Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art
The Local Exhibition of a World-class Collection
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art is an institution mainly specialized in Japanese arts, located in front of Okazaki canal in Sakyo ward in the west of the city. Since the last few years, the gallery endeavored to expand its reputation in Kansai area and beyond with exhibitions focusing on international artists such as René Magritte or Renoir.
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art opened to the public in 1933 and was intended as a celebratory gallery for Emperor Hirohito’s enthronement that took place in 1928. It was then the second largest exhibition site in Japan. The unique western-style building designed by architect Kenjiro Maeda shelters artworks spanning more than a 1,200-year period related to the ancient imperial capital. Nowadays, the museum also welcomes renowned artists from all over the world and frequently displays artworks lent by the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The museum is easily found in Okazaki, a modern area dedicated to contemporary culture. From the exit of Higashiyama metro, the direction is clearly indicated by many signs with English translation and the path leads to a large avenue called Jingu-michi. In the middle of it stands Heian-jingu shrine's huge torii ⛩️ that looks like a red bridge between the National Museum of Modern Arts on its left and the Municipal Museum of Art on its right. Kyoto City Zoo is also located nearby, which makes the area particularly attractive to Japanese families.
Renewal in 2020: Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art
An important renovation and modernization of the main building was carried out between 2017 and 2019. The museum was renamed after Kyocera, a worldwide company originating from Kyoto, as it was the main financial contributor to the rehabilitation works. A newly constructed plaza makes the visit of the area more pleasant. In 2023, the museum will celebrate its 90th anniversary.
The art gallery is included in a cultural and historical tour that links the ancient glory of Kyoto to the contemporary world. The area and the streets recently rearranged around the entrance of Heian-jingu will certainly participate in a touristic impetus, where visitors will easily navigate between contemporary exhibitions and the refinement of the Japanese heritage.