Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum: Architectural wonders of the past at a full-scale level - Waku Waku

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Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum: Architectural wonders of the past at a full-scale level

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Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum: Architectural wonders of the past at a full-scale level

Japan has a marvelous architecture that can be seen all over the country, but today I will share my experience in a full-scale of Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum - where you can travel back in time.

Carolina Suarez

Carolina Suarez

Published on 29 Jan, 12:00

When I first arrived in Japan in 2016, I was enrolled as an exchange student at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS). Among the benefits of the programs were the visits to museums and experiences of Japanese culture all over Tokyo. Today I will share the very first activity we had and one that I keep cherishing until today.

The place that I am referring to is the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum, and as you can imagine it has different exhibitions and buildings going to the 19th century.

The museum is in Koganei, Tokyo. This area is a little apart from Shinjuku, and Tokyo station, but still, it is accessible with public transportation.

Stores at the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
Stores at the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

My classmates and I went to the museum using a school bus, which took around 20 min from our campus in Fuchu. The admission fee is 400 yen per person, considerably cheap for everything that it has.

On the inside, the museum is divided into three zones (west, center, and east) and has outside exhibitions. The different zones include traditional houses, tea places, bars, shops, and even a public bathhouse.

House at the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
House at the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

The public bath (sento) got my attention immediately, with its painted walls and design of Mount Fuji. It made me feel as if traveling back in time. It was built in 1929. However, until recent decades, public baths used to be visited by citizens who did not have them at home.

Public bath's inside at Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
Public bath's inside at Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
Definitively, this bath is eye-captivating, and it is said to be an inspiration for the bath in the famous movie Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki.

Walking in the museum, guests, including me, will find representations of houses with different architectural styles. Among those, it is possible to encounter farmhouses, foreign-inspired and more traditional. The size of the buildings is impressive, and the walk is pleasant. Additionally, some buildings offer the possibility to see the interior.

To conclude my recount of the museum, there are outdoor exhibits of different trains and vehicles used in the past century. The yellow-orange train in the image is attractive, even if you are not devoted to trains you cannot just ignore it.

Train at the outside exhibition of the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
Train at the outside exhibition of the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

We visited the museum for around two hours and definitively were hungry after it. Inside the museum, there is one restaurant and a café. I remember that the restaurant included Udon noodles in its menu, it was my first time experiencing traditional food, and it exceeded my standards.

Sample of Udon noodles
Sample of Udon noodles

The museum is open from 9:30 am until 5:30 pm (or 4:30 pm in October to March). You can visit all days except Mondays. Due to the pandemic, reservations are offered online. If you want more information, check their official webpage.

I definitively recommend visiting this museum, not only if you are into architecture. Despite being far from central areas in Tokyo, it offers the possibility to understand Japanese culture and history through its buildings.

Taking my selfie and my friends doing the same
Taking my selfie and my friends doing the same

Have your camera ready and follow the instructions when it comes to photography and access to the facilities!

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Carolina Suarez

Carolina Suarez

こんにちは!Hello Everyone! 🌼🌼 I am Carolina, a Japanese culture lover and digital content creator! I am happy to share with you my memories of living in Japan and studying there!!! Also, I am married to a Japanese now 💕 You can check my posts and my YouTube channel: misakissme ☺️

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