Kyoto, a thousand-year-old city blessed with natural beauty, has been playing an important role in forming and fostering Japanese culture. The Museum of Kyoto was established in 1988 as a comprehensive cultural facility to introduce everyone to the history and culture of Kyoto. In 2011, the museum was re-opened after a total renovation to become a place to experience “honmamon,” or “the truly authentic things” of Kyoto. On the fourth floor of the main building there is a space for various special exhibitions and there are galleries on the second and third floors to exhibit the museum’s own collections of masterpieces that are associated with Kyoto and its artisanship. There is also a film theater located on the third floor where people can enjoy the classic films owned by Kyoto municipal government in a comfortable environment.
In addition to the main building, the museum owns a historic building of an old Kyoto branch of the Bank of Japan as an annex, which is designated as an Important Cultural Property. In the free access area on the first floor there are a museum shop, restaurants and a coffee shop, sake shop, and other specialty stores, and together recreating a historical narrow street (rouji) view in downtown Kyoto, which is constructed with continuous wood-sided buildings with beautiful wooden latticeworks.