooden tea houses, shuffling geisha, and spiritual sights have seen Kyoto hailed as the heart of traditional Japan, a world apart from ultramodern Tokyo. Despite being the Japanese capital for over a century, Kyoto escaped destruction during World War II, leaving behind a fascinating history which can be felt at every turn, from the fully gold-plated Kinkakuji Temple down to traditional customs such as geisha performances and tea ceremonies, which are still practiced to this day.

Kyoto Photo Album

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