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“Fascinating insights and you can try too!”

Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts Fureaikan
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Private Custom Tour: Kyoto in One Day
Ranked #72 of 1,263 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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. The Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts 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.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator, Lockers / storage
Reviewed May 28, 2014 via mobile

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

5  Thank Danielle E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 18, 2014

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.

6  Thank Maitlandboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2014

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!”

5  Thank kobekko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

Free Maiko dance every Sunday afternoon. Craftsmen and craftswomen would show how to do some of the most famous traditional crafts there during week days and weekends. Display some of the most prominent crafts as well. Experiencing Yuzen dyeing there as well. The price for Yuzen dyeing varies from the products one choose to do. The staffs there might not speak good English, and the Yuzen dyeing class were instructed in Japanese. However, the steps are simple and the staffs are friendly, they'll show you step by step quite slowly. For Yuzen dyeing experience, one might need at least an hour to do it. Maiko dance would last 15 minutes each session.

1  Thank Stephanie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2013

This year was no exception. I visited just after visiting two exhibitions at the Municipal art gallery.

My goodness, what luck, there was a whole art festival going on, on the ground floor works by various artists in all kinds of media, next door an art competition, three groups of artists competing against each other to complete an interesting piece of work all to the background of music. In the process they got quite covered in paint themselves, clearly enjoying every moment of it. Then next to that were stands selling all kinds of artistic media, paint brushes paints etc.

One guy I noticed was selling those special knives which it seemed he made from old pieces of iron, I suppose because old iron was made in a way which gave knives a particular edge. The prices of the knives was impressive for such un-impressive looking blades, it not seeming unusual for some such blades to cost not in the twenties or forties of euros but occasionally in the hundreds!

I spent quite a bit of time looking at girls/ladies making little wooden spoons. What particularly caught my eye were the tiny wooden planes they were using to shave wood from the handles, once again those unusual blades were in evidence.

After I was tired of wandering around there I was about to leave when I noticed a sign pointing upstairs - Art Dive, Kyoto art festival, so there was even more, perhaps hundreds of young artists showing their works some actually working on live projects as we watched apparently 400 stands, 650 artists!

Perhaps not like that every year but worth visiting all the same for the arts and crafts museum.

Thank abriwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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