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Must-See Museums in Kyoto

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.

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8 Tours and Activities | All Kyoto Tours

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8 Hours Tour In Kyoto With A Local: Private & Personalized

8 Hours Tour In Kyoto With A Local: Private & Personalized

star-4.5
This personalized full-day Kyoto tour with a local is ideal for first-time visitors to the "City of Temples". You won’t waste a moment visiting places that don’t interest you as this tour is fully customizable based on your interests. Choose the neighborhoods you’d like to visit, and see many of Kyoto’s top sites. Exploring the city with a guide means you won’t get lost, and you'll learn lots of local tips that you wouldn’t discover otherwise.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$174.01
Price varies by group size
From
$174.01
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Morning Tour - Golden Pavilion and Kyoto Imperial Palace from Kyoto

Kyoto Morning Tour - Golden Pavilion and Kyoto Imperial Palace from Kyoto

star-4
Marvel at the some of the top UNESCO World Heritage-listed temples and palaces of ancient Kyoto on this half-day tour. This quick introduction to the sights of Kyoto covers Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), and the Japanese Emperor’s former Imperial Palace—a perfect way to see the city if you’re short on time. Your guided morning Kyoto excursion includes entrance fees and transport between sites by coach.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.52
From
$69.52
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Samurai Experience

Kyoto Samurai Experience

star-5
Immerse yourself in Samurai history and culture during this 2-hour Samurai experience at a traditional Kyoto Samurai House. Under the guidance of an expert Samurai instructor, learn the philosophies of Bushido, the ‘Way of the Warrior; handle a real katana sword; and take part in a Zen meditation session.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$117.49
From
$117.49
Taking safety measures

Guided Tour + Samurai & Ninja Experience

Guided Tour + Samurai & Ninja Experience

star-4.5
Fans of samurai and ninja history won’t want to miss wielding a real katana sword while in Kyoto. From the Heian period through the collapse of the Tokugawa shogunate, samurai and ninja roamed Kyoto’s streets. Get an immersive tour of these heroes’ history as a professional guide leads you through the Samurai and Ninja Museum. Your hands-on experience includes wearing samurai armor, wielding katana and ninja stars, and posing with replica swords.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$26.93
From
$26.93
Taking safety measures

Total Kyoto - Full Day Kyoto by Day and after Dusk Small Group Tour

Total Kyoto - Full Day Kyoto by Day and after Dusk Small Group Tour

star-5
On this small group tour, you’ll save time researching Kyoto highlights by having a guide to show you top attractions (such as Tofukuji Temple), as well as hidden sites that locals love. You’ll cover a lot of ground, and see multiple districts, including Kyoto’s Geisha district—Gion. Kyoto comes to life at night with lantern-lit streets, so this tour makes sure you don’t miss out on that by having an ‘after dusk’ section too.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$181.63
From
$181.63
Taking safety measures

Nijo Castle and Imperial Palace Visit with Private Guide

Nijo Castle and Imperial Palace Visit with Private Guide

star-4.5
Get a deeper insight into Japanese history than would be possible independently on this private guided tour of Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace. As you explore the historic buildings, enjoy the undivided attention of your guide who introduces you to Japan's Edo period when it was under the control of a shogunate, and the establishment of Kyoto, the ancient capital.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$117.37
Price varies by group size
From
$117.37
Price varies by group size

Miho Museum Admission with Private Transport from Kyoto

Miho Museum Admission with Private Transport from Kyoto

star-3
Leave Kyoto and travel by private vehicle to the Miho Museum in a tranquil area of the Shiga Prefecture. The museum has two claims to fame: first, its striking I.M. Pei–designed architecture and second, its hoard of Japanese artwork. The portfolio of art was amassed by Koyama Mihoko, the head of the Shinki Shumeikai faith, and includes Japanese porcelain, textiles and relics alongside ancient Egyptian antiquities and more. Learn all about the art and its owner as you explore independently.
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  • 5 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$194.84
Price varies by group size
From
$194.84
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Family Day In Kyoto With A Local: Private & Personalized

Family Day In Kyoto With A Local: Private & Personalized

star-5
If you’re traveling to Kyoto with kids, and are looking for a way to keep them interested, this is the perfect tour. You’ll explore the city with a guide, so you won’t have to worry about getting lost. Visit lots of family-friendly spots, including temples, gardens, restaurants, and fun museums—such as the Railway Museum. It’s a great way to get local tips, discover family-friendly areas, and also get your bearings of Kyoto.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$186.92
Price varies by group size
From
$186.92
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures