Not far from Nijo Castle in Kyoto city center, is the International Manga Museum. Perhaps because it's not located in a city naturally thought as the manga capital, it remains quite unknown from travelers in Japan. But there is another reason: this museum is quite far from the idyllic picture of the manga reader in the West: generally the pimply teenager addicted to Naruto.
Built as a large library on three floors, Kyoto Manga Museum is actually very quiet. It holds an endless collection of volumes: 300,000 manga and documents according to the official brochure. Its central point is an impressive piece of permanent exhibition on the history of manga.
From its origins until today, each library will offer hundreds of available volumes, classified by year of release. Like others, I got caught up and I had a good time reading a few volumes of Dragon Ball, remembering my youth. It's even possible to take manga and go read them on the courtyard terrace, where Japanese children were doing their baseball training during our visit.
Obviously, all manga presented in this Museum are in original version, that's of course Japanese. We can find, however, some comics. For Japanese non-speakers, explanations and guidance are provided in five languages, including English.
How to get to International Manga Museum
By subway -- Karasuma-Oike station (5 minutes / ¥210 (~US$ 1.90) from Kyoto Station) and 2 minute walk
Location unreachable with the JR Pass
Get there with a rental car
General admission: ¥800 (~US$ 7.40)
Temporary exhibition: additional ¥500 (~US$ 4.60)
Get your Japanese Yens free of charge
Open daily from 10am to 6pm (last entry at 5:30)
Closed on Wednesday and during New Year holidays
On Sunday, students offer to draw you as a manga portrait (go early in the morning because their order book fills up fast)
How long / when to visit
One to several hours
Ideal on a bad weather day
Avoid holidays because of the crowd
京都国際マンガミュージアム (Kyoto Kokusai Manga Museum)
Weather in Kyoto
8 / 12°C
6 / 11°C
Stay connected with a Pocket Wifi in Japan
Discover Japanese candies (5% discount)
Official website (in English)