Jul. 28, 2021 UPDATE
Strolling like a local ― Okazaki and Nanzen-ji temple
Part 3

4 places you must visit around Okazaki

As one of Kyoto’s leading cultural and artistic areas, Okazaki is naturally full of wonderful museums. Its history is rooted in Kyoto’s role as a cultural center beginning over 1200 years ago in the Heian Period.
Visitors to Okazaki’s museums can enjoy popular traveling exhibitions from Japan and around the world, as well as special exhibitions unique to the artistic city of Kyoto. The area is also often used as a venue for local art activities, so anyone wishing to learn about the current Kyoto art scene cannot go wrong heading to Okazaki.
Museums are great not only for the content of their exhibitions, but also for the charm of the museum buildings themselves. Be sure to enjoy the many beautiful buildings constructed in harmony with their surrounding environment.
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art
Submissions “based on Japanese sentiments” were widely recruited for the design of the main building, constructed in 1933. From art exhibitions by locals and laypeople to popular worldwide touring exhibitions of impressionists and other famous artists, this museum holds special exhibitions all year long.
MOMAK - The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
Both a gathering place and launching ground for modern art in Kyoto, this museum exhibits Japanese modern art as well as art pieces from abroad. The “MoMAK Films” film center and the open terrace of the glass-sided “Cafe 505” are must-sees. The film center, jointly sponsored by the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, shows domestic and foreign rare films for limited time periods, so film buffs should make sure to check the program.
Hosomi Museum
Hosomi Museum is a new museum that was built very recently. Its exhibitions consist mainly of the collection of businessman Hosomi Ryo, and cover almost all periods and spheres of Japanese arts and crafts. They include everything from art pieces such as calligraphy and paintings to crafts such as cloisonné ware and ceramics. The museum also has a tea room offering tea ceremony experiences, and is recommended as a place to immerse oneself in Japanese culture.
Kyoto City Zoo
This historical zoo is said to be the second oldest in Japan. Riding the wave of the “animal behavior exhibition boom” that happened in Japan around the year 2000, Kyoto City Zoo was magnificently renovated in 2015. Various techniques allow visitors not only to get close to the animals, but also enjoy seeing them in their natural environment even more realistically than in a safari park. Not too big and not too small, the zoo’s compact scale is also part of its appeal.

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