Kyotomangekyo Museum – Kyoto, Japan - Atlas Obscura

Kyotomangekyo Museum

Visitors to this museum will discover that kaleidoscopes are much more than toys.  


Most people see kaleidoscopes as simple toys with a limited amount of patterns. However, nothing is further from the truth as is showcased by a small museum in Kyoto.

The Kyotomangekyo Museum has an ever-growing collection of over 400 kaleidoscopes made by both Japanese and international artists. These vary in size, shape, and the way that they make their images. Some use oil to make slowly changing shapes, others contain more transitional collections of beads and sand.

There are even kaleidoscopes that use glass beads or scarves to create their images. Perhaps most impressive of all is the hourly projection event, where bright lights are shown through some kaleidoscopes in order to fill the walls with beautiful patterns. 

Besides looking at them, visitors can also buy their own kaleidoscope or even craft their own. 

Know Before You Go

See the website for opening hours and prices.

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December 5, 2022

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