Sumiya Motenashi Cultural and Art Museum

Sumiya Motenashi Cultural and Art Museum, Kyoto: Hours, Address, Sumiya Motenashi Cultural and Art Museum Reviews: 4/5

Sumiya Motenashi Cultural and Art Museum

Sumiya Motenashi Cultural and Art Museum
4
Speciality Museums
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10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Shimogyo-ku
Shimogyo-ku is centered around the busy train hub, Kyoto Station. A nexus for commerce, shopping, dining, and hotels, the Shimogyo-ku area is infused with tourists and local business travelers, making it a competitive location for ever-new commercial structures. The shops and cafes here are chic and trendy, as a result, with many recognizable chains. Commuters flood the Shimogyo-ku area twice a day, and with Kyoto Station itself being a modern mega-complex and an architectural marvel, this neighborhood is one of the most contemporary and energetic areas that the city has to offer. Buildings here look futuristic, and huge department stores, shopping arcades, and public meeting spaces provide every possible convenience. It is also nearly the only place in Kyoto where rooftop dining and socializing is available, completing its modern tone.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.0
49 reviews
Excellent
24
Very good
17
Average
5
Poor
2
Terrible
1

singinggigi
California2,150 contributions
I was introduced to this area by a local friend. I was looking for off-the-beaten path areas to explore. Sure enough Sumiya fits the bill.

Sumiya is situated in the Shimabara area on the west side of Kyoto. This area was an entertainment/ geisha district called hanamachi. It was popular with the affluent and elite in the 1600s-1700s.
With the moving of the capital to Tokyo and its relatively isolated location ( from the other hanamachi such as gion), Shimabara fell out of favor as an gets his district. Sumiya is now a cultural museum.
It consists of 3 buildings purchased over time. That explains why it has a relatively large frontage compared to other machiya style building.

The first floor consists of the big kitchen area and several rooms. It was cherry blossom time when I went and the garden was beautiful. Explanation was given by volunteers in Japanese but English printed brochures are available.

A visit to the 2 nd floor requires a prior reservation. Again explanation was given in Japanese. I would still recommend visiting the 2nd floor because of the ornate decorations. One room was called the fan room with traditional fans on the ceilings. Each fan surface was either painted by artists or customers who visited the Sumiya. The same room has a small stage for performance. I particularly like the mother-of- Pearl room. The room opens into the garden. It was decorated with different Chinese-inspired motifs made out of mother-of-Pearl.
This used to be a popular hangout place for the police force back in the days. However, the bill was running high and was not paid on time. One of the police members visited the Sumiya and was denied service unless the bill was paid. He got furious, pulled out his sword and smashed it onto the pillars in the mother-of-Pearl room. The markings of the sword can still be clearly seen.

Admission is 1000 yen per adult. I went in with my kimono and I got a 500 yen discount.
The front desk people were very kind. They called a taxi for us when we were leaving.
Backpacks must be checked on entrance.

Sumiya is open from mid- match to mid July and again from mid-September to mid-December. It opens from 10-4 and is closed Monday's.

It was well worth the visit. As a matter of fact, I went back a 2nd time just to visit the first floor and admire the garden. Unlike kiyomizudera or kinkakuji, this is not packed with tourists who are fighting for resources. Highly recommend this place.

Written April 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

brixtontrev
United Kingdom1,492 contributions
Friends
This place is a real find and usually off the beaten tourist track for non Japanese. To get the best its advisable to have the benefit of an interpreter. We hired a Japanese tour guide for the day as we were also visiting two other places where only Japanese is spoken. Photos can be taken downstairs but not upstairs. The tour lasts quite a while and isn't suitable for children. The place is very well preserved and has a great history for anyone interested in such things as the Bakamutsu period (Katsu Kaishu, Saigo Takamori, Ryoma Sakamoto and the Shinsengumi used to visit the place). Tours need to be scheduled and this can be done from the Tourist Information Office at Kyoto main station of by a local guide if one is hired.Admission is charged at the front desk on arrival
Written April 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Flora L
Seattle, WA185 contributions
Couples
This was one of the best things we saw in Kyoto. The house was in the entertainment district of Old Kyoto. The architecture is unique and dates back 300 years. Little details like the sword cuts made by brawling samurai lend authenticity to the docent tour of the house. Even though we do not speak Japanese, we took the tour to go upstairs and see the well-preserved decorations and rooms. A memorable trip back to Old Kyoto.
Written August 23, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Natalie C
Wellington, New Zealand122 contributions
Couples
This property has been owned by the same family for many generations and was built in the 1700s , the family has preserved it well and run it as a walk through museum. Unfortunately there is limited information available in English , they give you a document with a general overview but an English tour guide would have been great. The tour is self guided , cost 1000yen per adult and would take around 20 mins .
Written April 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jules255100
Melbourne, Australia134 contributions
Solo
Sumiya cultural museum is a former "entertainment house", in the original geisha district of Kyoto. It has a walled exterior, and once entering the property, you step into a rich cultural past.
You can walk through the rooms for entertaining, with beautiful artworks; the large cooking area, and delightful small gardens.
Written March 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CynthiaCanberra
Australia174 contributions
This is a fascinating historical building over 300 years old. It was a geisha house. It is interiors are stunning with beautiful art work and screens. The enclosed gardens are exquisite. A wonderful insight into life then.
Written November 14, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

PvcM
Alexandria, VA126 contributions
Friends
The is an excellent house museum that few foreigners know about (notice the Japanese only reviews). Well worth a visit to see how the 1% entertained themselves in samurai days. Great gardens and indoor rooms.
Written April 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Sumiya Motenashi Cultural and Art Museum

Sumiya Motenashi Cultural and Art Museum is open:
  • Tue - Sun 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

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