As it is, Tokyo is an ever-changing city with buildings seemingly going up and coming down regularly and on top of that shops, restaurants, cafes and bars help constantly change the landscape. None of this is new to the Japanese capital though as even when it was known as Edo it changed a fair bit due to fires, floods, earthquakes and warfare.
This vast open-air museum (400 yen entry), located in Koganei-koen Park, is a collection of culturally valuable historical buildings which have been relocated, reconstructed and preserved for future generations. My wife and I took the 25 minute walk on a recent Sunday from Hana-Koganei Station on the Seibu-Shinjuku Line. It is divided into three zones with the most interesting one for me being the East one which includes many shops of bygone era’s. They all line one street which you can wander up and down whilst popping in and out of each store full of old goods and tools.
The first three photo’s below are of late 1920’s buildings (including a stationery shop and grocery store) and the fourth one is a flower shop from the 1950’s.
It was pretty cool to wander in and out of these places and see how different life in the past was although some of it didn’t seem too outdated in terms of the tatami-style rooms. The “Kodera” Soy Sauce shop (below) was particularly interesting with its props of canned food and a checkout register from the early 1930’s on show.
At the end of the street was Kodakara-yu; a typical public bathhouse (below) featuring a large Chinese-style gable akin to those used for temples and shrines. This dates back to the late 1920’s although it didn’t look too different (in my view!) from the specially themed Godzilla one I visited in Kamata a few weeks prior to this trip.
We shared a bowl of traditional Japanese soba noodles (above) in one of the places and then left the East Zone. Just before the Center Zone is a City train model 7500 (below) which a trainspotter friend reliably informs me was made in 1967 for Toden Arakawa line and was used until 2001. We didn’t really stop at any of the places in the middle zone as they seemed of less interest than what was in the areas at the two ends of the museum.
The West Zone reminded me a bit of Nihon Minka-en Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum in Kawasaki City as it possessed, among others, a couple of Edo Period (1603-1867) architectural structures (below).
The red-roofed Western-style house below was that of a German architect and a popular place when we were there as it is something of a cafe now with many people seated outside enjoying the early afternoon Autumn sunshine.
The storehouse above was built in Nishi-Azabu in 1952 although it’s guest rooms and the dining room were built around 1897 in Kyoto and relocated after WWII. That proved to be our last place in what was an interesting museum that is recommended for anyone in the area who likes to see buildings evocative of past era’s.
Click here to read ‘Nihon Minka-en Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum’
Click here to read ‘TF Top 10 Alternative Museums In Tokyo’