Tokyo may be the capital city of Japan but it doesn’t exempt it from natural phenomena. Some of these occurred in the past such as warfare, floods, and earthquakes which affected a lot of valuable and historical buildings in the area. In line with this, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government established the Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum designed to relocate, reconstruct and preserve historical buildings.
Many of the buildings being exhibited in the museum came from the Meiji Period (1868-1912) and can be categorized into four divisions. First, you start off at the Visitor Center where you’re introduced to the history of Musashino and the town-building of Tokyo. These are all displayed to provide good insight into the past. Next, you can head to the ‘restored buildings and scenes of everyday life’ section which showcase buildings built between the early Edo period towards the end of World War II. You’ll learn a lot about the people’s way of life and the businesses they conducted in this section.
The next part is the architectural remains and reproduction of the cityscape which displays several items related to folklore, history and architecture. The last section is the collection of the former Musashino Folklore Museum where some are also exhibited outdoors.
Lectures and guided tours are sometimes conducted in the museum on the 4th Sunday of every month. However, the tour onducted by volunteers is available everyday and you can book it beforehand, too. Some events make use of the building such as “Children’s Day” and “Enjoying the Cool Evening Breeze Downtown.”
Admission is 600 yen per person. It is important not to smoke or run around the buildings during the visit. No pets allowed and admission may be restricted in crowded times.
So, if you’re interested in seeing and learning more about the history of Japanese buildings, then this is the perfect place to explore on your travels around Tokyo!
Please note, from October 1st 2017 until March 31st 2018, the museum will be under construction and will have renovations.