This museum houses a collection of manga (comic books) not only by Japanese authors/illustrators but international artists as well. Found TinTin comic books in French too! A good opportunity for kids to interact with locals in the museum or at least be within sitting distance from each other.
There is a cafe within the museum for the adults to hang out in.
Shoes must be taken off before entering.
The International Manga Museum is a nostalgic museum housing thousands of manga from its earliest days at the beginning of the 20th century to today. The museum has very little information in English and even in Japanese there is not much info. It is not really meant to be an informative museum. Instead, it is mostly a place for Japanese people to come and read old manga that may not be around anymore or recall some of their old favorites. The building itself was once a school and there is information about the old school. They also have special exhibits (which cost more to see) and guest speakers.
The entrance fee is 500 yen. Generally unless you have a real passion for manga and/or are able to read Japanese (and want to come here to read), it is probably not worth it for most foreign visitors.
As a change from temples and gardens, it is well worth paying this museum a visit for a different perspective on Japanese culture.
The museum is relatively new, having opened in 2006, as a joint venture between Kyoto Seika University and the Kyoto city government.
If you are a manga fan, you will like the 'wall of manga' - essentially an open access library of almost 50,000 manga books, including some in foreign languages, such as English. If, like me, you know next to nothing about manga, you can find out about its history and production in the main exhibition room on the second floor.
You can also watch a picture story show (kamishibai) in the picture story show playhouse. There used to be 50,000 travelling picture story tellers, who would travel around by bicycle, with their picture story box on the back. Although this was in Japanese, we managed to get the gist, and the main 'feature', 'Appearance of the Golden Bat' had English subtitles. It was very entertaining, despite the language barrier and I also won a portrait of myself on a biscuit during the performance.
There is also a room giving the history of the Tatsuike Elementary School, which used to occupy the site of the museum.
At weekends there are workshops on drawing manga and other activities.
Opening hours are 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. every day except Wednesday and New Year Holiday. Photography is not allowed inside for copyright reasons. Eating and drinking is also not permitted inside, but your ticket is valid all day and you can go in and out during the day. The museum cafe is currently closed (April 2011).
Admission charges (April 2011) Adults 800 yen per person, high school and junior high school students 300 yen, elementary school students 100 yen.