Tracing the History of Manga

These days, "manga" is the face of Japanese culture. Translated into many languages, these comics are loved all over the world. This course traces the roots of Japanese manga.

(About 6 hours)

1. Kozan-ji Temple →13:00 - 14:30
Located in Toganoo, Kyoto, this temple is famous for possessing Japan's oldest manga, the "Choju Jinbutsu Giga" ("The Scroll of Frolicking Animals and Humans"), which was created between the 12th and 13th centuries. The scroll drawing, which Osamu Tezuka, one of the most prominent manga authors in Japan and the creator of the world-known "Astro Boy," deemed a major influence on his work, features frogs, rabbits and other animals, frolicking about and engaged in tiny dramas. The work supposedly satirizes nobles, priests, and other persons of high class from the period. Kozan-ji Temple is also famous for the superb view from the veranda of Sekisui-in. Take in the vast mountains of Toganoo in one, sweeping gaze.

* Hours: 8:00 - 17:00
* Address: 8 Toganoo-cho Umegahata Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City
* Access: 8-minute walk from JR bus stop Toganoo
*Be sure to check the bus schedule for your return tip. Buses are infrequent.
* Closed: Not closed on holidays
* Entrance fees: 600 yen (In autumn, a special fee of 500 yen is required to enter the mountain area)

JR Bus Line Takao Keihoku: Togano bus stop to Shijo Omiya bus stop: About 40 minutes
Hankyu Line: From Shijo Omiya Station to Kawaramachi Station: About10 minutes

2. Daisho-do→15:30 - 16:30
Specialty store selling rare items such as Japanese antique books, woodblock prints and others. Several centuries after the "The Scroll of Frolicking Animals and Humans", came Ukiyo-e (woodblock print). These images of urban culture and amusement were extremely popular among commoners in the Edo Period (1603-1868) and were often displayed in homes. In their time, ukiyo-e occupied a place similar to today's manga in that they were staples of popular culture. You can purchase ukiyo-e, Japanese books, at "Daisho-do." Facing a row of temples, this shop carries high quality items but also sells comparatively affordable replicas. The store will wrap and package your purchases and send it by airmail to almost anywhere around the world.

* Hours: 11:00 - 19:30
* Address: Nishiki-koji agaru Teramachi Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City
* Access: 5-minute walk from Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line
10-minute walk from Shijo Station on the Keihan Line
* Closed: Wednesdays

<15-minute walk>

3. Kyoto International Manga Museum→17:00 - 19:00
Opened in November 2006, this is Japan's largest manga museum. The "Manga Expo" contains international comics and Japanese manga translated into many languages. Read "Astro Boy" in English, or "Dragon Ball" in Spanish. Approximately 5,000 Japanese works are translated together with about 420 comics from around the world. View valuable comics and feel free to read any of the hundreds of manga available.

* Hours: 10:00 - 18:00 (entry until 17:30)
* Address: Oike agaru Karasuma-dori Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City
* Access: A short walk from Karasuma-Oike Station on the Karasuma Subway Line.
* Closed: Wednesdays (or, if Wednesday is a national holiday, the following Thursday), New Year's holidays and maintenance periods.
* Entrance fees: Adults: 800 yen, Junior High and High School Students: 300 yen, * Elementary School Students: 100 yen
* Website:


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