The Kyoto International Manga Museum, Kyoto, Japan

A Library Planet post by Annie Wu.

Kyoto International Manga Museum was established to gather, preserve and exhibit manga materials and to be a centre for research into manga culture. The space simultaneously serves as a library and a museum, with around 300,000 manga products in its collection, including books, periodicals and woodblock caricature prints.

The exterior of the Kyoto International Manga Museum.

These pieces range from post-war rental books to contemporary popular series and publications from Japan and other countries. Through exhibitions, seminars and workshops, the museum communicates the findings from studies based on items in the collection.

As you first enter the museum, you are met with a lively and bright atmosphere created by the hospitable staff. Initially, you are greeted with a large souvenir shop, and rows upon rows of “Gashapon” machines, one of Japan’s most irresistible trademarks in easy-access entertainment.

The Museum’s ‘Wall of Manga’.

One of the most eye-catching features of the Kyoto International Manga Museum is its “Wall of Manga”, the museum’s collection of approximately 50,000 works from the 1970s onwards, that are available to the public. In addition, the museum’s principal exhibition, “What is Manga?”, answers questions about the manga industry, including the making of manga and its fundamental principles.

Interactive workshops are held where people can learn about manga production, whilst learning how to draw and colour in manga and anime styles. The museum also features a manga studio, where you are able to watch professional manga artists as they draw manga from the initial pencil sketch. Finally, a performance troupe regularly performs “Kamishibai”, a traditional Japanese style of storytelling with pictures – a historic, well-known and enjoyable form of street entertainment.

The museum is open from 10:30 am to 5.30 pm, five days a week, with closures on Tuesday and Wednesday. Kyoto International Manga Museum is an excellent place for a quiet getaway with family and friends. It offers easy exploration of and insight into the vast world of manga.


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