Did you know that the International Manga Museum is in Kyoto? I didn’t either. Till we accidentally drove past it.
There are some exhibits in the galleries upstairs, and I saw original Range Murata drawings and some huge prints of his finished work. There was a cast of Hayao Miyazaki’s hand. There were a lot of visitors dressed up like their favorite characters, and it made me feel at home, like I was visiting Comic Con a little early. All these things were what I expected to see.
But what I didn’t expect was that the vast majority of the space in the two-story building was lined with books. Tall, unending shelves of them. It starts downstairs and continues upstairs. And every so often there is a bench with someone reading. The core of the upstairs was a very tall gallery with Manga arranged neatly from 1945 to 2010. You could read whatever you wanted. People were sitting on benches and sofas, catching up on stories that began before they were born. That’s really what this place is, a massive reading room and repository for Manga culture.
No picture taking is allowed in the main room or the galleries but I’m sure they have a website you could visit to get a better image of the place.