Jan 2 - May 22

Kyoto National Museum

One of the most prominent symbols of the Japanese Shinto shrine are the guardian lions that loom over the main shrine gates. These guardians, which frequently resemble canines, protect these holy sites. Shinto is an ancient animistic religion that worships many gods also known as {kami}. Indigenous kami are sometimes depicted as humans, such as cultured aristocrats or armor-clad warriors. It is the shrines dedicated to these humanoid deities that the guard lions typically watch over. This exhibition features rare statues of Shinto deities as well as their protective beasts, giving visitors a unique opportunity to view sacred symbols that differ from the Buddhist icons that also represent Japan.

Time: Tue–Thu, Sun, March 6, 7, 13, 14: 9:30am–5pm Fri & Sat (except March 6, 7, 13, 14): 9:30am–8pm
Admission: ¥520
Access: 7-min walk from Shichijo Station
Kyoto National Museum