Kansai regions have various popular art museums and art galleries scattered throughout the city. There are many variations of them, with some standard museums displaying paintings and sculptures, and some unusual museums displaying fragrances and ceramic plates. Here are 10 best art museums that might be of interest to you.
Kunjyukan Museum of Fragrances
With the concept of "knowing, learning and enjoying the world of fragrances, Kunjyukan is a rare "museum of fragrances in Kyoto.
Inside the museum, there are a variety of exhibits related to fragrances, including a "scent box" that allows visitors to experience fragrances as they enter the museum. It is a popular spot in Kyoto that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
The museum is decorated with a Japanese atmosphere typical of Kyoto, and a chandelier of Kyoto wagasa (Japanese umbrella), the symbol of Kunjyukan, welcomes you at the entrance.
3 minutes walk from Exit 7 of Marutamachi Station on the Karasuma Line.
5 minute walk from Exit 1 of Karasuma Oike Station on the Karasuma and Tozai Lines.
Free of charge
Garden of Fine Arts Kyoto
The Garden of Fine Arts Kyoto is an outdoor art museum where masterpieces are transferred onto ceramic plates and displayed. The building of the facility was designed by architect Tadao Ando.
One of the features of the museum is that the masterpieces are displayed in almost "actual size". Among them, Michelangelo's masterpiece "The Last Judgment" is a must-see. It is 14 meters tall, which is equivalent to the height of a five-story building. Standing in front of it, you will be overwhelmed by its power.
In addition, there are many other innovative exhibits such as Monet's "Water Lilies in the Morning," which is displayed underwater.
1 minute walk east from Exit 3 of Kitayama Station on the Karasuma Line.
Adults: 100 yen
Junior high school students and younger: Free
70 years old and older: Free
Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art
The Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art was opened in 1933 under the name Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, and has been loved by the public for over 80 years.
The museum had been closed since 2017 for a major renovation, but reopened on May 26, 2020. With the concept of "a museum that continues to accumulate images," architect Jun Aoki has reborn the museum as a fascinating combination of old and new.
The museum has a large collection of post-modern Kyoto art, and the works of the Kyoto art world are particularly popular. The north corridor of the main building is used for special and public exhibitions, and the south corridor has a new 1,000 square meter permanent exhibition room, the Collection Room.
It is also a museum that you can easily visit as some areas are free. The spiral staircase area is especially popular as an instagrammable spot.
About 8 minutes walk from Higashiyama Station on the Subway Tozai Line.
Residents of Kyoto City: 520 yen
Residents of other cities: 730 yen
Groups (20 or more people): 620 yen
Elementary, junior high and high school students, etc.
Residents of Kyoto City: Free
Residents of other cities: 300 yen
Groups (20 or more people): 200 yen
Children under elementary school age: Free
Image from past exhibition
Kyoto Prefectural Insho-Domoto Muesum Of Fine Arts
The museum was established by the Japanese painter Insho Domoto to exhibit his own works. The building, designed by Insho himself, has beautiful white wall decorations, and the building itself is a work of art. It is a cozy and quiet museum.
The museum reopened in March 2008, and the lobby and garden are now open to the public free of charge. The beautiful garden with the borrowed scenery of Mt. Kinugasayama is worth checking. After viewing the art, it is recommended to buy a snack at Fujino Tea House, a newly built coffee shop in the lobby, and spend a peaceful time on the terrace.
From Kyoto Station
Take Kyoto City Bus #50 and get off at "Ritsumeikan University" bus stop. (total bus ride is about 45minutes)
Take Kyoto City Bus No. 205,get off at Wara Tenjin-mae Bus Stop, approx. and walk for about 10 minutes walk. (total bus ride is about 40 minutes)
General 510 yen (400 yen for groups)
High school and college students: 400 yen (group 320 yen)
Elementary and junior high school students: 200 yen (group 160 yen)
- Kyoto Prefectural Insho Domoto Museum of Fine Arts
- Kyoto Kyoutoshi Kita-ku Hiranokamiyanagichou 26-3
- 9:30-17:00(Last entry16:30)
Superblue, a major art project by the world-renowned mega-gallery Pace Gallery in New York and the social activist group Emerson Collective, has landed in Japan for the first time in collaboration with the Japanese art collective TeamLab.
Superblue Kyoto, a new interactive art center, is scheduled to open in the southeast area of Kyoto Station. Superblue Kyoto will be a cultural complex that includes an art museum, an art center, a public gallery, and a cafe.
If you're interested, be sure to be the first to check out the opening information!
Es Devlin, Forest of Us, 2021. Installation view of Every Wall is a Door, Superblue Miami, 2021. Photo: Andrea Mora.
National Museum of Art Osaka
The National Museum of Art, Osaka is one of the few museums in the world that is completely underground. Its iconic entrance gate made of stainless steel and glass by the famous architect Cesar Pelli is a stunning beauty not to be missed.
The museum houses about 8,000 pieces of contemporary art, including works by Joan Miró and also has a cafe too.
5 minutes walk from Watanabebashi Station (Keihan Nakanoshima Line)
10 minute walk from Higobashi Station on the Subway Yotsubashi Line.
10 minutes walk from Fukushima Station (Hanshin Line)
10 minute walk from Fukushima Station on the Osaka Loop Line.
10 minutes walk from Shin-Fukushima Station (Tozai Line).
General admission 430 yen (220 yen for groups)
University students: 130 yen (group 70 yen)
High school students, under 18 years old, and over 65 years old: Free
Teshima Art Muesum
The Teshima Art Museum is located on Teshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea, and is in harmony with nature. It offers a panoramic view of the Seto Inland Sea, making it a great spot for photography.
The main attraction is the mysterious world view that overturns the concept of a museum. As you walk through the narrow tunnel-shaped entrance, you will suddenly find yourself in a wide open space that instantly draws you into the mysterious world of the museum.
The less information you have beforehand, the more impressed you will be when you enter the museum, so if this is your first visit, please try to come with a clean slate.
35 minutes by ferry from Takamatsu Port
Adults 1,570 yen / 15 years old and under free
Tickets can be purchased on site, but they sometimes sell out, so advance reservations online from here are recommended.
- Teshima Art Museum
- Kagawa Shozu-gun Tonoshocho Teshimakarato 607
Otsuka Museum of Art
The Otsuka Museum of Art is a ceramic art museum known for having one of the largest permanent exhibition spaces in Japan. The museum has three unique exhibition methods: environmental, systematic, and thematic.
The "Environmental Exhibition" is a must-see, as it reproduces the murals of ancient ruins and churches in their original environment. You can experience the atmosphere of a foreign country in a realistic way while in Japan.
In addition, visitors can view more than 1,000 masterpieces of Western art held in museums around the world, including Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper," Edvard Munch's "The Scream," and Pablo Picasso's "Guernica," all in actual size.
From Tokushima Station, take the Tokushima Bus bound for Naruto Park and get off at Otsuka Museum of Art
General Admission: 3,160 yen (advance ticket), 3,300 yen (day ticket)
University students: 2,140 yen (advance ticket), 2,200 yen (day ticket)
Elementary, junior high, and high school students: 530 yen (advance tickets), 550 yen (day tickets)
Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art
Designed by architect Tadao Ando, it is one of the largest museums in western Japan. The architecture of the museum is so attractive that you will feel as if you have wandered into a huge labyrinth, and the view from the "Circular Terrace" is particularly breathtaking.
The museum also has a rich collection of about 10,000 pieces of sculpture, prints, Western and Japanese paintings, etc. In 2021, a special exhibition, "Harry Potter and the History of Magic," was held as an international tour of the exhibition "Harry Potter: A History of Magic," which was planned and held by the British Library.
The museum usually closes at 6:00 p.m., but it is open until 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays during the special exhibition.
About a 10-minute walk from the south exit of Nada Station on the Kobe Line.
About a 20-minute walk to from the West Exit of Oji-Koen Station on the Kobe Line.
Adults: 500 yen (400 yen for groups)
University students 400 yen (group 300 yen)
Over 70 years old: 250 yen (200 yen for a group)
Persons with disabilities 100 yen (50 yen for college students in groups only)
High school students and younger: Free
The MIHO MUSEUM was built by I. M. Pei, the world-famous architect who designed the glass pyramid of the Louvre. The museum is also ranked 5th in the TripAdvisor "Travelers' Favorite Museums 2020".
The promenade from the reception building to the museum was designed to resemble a peach garden, with weeping cherry trees lining the path on either side, enveloping visitors. Along the way, there is a stainless steel tunnel that reflects the peach color of the weeping cherry trees in spring and the green of the lush greenery in summer, creating a fantastic scene like a gate leading to another world.
The museum also has a wonderful collection of about 3,000 items, including tea ceremony utensils, ceramics, lacquerware, Shinto and Buddhist art, calligraphy and paintings, which the founder, Hideko Koyama, has been collecting for over 40 years. Of these, 250 to 500 items are on permanent display.
About 50 minutes by bus to MIHO MUSEUM from the south exit of Ishiyama Station.
About 15 minutes by car from Shigaraki I.C. on the Shin-Meijin Expressway.
About 30 minutes from Ritto I.C. on the Meishin Expressway.
About 35 minutes from Mibuno I.C. on the Meihan National Highway
Adult: 1,300 yen
High school and university students: 1,000 yen
Junior high school students and younger: Free
Groups (20 people or more) 200 yen discount each