The weather had cleared up nicely now, and having already seen Nijo Castle, the Kitano Tenmangu shrine, the Hirano shrine, and the magnificent Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion) all in one day (our second but first full day in Kyoto), Ryan and I decided to take a nice long tourist stroll through an older part of Kyoto and slowly but surely make our way through to the Kyoto International Manga Museum, a place of significant interest to me.
The streets here were particularly narrow, there were loads of interesting sites to take notice of, lots of spiritual spots as well, and we even found ourselves taking a short hop on a very small train that traveled along a very narrow set of tracks!
(And say what you want to about Eskom, but our suburban power lines look a hundred times better than those in old Kyoto! Talk about a birds nest of wires…)
Eventually we made our way to the doors of the Kyoto International Manga Museum, which is housed in an old elementary school in Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto.
In my late teens and most of my twenties, I found myself enamored by the anime and manga scene, a natural offshoot of my obsession with comic books that had entertained me since my early teenage years.
Basically what I’m trying to say is that a visit to the Kyoto International Manga Museum can pretty much be equated with that of a Holy Pilgrimage for me! :)
Opened in November of 2006, the manga museum consists of three floors and a basement, with most of its walls lined with shelf upon shelf of manga. Browsing this massive collection of over 300,000 manga items (which includes such rarities as Meiji period magazines and postwar rental books) is one of the museum’s main attractions.
A small section of the books is dedicated to foreign and translated manga, but the vast majority is in Japanese.
The museum has loads of areas dedicated for just sitting down and reading, and you can even grab some books and chill out on the artificial turf lawn in front of the building if you want.
Ryan opted not to pay the entrance fee and enter with me, choosing rather to chill outside with a couple of podcasts – thus leaving me to navigate the slice of manga heaven on my own.
Fronted by a massive Osamu Tezuka Phoenix wall sculpture, for the next hour or so I completely lost myself, moving slowly through all the exhibits (Kantai Collection was being highlighted during my visit), taking time to thumb through dozens of famous manga titles, and literally walk out completely energized in terms of my artistic ambitions.
What. An. Absolutely. Amazing. Treat.
No wonder I completely forgot to take photographs whilst I was inside! :)
Oh, and on the way back to our part of Kyoto, we did stumble across this amazing LEGO rendition of the impressive and modern Kyoto Station – which I guess was pretty cool too…
A couple more pics:
(The evening was spent eating supper, drinking beer, and wandering around a super busy, super modern shopping district of Kyoto, which again I completely neglected to take photos of. Not that my phone or camera takes decent night photos anyway…)