Stepping back in time; Edo-Tokyo Open Air Museum – Day 145

First of all, Happy Chinese New Year!! I kinda forgot it was this week but I managed to celebrate in my own way by steaming some fish for lunch.

New Year's Day lunch

New Year’s Day lunch

Back to the post title, so today I went to the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei Park. I wanted to do something after my last class of this semester and this seemed like a good idea as it was a really nice day. Only 20 mins away by bike, this Open Air museum is located inside Koganei Park.

Random train in the middle of the park...

Random train in the middle of the park…

I went to a museum similar to this one last year in Kanagawa – the Japan Open Air Folk Museum – which I really enjoyed so I was looking forward to going to this one. The Edo-Tokyo museum is a seven hectare piece of land where the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has relocated, reconstructed and preserved buildings from the Edo period.

Inside exhibition - Year of the Horse

Inside exhibition – Year of the Horse

They have a wide variety of buildings and you can go inside almost all of them, and see the interiors of these old buildings. It’s so cool – it feels like you’re stepping back in time!

Really cute "summer house"

Really cute “summer house”

Inside this "summer house" - House of Okawa in Den'enchofu

Inside this “summer house” – House of Okawa in Den’enchofu

There were quite a few farmhouses which all looked kinda the same – thatched roofs etc.

One of the Farmhouses

One of the Farmhouses

Inside a farmhouse

Inside a farmhouse

Interior of another farmhouse

Interior of another farmhouse

You can’t touch most of the artefacts but you’re allowed to have a go at using this water pump!

Reminds me of the film Totoro when they're pumping water to clean the veggies they've picked

Reminds me of the film Totoro when they’re pumping water to clean the veggies they’ve picked

One of the buildings has been transformed into a cafe! They sell tea and cakes, and I was tempted to buy something just to be able to sit inside and imagine what it would’ve been like to live there, but I had just eaten lunch when I went, and the museum was going to close within an hour so I decided not to go in. Maybe next time!

House of George de Lalande - converted into a cafe now

House of George de Lalande – converted into a cafe now

In addition to buildings, they had vehicles from the past.

I think this was a bus?

I think this was a bus?

They had this really cool City Train Model that you could climb inside!

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Inside the train!

Inside the train!

To the East of the museum/park is “Shimamachi-Naka Street” where they have reconstructed buildings to look replicate what a normal shopping street would have looked like. It was really weird – I felt like I was in a different era!

Grocery store

Grocery store

Stuff you could have bought back then in the grocery store!

Stuff you could have bought back then in the grocery store!

House of Uemura

House of Uemura

IMG_0457

They even had the old-style tills and telephones! Love this stuff!

Old-style till

Old-style till

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I really liked how they got products from the past and lined them up as if it was a fully-operating shop.

Bottle of alcohol

Bottles of alcohol

Goods from the Kitchenware Store

Goods from the Kitchenware Store

One of my favourite buildings was the Public Bathhouse (Kodakara-yu). It was amazing inside and you could actually climb inside the baths!! It was incredible how they managed to restore it and keep all the original tiles.

Public Bathhouse entrance

Public Bathhouse entrance

Inside the bathhouse - the female side

Inside the bathhouse – the female side

Isn’t it just beautiful? I can imagine spending the whole day in here looking at the artwork while having a bath!

IMG_0484

Unusual artwork

Unusual artwork

Fuji-san!

Fuji-san!

Amongst the old buildings, they had some random ones like the Ueno Fire department Watch Tower, and an old-style Police Box.

Watch tower

Watch tower

Police box with red post box!

Police box with red post box!

They even have a photo studio where you can have your photo taken using the old style cameras!

Tokiwadai Photo Studio

Tokiwadai Photo Studio

You have to book in advance but it’s about 500 yen for a photo!

The old style photo studio

The old style photo studio

The old fashioned fancy lights

The old fashioned fancy lights

The photos come out in black and white – very authentic!

Sample photos

Sample photos

Anyway, judging from the number of photos I took (had to select the best ones!) I had a great time at this Open Air museum. I definitely want to go back again even though I had to pay (students pay 320 yen) but it was worth it. They are currently restoring another building which I didn’t get to see this time so perhaps I will go back once it is ready.

Jisho-in Mausoleum

Jisho-in Mausoleum

Thanks for reading!

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This entry was published on January 31, 2014 at 12:07 pm. It’s filed under Japan and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Stepping back in time; Edo-Tokyo Open Air Museum – Day 145

  1. How interesting! It’s like a time machine. I’d love to visit there when I am in Japan next time. And the weather looks gorgeous!! London is so miserable nowadays. Every single day is soggy and grey 😨

    • I’ve heard about the bad weather back home 😦 how unfortunate! We’ve been quite lucky here as its been a really nice week, but apparently it’s going to get much colder in the coming weeks :S

  2. Bee Ee Ee :) on said:

    Olly, I am loving your blog. I also love Japanese Rice Crackers (Sembei). Could you do a blog about it for me?

  3. I’d love to go here the next time I’m in Tokyo! I went to an Open Air Museum up in Sapporo that was pretty much the same concept and had a really good time. Loved the picture of the “unusual artwork” in the bathhouse. It’s based on the Japanese children’s story about the crab and monkey. I guess you can tell that the monkey wronged the crab and he’s getting his revenge!

    • I love going to Open Air Museums! I want to go to Hokkaido in the summer so I’ll definitely fit in a day to see the one in Sapporo! Ah yes, a friend of mine recognised the story and told me about it! It’s so funny, but kinda weird too!! 😀

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