Saturday, November 25, 2006

Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

Edo-Tokyo Tatemono-en/The Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

"Does spending a day with you family `walking through history,` sitting on tatmi mats around glowing hearths of wooden farmhouses, imagining sounds of lively bathing in old sento, and tasting old fashioned treats at old fashioned prices sound appealing? The Edo-Tokyo Tatemono-en (Open Air Architectural Museum) is a little known gem in Tokyo just waiting to provide your family with such a memorable Japanese experience." --Valerie Sawatzky, Edo-Tokyo, Tatemono-en, Tokyo Families Magazine

Located in Koganei Park is this very interesting museum devoted to giving you an opportunity to sense history by bringing buildings important to their time period together in one place. The buildings are well preserved and placed realistically throughout the park.

With English signs throughout the park it is easy to navigate. Enjoy the crackling of braziers and watch your children frolic in some of the 200 year old farmhouse sprinkled in the rural setting.

Beautiful old homes of the pre-World War 2 era are on view as well. These were homes owned by the well to do, the merchant class and other professionals. My children enjoyed exploring the storerooms and the rest of the houses. My wife and I found it interesting to see how Western and Japanese influences mixed throughout the buildings,including the choices of furniture.

If you are feeling a tad peckish after viewing the homes, you can stop for a bite in a traditional tea house. Reasonably priced Japanese dishes can be ordered including donburi and soba.

Finally enjoy the old Tokyo downtown street scene or (shitamachi in Japanese. It includes a streetcar, bathhouse, policestation, stores and other buildings. Street sellers in yukata sell treats all along the street, and their are old fashioned games in the square for the kids.

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of this huge city and get a sense of what life was like many years ago when life was simpler.

Edo-Tokyo Tatemono En3-7-1 Sakura ChoKoganei City Tokyo Telephone: 0423-88-311 Closed on Mondays

How to get there? From Seibu Shinjuku Line`s Hanakoganei Station, it is 5 minutes by any bus from the Seiyu Store. Get off at Koganei Nishiguchi (West Entrance to Koganei Park)


Sawatzky, Valerie, Edo-Tokyo, Tatemono-en, Tokyo Families Magazine
An excellent article detailing this park.

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