Kyoto has many fantastic shrines and temples, but you may want to add some other unique experiences to your time in the city. If you’re into anime or manga – or just curious about the popularity of it in Japan – heading to Kyoto’s International Manga Museum is a fun stop for the travel itinerary.
Walls and walls of manga to read
The museum here boasts walls upon walls of shelves filled with manga that you can browse and even take outside with you. You’re bound to find something that interests you if you’re a manga fan, since their collection spans 50,000 titles. There’s a pleasant open courtyard area at the front of the premises, and when the weather permits it you’ll see plenty of people sprawled out enjoying the weather and their reading material.
If you’re visiting the museum with little ones in tow, there’s also a children’s library that houses another 3,000 picture books and comics.
Hands-on drawing experience
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a manga artist, you should try the hands-on manga drawing experience. Tables are laid out with all the supplies you need to try and draw your own manga character, including sample sheets with various facial expressions displayed. It’s a lot easier trying to get started when you’ve got an example in front of you! The people running the hands-on drawing experiences here are often published manga artists themselves, so you really are learning from the experts.
Perhaps you don’t think you have an artistic bone in your body, and you’re wondering how you can get in on the manga fun. Well, there are artists at the museum here who will draw you as a manga character! The portrait service will set you back 1,500 yen for a picture of one person, 2,500 yen for a picture of two people, and 3,500 yen for a picture of three people. It would make for a terrific souvenir from your time in Japan!
If you start feeling peckish after all your manga reading and drawing, there’s an on-site cafe at the museum. The menu is pretty simple, with sandwiches, parfaits and drinks among the offerings available to choose from.
Kyoto International Manga Museum Information
- 452 Kinbuki-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, 604-0846
- The museum is open from 10am until 6pm daily, but are closed every Wednesday and over the New Year’s holiday period. Bear that in mind if you’re making a special trip.
- Adult admission is 800 yen.
- High school and Junior High school student admission is 500 yen.
- Elementary aged student admission is 100 yen.
- The venue doesn’t have a dedicated parking lot so it’s easier to get there via public transportation.
- By Train: The closest station to the Kyoto International Manga Museum is Karasuma Oike Station on either the Karasuma or the Tozai Kyoto Subway Lines. Head out of exit 2 at Karasuma Oike Station and the Museum is approximately 2 minutes on foot from there.
- By Bus: Hop on Kyoto city bus number 15, 51, or 65, and hop off at the Karasuma Oike bus stop.