Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design

Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design: Hours, Address, Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design Reviews: 4.5/5

Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design

Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
Encounter the beauty and technique of Kyoto traditional crafts We feature the history, processes etc.of each of the 74 kinds of traditional crafts, which have conveyed the history and culture of Kyoto with products and videos. Kyoto, the old capital, was established in 794 as Heian-kyo, and developed as the center of politics, culture and industry. Throughout history, Kyoto has kept taking in new ideas, while at the same time keeping the old ones, and has created various kinds of crafts by utilizing the advantage of a sophisticated design sense coupled with an advanced local economy. Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design is the place where many people discover the industry and culture of Kyoto as well as being introduced to the beauty and technique that have been inherited here.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: City Center
No district of Kyoto is quite as representative of its blended nature as the City Center. By day, the covered shopping arcades along Kawaramachi and Shijo Street bring deal hunters and fashionistas out in droves to peruse the clothing, accessories, gifts, and home goods offerings. When it grows dark, the City Center is a hip spot for nightlife, alive with bars and clubs. A trendy culinary scene and an abundance of local watering holes give the Center its youthful vibrancy. In contrast, the quieter areas of the City Center seem a world away, shielded from noise by the foliage of the public gardens and zen spaces surrounding the area's shrines, castles, and the Imperial Palace. These ancient and sacred spots are seamlessly folded into the scenery, providing a respite from the energy of the city, but close enough to put you directly back onto the pulse of the city when you're ready.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
173 reviews
Excellent
112
Very good
46
Average
12
Poor
1
Terrible
2

yussharifuddin
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia1 contribution
Business
Are you exploring Japanese culture and aesthetics in Kyoto? Please visit the Fureaikan first. It is worth its weight in gold. You'll learn and able to appreciate the diverse Japanese traditional crafts especially when many of these are especially unique to Kyoto and treasured in Japan. You can even buy some of the items on display. As the Fureaikan is housed in the Miyako Messe, which itself is located close to other musea such as MoMAK, you'll be able to immerse yourself in culture whole day at these locations.

By an impressed Malaysian.
Written October 11, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your warm review!! We are the only place where all the 74 categories of Kyoto traditional crafts can be discoverd at once. And this area has many museums, famous shrine 'Heian-jingu', big theater and so on. So you can enjoy all the day here.
Written November 18, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sue
Bonny Hills, Australia28 contributions
Couples
We chose to break away from our tour group to go to the craft museum, and see a little of the less touristy parts of Kyoto. The craft museum was a highlight for me. The amazing design, skill and workmanship that goes into Japanese craft is second to none. The displays on show are amazing, and I was lucky enough to talk to a man who carves the most intricate woodwork. He spoke no English, so one of the staff was more than happy to translate for us. I would like to add that this very skilled artist was also very very humble, and thrilled that I was so interested in his craft. Most crafts in Japan are still done using traditional tools and methods, and there are lots of opportunities here to see an important part of the real Japan. Their attention to detail, mindfulness, tradition and artistic design is something that I wont forget. For me the museum is a must see.
Written June 30, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear watonga29-san, Thank you for visiting our Fureaikan and your warm comment. We are very happy to know you enjoyed our museum very much. As you pointed out, seeing the delicate process of making or having chat with the craftmen would be one of our precious contents. And this is the only place where people can learn about all the 74 categories of traditional craft in Kyoto. If there are any friends who will visit kyoto, please recommend our museum! And we are looking forward to seeing you again here someday.
Written May 2, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

australiaman
Brisbane282 contributions
Solo
This museum is well worth a visit. You can get there by bus and there is a great temple across the road. In this museum there is a fine collection of Japanese dolls and other traditional craft objects. There are explanations about how the objects like fans, umbrellas, dolls, pottery, braids and furniture are made using traditional techniques. There are explanations in English. On the day I visited there were actual craftspeople making braids, gold application to metal and potters. Admission is free and the museum shop has the best quality and best priced souvenirs I saw during my visit to Kyoto. Not far from the museum is a place called the Traditional Crafts Centre. It is actually a souvenir shop that is way over priced. Buy your goodies at the museum shop instead.
Written October 3, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Emma S
Melbourne35 contributions
Couples
Also known as Fureaikan Museum. We loved this museum. Admission is free. There is a fabulous shop stocking examples of the crafts for sale with helpful staff, some of whom speak English.
It isn't large and the collection shows a concise set of examples for each craft represented (of which there are at least 50).
However what made this place great was the videos they had playing showing craftsmen and women at work making the things on display. Unfortunately there is no handy seating because I could have watched these for hours. I was hoping to be able to buy a copy on DVD in the shop but unfortunately it isn't available. These are fabulous to watch, and there's no commentary so no need to read subtitles, and give a really good idea of what is involved in making the various items. There are four or five of these playing in various corners of the display area each showing a different set of crafts.
The other thing that made this place great was the demonstration platforms they had scattered throughout the floor (there were 4 in use when we visited) on which craftsmen and women are sat making whatever they specialise in. One the day we visited there was a carpenter making beautiful small boxes and drawers, a fan maker printing the fan papers with intricate designs using inked woodblocks, a metalsmith making inlaid buckles and boxes, and a weaver using a small drum loom to make a multi-coloured silk cord for tying an obi (wide belt for a kimono). I'm not sure if it's always the same crafts being demonstrated or if they vary from time to time. You can ask questions or just stand and watch for as long as you like. Not all speak English but are willing to try and understand what you're asking and to give a response. Pointing and hand gestures can convey a remarkable amount we discovered!
We walked east along Nijo Dori to get here - it's about a leisurely 20 minute walk from the Teramachi. I'm sure there would be buses if you don't fancy walking. I've attached a website that gives you details of how to get here.
The museum is in a larger building that houses other exhibitions and centres. Keep walking downstairs to the basement floor. There are signs to help you find your way. Entry is through the shop.
Toilets, lifts, kiosk/drink machines etc are all provided as part of the overall exhibition building facility rather than in the museum itself. (Although there might be loos somewhere in there - I didn't notice.)
Written September 25, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DKBKK
Bangkok, Thailand72 contributions
Solo
Spend an hour or two appreciating fine examples of traditional Japanese crafts and learn about the processes behind making everything from kimono fabrics to kyoto-style roof tiles, woodblock prints, pottery, and lacquerware. The museum is free to the public, but if you want to spend some of your yen there's a nice shop with a range of mostly handcrafted items that make excellent gifts and souvenirs.
Written February 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear DKBKK-san, Thank you for your visit and comment for our museum. We are really excited to know you thought our museum was one of the best in Kyoto! Our museum is not well known but your comment will encourage the visitors to Kyoto. Once again, we appreciate for your kind comment. We all hope to see you again here in near future.
Written February 13, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Maitlandboy
Maitland, Australia459 contributions
Couples
If you want to see a Maiko (not sure if a real one or one for the tourists) then head along here on Sunday afternoon. The performance was enlightening & the crowd (rather small) was very respectfull. You can hunt around for days & nights in Gion seraching for a Maiko, or drop in here. If you happen to be in town whilst the Kyoto darts championship is on (in the same building) pop in there & you may see another Maiko, as we did & have ample photo opportunities.
Written March 18, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Pengapa
189 contributions
This place, which is in the museum and cultural precinct in Kyoto, Okazaki Koen, is a great place to learn about traditional arts and crafts of Kyoto. They don't have anything old and everything on display is new (and some are for sale) but they have videos to show the process of making traditional craft work). There is often a craftsman demonstrating their skills too. Once a month, they offer a short Maiko performance for free. It is for only about 10 minutes, but it is an opportunity view a real maiko dancing in a beautiful kimono and ornaments. So check out their website for their performance schedule when you are planning a Kyoto visit.
Written January 17, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Pengapa-san, Thank you for your visit and comment! We are happy to know you enjoyed our museum. Yes, the monthly Maiko performance day would be a good chance for visitors to meet the real Maiko and learn traditional crafts. Once again, we appreciate for your visit. We hope to see you again in near future!
Written January 17, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nine_Ate_Seven
Tokyo, Japan215 contributions
Family
Visitors to Japan (and residents, too) are often frustrated trying to find a deal in this country. If you like deals, how about this one? FREE!

And what do you get? An excellent overview and displays of top-quality Kyoto traditional arts and crafts, with videos of how it's done and even live demonstrations too if you are lucky or plan ahead. This museum would be worth it if the admission price was in the thousands of yen, but don't tell them that! Just enjoy what should be your very first stop in Kyoto (and hey, take in Heian Shrine when you are in the neighborhood...).

If you are visiting Kyoto, the center of traditional Japanese culture, then you must have at least a passing interest in traditional arts. The permanent exhibits include textile weaving and dying, ceramics, lacquerware, dolls, Buddhist altars and dozens more traditional Kyoto crafts. You can see a traditional Maiko dance or, for an additional fee, participate in a cloth dying workshop. There are also frequent special events, so a visit is always a surprise. Or check their excellent website for details before you go.

And guidance in English too? What more could you ask for? Oh yes, a nice museum shop with a range of items that you can buy for the folks back home. I make it a point to visit this place each time I find myself in Kyoto.
Written September 10, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Nine_Ate_Seven-san, Thank you for visiting our museum and your comment. We are very happy to know you like this and have visited several times! Kyoto has lots of traditional crafts(74 categories) and all of them are displayed here. As you pointed out, this museum is the best point for the visitors interested in crafts and the culture of Kyoto. Once again, thank you for your comment! We are looking forward to seeing you here again.
Written April 26, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Danielle E
Slimbridge, UK151 contributions
A real Maiko performs for 15 minutes several times on a Sunday afternoon which is fascinating in itself. Numerous crafts are also described and illustrated by videos

A highlight for me was to try some painting on fabric. You can decorate a t-shirt, bag or handkerchief for a ver reasonable amount with help at every step should you need it!

A great celebration of Japanese crafts
Written May 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kobekko
Kobe93 contributions
Friends
My apology for a rather incongruous introduction, but that is my honest overall impression of this interesting museum. Of course, dinosaur is an allegorical reference to the highly developed traditional Japanese crafts and artisanal skills the fate of which seems doomed in the long run. The naming as “museum” itself suggests the impending doom. Incidentally, the museum has reminded me of Musée du quai Branly in Paris, which displays many carcasses of sophisticated traditional African cultures and crafts that had met their premature death by the Western colonialism. This museum is no match to Musée du quai Branly, in terms of the scale and geographical coverage of collection. Instead, this museum displays a systematic collection of traditional Japanese handicrafts, which are still manufactures in Kyoto, to demonstrate that they collectively represent an integral part of the surviving traditional culture in Kyoto and, implicitly, their precarious existence in today’s world.

No living thing can survive once it loses its nurturing environment, and we have a long list of now extinct or endangered species of plants and animals. A sad truth is that this rule also applies to traditional cultures and crafts. The precarious existence of the traditional crafts, displayed in this museum can be easily inferred from China. It is worth noting that all the crafts on display can trace back their origins to Imperial China and, more importantly, that nothing comparable in sophistication is no longer manufactured in China today. In short, China has lost the nurturing environment for them. That makes it all the more commendable that Japan in general and Kyoto in particular have strived to keep traditional culture and crafts alive, against all odds that are attendant to so-called “progresses.” Nonetheless, their survival is far from assured, as many Japanese people today find these handicrafts featured in the museum superfluous for their living.

The museum has two other features worth mentioning. One such feature is its “library” facility. The visitors can peruse books and documents that describe the historical backgrounds as well as evolving design of traditional art crafts in Japan. The library also provides audio-visual facility for those who like to learn more about their manufacturing processes and techniques. The other feature is its special endeavor to amalgamate modern fashions and designs with traditional crafts and artisanal skills.
Perhaps some comments are in order on the artifacts on display. Again the comparison with Musée du quai Branly may help. The displays in the French museum show up as the “crème de la crème” of indigenous African crafts, even to the novice to African cultures. In comparison, the displays in this museum have no pedigree of antiquity, and may better be called “crème frais” of high quality, no doubt. In fact, some items on display have price tags and on sale. Furthermore, the museum has its own souvenir shop where many items of (I hope) genuine traditional Japanese handicrafts are on sale in the price range of “pocket money” for tourists.

Budget-conscious tourists may find the nearby Kyoto Handicraft Center more attractive, with more selections and cheaper prices. However, caution is advised not to suffer the ignominy of paying Japanese price for Chinese-made trinkets. Nowadays many cheap souvenir items of Japanese design or look come from China or elsewhere in Asia.

Having said that, I do remember the time when Japan did similar export as its business. I once travelled across the North American Continent by Greyhound bus, and at the end of the trip I wanted to buy a model greyhound bus as a memento. I had no trouble finding a shop and the model at the bus terminal, and the following conversation ensued between me and the shop attendant: “Hey, master; this item says “made in Japan!” “Yeah, but it is sold only in America!”
Written March 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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