Edo-Tokyo Open Air Museum

09 Jul, 2010


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A few weeks ago we went to the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Museum! Just one of the touristic things you can do while staying in Tokyo. The Architectual Museum exhibits a range of historic buildings from the Tokyo area. The buildings were relocated or reconstructed there in order to preserve a chapter of architectural history, which has been almost completely lost in fires, earthquakes, wars and city redevelopment.

Most of the buildings exhibited are from the Meiji Period (1868-1912) or more recent times, and include among others, a politician’s elegant former residence, a farm house, a public bathhouse, various shops and a police box.

The museum is located in Koganei city. When arriving at Musashi-Koganei Station we figured out this was a very small town where people don’t speak English. After walking around the station a couple of times someone could finally tell us which direction to go. There was a bus going to the museum, but being the low budget students (cheap-asses) we are, we decided to go walking (it was 30+ degrees outside…).

While Remi was petting the Museum’s mascot, I went and bought the tickets. One of the percs of being a student in Tokyo is that we get student discount at almost all the museums. Even some clothing shops like Levi’s give student discount! Yay for discounts!

First went to see some exhibit about Japanese architecture. They also showed a picture and a small scale model of the new Tokyo Tower! Man… that thing is going to be huge!!

This was the first house we visited. House of Denen-Chofu(Okawa’s residence). It was so nice because we could also walk inside the house. Gives you the feeling how it would be living in the old days.

This Japanese woman was playing the piano while we were viewing the house. It was so nice!

This would be my fav house, Maekawa Kunio’s Residence. Even though the house is so old, the architecture is really modern. I would love to have a house like this….

All the old houses had a sort of inside balcony/walking area. Typically Japanese!

Can you imagine taking a bath in that thing? :S

This is the late Edo-period farmhouse, owned by the well-to-do Yoshino Family, stood in Nozaki, Mitaka until 1963.

When entering the park where all the buildings stand, first thing you encounter is this amazing building. I love the high trees surrounding this building. This building is the Jisho-in Mausoleum, built in 1652 by the wife of Mitsutomo Tokugawa, Princess Chiyo, in memory of her mother, Lady Ofuri, concubine of the shogun Iemitsu Tokugawa. The mausoleum was part of the Jisho Temple in Ichigaya, Shinjuku-ku, and it is one of the few buildings in Tokyo that remained untouched during the bombings of the Second World War.

This is the interior of a Meiji Era Public Bath House, Kodaka-yu, that opened in Tokyo’s Adachi Ward in 1929. The changing room looked out onto a courtyard and an elaborate mural spanned the separate men’s and women’s bathing areas. This picture shows the men’s bathing area. The interior simulates how it would have appeared in the 1950’s.

We had a really nice time walking throuhg all these old buildings. I would recommend going here on a more cool day, it was just way too hot for us. We hadn’t thought of the fact old houses don’t have air conditioning. :P


3 Comments to “Edo-Tokyo Open Air Museum”

  1. 10 July, 2010

    Lovely pictures and many thanks for the great gifts… Especially the dust doll… It comes in very handy once in a while ;)

  2. Gary
    15 July, 2010

    Wow, this look so beautiful. This is similar like the ‘Nederlands Openluchtmuseum’ in Arnhem http://www.openluchtmuseum.nl/, but than totally different. You have filmed too?

  3. Key
    19 July, 2010

    amazing Pics! great story you are telling as well. Would love to see this with my own eyes sometime!

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