Inside Takahashi Korekiyo residence, one of the many buildings in the museum. Wikimedia Commons

Inside Takahashi Korekiyo residence, one of the many buildings in the museum. Wikimedia Commons

The Edo Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum is an outdoor museum of buildings in Edo (now Tokyo) features buildings and lifestyle of period from the 17th to the 20th century. You get to walk through three zones: the first brings you exhibits of old private houses with thatched roofs; the second zone you’ll see historically significant buildings such as the mansion of Korekiyo Takahashi, Prime Minister of Japan at the beginning of the 20th century; and the third zone you get to walk through a shitamachi downtown area with old shops, a public bathhouse and drinking holes. Seven-hectares in all you can also view  an old police box, Sanseido stationery shop, the Mitsui family residences, and a “modern” suburban house. One big draw is the penki-e paintings (one of which feature the image of Mt Fuji) that adorn the walls of an old bathhouse sento Kodakara-yu which has been reconstructed here.

Edo-Tokyo Tatemonoen is located next to Koganei Park, a 5 minute bus ride from Musashi-Koganei Station on the JR Chuo Line. Get off the bus at Koganei Koen Nishiguchi stop. Open 9.30 am – 5:30pm. Closed Mons. An English speaking volunteer guide service for small groups is available if requested in advance. Entrance fee: 400 yen Address: 3-7-1 Sakura-cho, Koganei-shi, Tokyo Phone: 042-388-3300. Official website (Japanese only)

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