Must-See Museums in Kyoto
Kyoto is one of the most culturally rich cities in Japan, offering many opportunities to see and experience traditional Japanese culture. As well as the city’s temples, palaces, and manicured parks, a few top-notch museums should be on your travel itinerary. Here are some top picks.
Samurai and Ninja Museum
The Samurai and Ninja Museum displays armor, weapons, and other artifacts related to Japan’s famous samurai and ninja warriors. The museum holds workshops on how to use ninja weapons, offers dress-up opportunities for kids (and adults!), and more.
**How to Visit:**Take a guided tour of the museum and then enjoy watching a samurai show afterwards.
Kyoto Railway Museum
Most travelers ride a Japanese train at some point, and the Kyoto Railway Museum offers the chance to learn more about a form of transportation that’s so important in the country. See old steam locomotives, ultra-modern, high-speed trains, and exhibits on the history of rail in Japan.
**How to Visit:**Take the kids along to this one, as there are lots of hands-on facilities for the whole family.
Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts Fureaikan
Travelers interested in learning more about Kyoto’s traditional crafts—from kimono to incense sticks—will love this museum, commonly called Fureaikan. You can even take workshops to learn to make your own crafts.
**How to visit:**Download an English-language audioguide from the museum’s website before you visit and listen to it on your own device (alternatively, you can rent an audio guide at the museum).
Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum
Housed in an old sake brewery building that’s more than 100 years old, the Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum provides an easy-to-understand introduction to sake making. Sample sake from one of Japan’s most popular brands at the museum.
**How to visit:**You must join a guided tour around the museum. For special access to the brewery, book a tour in advance.