Nerdy Travels is back baby! After my unintentional break from this series I am back and ready to dive back into all my wonderful travel memories. I also want to mention that for this post none of the photos included are my own as the museum was strict about photo taking and I wanted to be respectful whilst I was there.
When I was visiting Japan in 2017 we headed Kyoto for a large chunk of the trip. One of the places I knew I had to visit was the manga museum which sits happily in the middle of the city.
The Kyoto International Manga Museum is set in a former elementary school and keeps the schools history whilst also mixing in manga and its rich history. The museum was formed through the collaboration of the city of Kyoto and Kyoto Seika University In order to share, collect and preserve the wonderful culture of manga. The museum even has a cute little mascot named Mamyu.
The day we visited the museum we had picked the perfect day to do it. It was super rainy and miserable outside so it was ideal museum visiting weather. There was an entrance fee to the museum and it costs 800 yen each for adults.
The museum, to me wasn’t really a museum. It was styled more like a library more than anything. A manga library…every otaku’s dream. The entrance to the museum started off with the gift shop (smart move museum, I’m a sucker for gift shops). The shop then led into the museum where I was automatically met with bookshelf upon bookshelf of manga series ranging from series like Attack on Titan and Black Butler to series I had never even heard of before. One of the most unique and beautiful features I found whilst wandering around was that everywhere you went there were bookshelves and comfortable places to sit accompanied them so that anyone was free to sit and read at their leisure. Beanbags were sprawled out within rooms and both children and adults could be seen lounging with their head in a book. As a book lover myself I found this a wonderful and cozy sight to behold.
I remember wandering up to the second floor of the museum and wandering through the quiet hallway into each room to see what was to offer. Some of the rooms on the second level offered history about the school which was previously housed there. It had old photographs and all the portraits of every principal to work there. It was amazing to think that this museum was once a school and it was nice that they gave a space to appreciate the history of the building.
The section I remember most in the museum was the main library style area. Every wall was covered in bookshelves from top to bottom and it was all filled with manga dating from the 1960’s all the way up until the present. In the centre of the room was a display which was a timeline about manga and all kinds of information relating to the manga industry and its readers. I spent a long time just reading through each section and soaking up all that good manga knowledge. English speakers will be pleased to know that everything is translated for us foreigners.
The museum also had a little exhibition area which I really enjoyed looking around. I’m not sure if they change up the exhibits every so often but I know the one I saw was an older series about a really big dude who loves to cook. I cannot remember the name of the series but all of the artwork displayed was adorable and made me smile. It was just very wholesome and I wish I could remember the name of the series.
I cannot recommend checking out the Kyoto International Manga Museum enough. It is a perfect cute and cozy place to visit in Kyoto especially when the weather is not so great.
Until next time thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a great day!
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