Sep. 18, 2018 UPDATE

Kahitsukan – Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art

- 何必館・京都現代美術館 -
Enjoy contemporary art at Kahitsukan in Gion
Kahitsukan is a 5-story museum of contemporary art located in the always popular Geisha district of Gion. The “kahitsu” in the name of this museum comes from a Chinese proverb meaning “not necessarily,” which is also the kind of free and questioning attitude the director of the museum would like all of us to have. Their collections center on the works of the Japanese-style painter Kagaku Murakami, the western-style painter Kaoru Yamaguchi, and the works of Rosanjin Kitaoji, whose work ranges from pottery and seal-engraving to paintings. In their collection, they also have all kinds of works by contemporary artists from Japan and abroad, such as paintings, crafts, photographs, and calligraphy. The museum holds thematic exhibitions all through the year, where they display artwork from their collection according to that theme. Inside the atmosphere of the museum is a completely different from the noisy buzz of the city surrounding it, and you can look at the works of art in peace. When you are sightseeing in Gion, I definitely hope you will also go to Kahitsukan.
Rosanjin Kitaoji Room
Rosanjin Kitaoji Room
On the basement floor of the museum, you can find the exhibition highlighting works by Rozanjin Kitaoji. You can see all kinds of works by him, including his most famous work, this bowl with Japanese camellias on it.
Sun Garden and tea room
Sun Garden and tea room
In the highest floor of the building, on the 5th floor, you can find a small garden and a tea room. There is a maple tree in the garden, and the roof the garden lets in light making the garden feel mysterious. The amount of light entering the room changes depending on the time, so the scenery you see is also different every time you go to the garden. In the tea room, you can find a painting hung on the wall just like a hanging scroll.
2.8 experience2.5 access3.0 photogenic3.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
2.8 experience2.5 access3.0 photogenic3.0
I was surprised to find a museum looking this simple and modern in the middle of Gion among souvenir shops. The Sun Garden on the 5th floor is a mystical otherworldly space which I like quite a lot. This is a small, quiet museum where you can take your time to appreciate contemporary art.
3.5 experience3.5 access4.0 photogenic3.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.5 experience3.5 access4.0 photogenic3.0
Kahitsukan – Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art / 何必館・京都現代美術館
Category Museums & Galleries
Phone +81 75-525-1311
Address 271 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0073
Directions The museum is a 3-minute walk from Keihan Gion-Shijo Station or a 5-minute walk from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station.
Open Hours 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Entrance until 5:30 p.m.)
Reservations -
Closed Mondays, end of the year holidays, and when preparing exhibitions.
Price range
Adults: 1,000 yen, students: 800 yen, elementary school students and below: free.
Credit cards Not accepted.
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
The museum is surrounded by sightseeing spots so it is easy to access. It is not crowded so you can take your time to see the artworks.
Information Japanese and English.
Lanuages spoken Only in Japanese.
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