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Housed in an imposing French baroque-style building constructed in 1897 expressly for the museum's collection as well as in several additions, this museum displays sculpture, Japanese paintings, ceramics, clothing and kimono, lacquerware, metalworks, and other treasures, most of which were once in Kyoto's many temples, shrines, and imperial palaces. It is especially famous for its artifacts from the Heian Period (794–1192) and ancient sutras. Plan on staying about an hour, but if you've seen the larger Tokyo National Museum, you may want to skip this one if your time in Kyoto is short. Note: The permanent collection halls are closed for renovation until September 2014, but the special exhibition hall remains open for temporary shows.