In my last post, I talked about the thing I loved best about New York – the buildings and architecture. I swear, it was a complete coincidence that I went to the Edo-Tokyo Architectural Museum on the weekend! My mum was visiting, and I decided to take her there since I’d been wanting to go for a while and I knew she’d enjoy it, too.
I’d first seen the open-air museum back in April when I visited Koganei Park to see the cherry blossoms there. It was closed at the time, but I took a peek through the fence and it seemed very cool! I put it on the “to-do” list, which is where it stayed until this past weekend!
The museum is an open-air village full of buildings collected from around Tokyo (old Edo city). They’re all buildings that are thought to be valuable for one reason or another and were relocated here to help preserve them. There’s about 30 buildings, originally used both privately and publicly, over a huge 7 hectare area. To see every building definitely takes a whole day! Keep in mind, in true Japanese style, you have to take your shoes off every time you enter a house – so you can’t just waltz in and out of each building as you like!
Walking down the main street “Shitamachi-naka” (downtown) was almost like travelling back in time (except for the bitumen road!). There are lots of different businesses, like a stationery store, soy sauce store, and makeup store, as well as public buildings like the giant public bath and a very old bar! Everything is so well reconstructed and restored that you can really get a feel of how these places were in their heyday!
There are also quite a few residential houses from across Tokyo. Most of these houses belonged to the “upper class”, or at least important people, and therefore look pretty nice! There used to be a massive divide between the upper and lower classes of Japan. I’m sure the poor farmers did it tough, while the wealthy lived it up in places like this!
Until December 14 (2014), there’s a special exhibit in the main entrance building featuring work from Studio Ghibli. I didn’t realise it was on actually, but the Ghibli movies are my favourite Japanese animation flicks, so I was pretty happy! I’ve been to the actual Studio Ghibli museum which is in nearby Mitaka, but the paintings, sketches and miniature models on display here were amazing. The detail the artists are able to produce is incredible! If you get the chance, I highly recommend you go! (Although don’t be like me and go on a long weekend – it was too crowded!)
Wondering how to get to this awesome place?? (click on the top left box on the map for more detail)
Visit the English webpage for more information >> http://www.tatemonoen.jp/english/index.html