This museum is in the middle of practically nowhere tourists are likely to be, which is a shame because it pretty much tells you everything you could ever care to know about Japan's history. In fact, visitors with a genuine interest could probably spend the better part of a day here; the free audio guide alone takes 3 hours to hear all 284 entries. In any case, it covers Japan from about 35,000 years ago to the 1970s in six galleries packed with 200,000 artifacts that include models of Kyoto in the 16th  century, archaeological finds ranging from pottery to iron helmets, and items used in everyday life. Among the many displays are the hand-formed cord pottery and skeletons of the Jomon people from 3,000 years ago; models of Yayoi pit houses from 2,000 years ago; reconstructed sleeping quarters, and a multi-layered kimono common to Kyoto's aristocrats around the 12th century; maps of Edo Castle and Sensoji Temple; and a partial reconstruction of a Japanese inn.  And that's only the first half of the museum. Other displays cover festivals, life in a fishing village, the opening of Japan and the influx of Western ideas and architecture, the colonization of Hokkaido, the Great Kanto Earthquake, Japanese expansionism and war campaigns in the 19th and 20th centuries, and Japanese pop culture of the 1950s.  There's a lot to take in, but if you have time, you could also explore the surrounding Sakura Castle Park, built on the site of a former castle.