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Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts

Get your hands dirty — or just view thousands of years of traditional art for free.

This tranquil museum is an opportunity to discover — and even make your own — handicrafts from all over Japan.  This lesser-known museum offers up a close look into some of Kyoto’s most beautiful creations through thousands of year of history. Found in the basement floor of  the Miyako Messe building near Heian Jingu Shrine, it’s an easy stop during your travels in Kyoto.

If you are interested in crafting of any kind, or just interested in how things are made, you can easily spend hours in this museum admiring the history behind each piece.

Small screens line the walls next to each display, showing in detail how the craft is made. Watch artisans make folding fans, dye kimonos in intricate patterns, or carve panels of wood for festival floats. Occasionally, these craftsmen have live performances, so you can actually see how each one is produced by artisans right in front of you.

Free performance

Once a month, enjoy a live maiko stage dance set up in the museum. These geishas-in-training will perform a traditional dance from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. If you get the chance, be sure to check these special performances out, especially because they’re free of charge. When you’re done admiring the hundreds of crafts on display, take a look at the shop attached to the museum to buy plenty of souvenirs.


If you haven’t had enough crafting for one day, try it yourself. The museum also offers a yuzen (traditional method of dyeing) cloth dying experience. Choose a handkerchief, fan, t-shirt, or tote bag and try the traditional technique yourself. This one in particular is great for children, but there are always special events going on a this museum.

Want to know more about Japan’s museums? Go here.

Things To Know


9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Prices for workshops range from ¥900 to ¥2000. Admission is free.

How To Get There


Nijo Dori, Okazaki Seishōjichō, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 606-8343, Japan

By train

Take the Tozai Line to Higashiyama Station and walk about 10 minutes.

By bus

Take the 5, 32, 46, or 100 bus to Higashiyama Nijo,Okazaki Koen-guchi bus stop, Okazaki Koen/Bijutsukan,Heian Jingu-mae bus stop, or Okazaki Koen/ROHM Theatre,Miyakomesse bus stop.

Where To Stay

Rinn Niomon
  • 475-1 Kitamonzencho, Kyoto-shi Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8352 Japan
  • ¥11,900 - ¥146,300
  • 5/5 (9 reviews)
  • 0.4 km
Stay Sakura Kyoto Gion North
  • 528-7 Higashimonzencho, Kyoto-shi Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8345 Japan
  • ¥12,033 - ¥25,333
  • 4/5 (10 reviews)
  • 0.4 km
Fufu Kyoto
  • 41 Nanzenji Kusagawacho, Kyoto-shi Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8437 Japan
  • ¥80,600 - ¥126,800
  • 4.57/5 (65 reviews)
  • 0.5 km
Higashiyama Shikikaboku
  • 85-1 Imakojicho, Kyoto-shi Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0023 Japan
  • ¥70,272 - ¥320,094
  • 5/5 (26 reviews)
  • 0.5 km
The Hotel Higashiyama by Kyoto Tokyu Hotel
  • 175-2 Ebisucho, Kyoto-shi Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0033 Japan
  • ¥26,105 - ¥426,678
  • 4.47/5 (58 reviews)
  • 0.5 km