The Kyoto National Museum is dedicated to exploring the history of Japan, primarily through arts and industrial crafts. The largest number of artifacts come from the centuries when Kyoto was the capital of Japan. Archeological remains of some of Japan's earlier history are also displayed and preserved at the museum.
The museum can be reached by train and then by taxi or on foot.
The museum is a five-minute walk from Shichijo Station on the Keihan Line or a 20-25-minute walk (or quick taxi ride) from Kyoto Station.
The distinctive gates and red brick building, currently used for special exhibitions, are historically important in their own right. The building was first opened in 1897 and showcases the Western influence on Japanese design during the Meiji period. It is now used primarily for special exhibitions.
A newer, more modern building houses the permanent exhibitions. The items on show change often, with rotating displays from the museum's permanent collection, long-term loans from temples and shrines, and special touring exhibitions.
The official website of the museum offers excellent explanations of selected items in their collection in English for those who are interested in enhancing their understanding of Japanese history, religion and culture either before or after their visit.
The museum grounds offer both a souvenir shop and cafe. Admission is not required to visit either.