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Breathing New Life into Old Kyoto

Museum Trains Theater Learning Japanese Old Townscape Kyoto Kansai
Breathing New Life into Old Kyoto

Let's face it: Kyoto is old! But Kyoto is made even more fascinating by its mix of old and new. The government of Kyoto is working on rebranding by promoting new landmarks alongside the historical spots of the former capital. Follow us as we check out four of the newer sites that will definitely make history in their own right.

4. Kyoto Train Museum

After a huge success with the Train Museum in Kanto, there's another Train Museum in Kyoto that opened in 2016. Similar to the one in Saitama, it exhibits the history and evolution of trains in Kansai area and some of the more famous trains that improved transportation in Kansai. It also has quite a few workshops and events throughout the year to educate the public on trains.

Address: Kankijicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8835

3. Kanji Museum

Kanji characters were imported to Japan from China, but they play a major part of Japanese culture. There are even some self-professed "kanjiphiles" who obsess over learning as many of these characters as possible. To educate everyone about kanji, especially Japanese schoolchildren, the Kanji Museum opened up in 2016 in what used to be a school building. There are various games and exhibitions on the history of kanji and the relationship between kanji and Japanese culture. It's a very fun place not only for kids but for anyone who wants to learn more about the logographic language! And it's a good chance to go beyond the 33 "survival kanji" you can learn here.

Address: 551 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0074

- (Japanese)

2. Rohm Theatre Kyoto

Previously named Kyoto Kaikan, this concert hall and cultural center was renovated and re-opened in January 2016 with a brand new image and a new name: Rohm Theatre Kyoto. A new name, a new look and new show technology...but that's not all! The Rohn Theatre also comes with a chic and elegant Tsutaya bookstore that's as stylish as its Daikanyama and Roppongi Hills sister stores! Why not unwind with a good book and a Starbucks coffee?

After coffee, grab dinner at the Kyoto Modern Terrace restaurant in the theater, trying out the fusion cuisine of Western and Japanese. After dinner, it's time for a concert or stage play. It's easy to spend a whole day at Rohm Theatre!

Address: 13 Okazaki Saishojicho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8342

1. Dreamton Village

On our next stop, we see the Union Jack, English signboards, British huts... where are we?!

We are still in Kyoto, of course, at one of the new touristic spots: Dreamton Village, which replicates a British hamlet. Inside Dreamton Village, you'll see stores selling imported British good, restaurants featuring fish and chips, a bakery selling British pastries, and how can we leave out the tea shops for a spot of British tea. The next time you're craving something British, you just need to take shinkansen to Kyoto instead of a transatlantic flight. By the way, Dreamton Village accepts Japanese Yen, not Great British Pounds.

Address: 12 Mizukumi, Nishibetsuincho Yunohara, Kameoka-shi, Kyoto, 621-0124

- (Japanese)