Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum（江戸東京たてもの園 Edo-Tokyo Tatemono-en）is located in Koganei park in Koganei-city, Tokyo. Although it’s not very center of Tokyo, it’s not too difficult to visit because the nearest station is just 20 minutes from Shinjuku station.
Exhibition of reconstructed valuable historical building
|This is a very unique open-air museum which shows many old valuable Japanese buildings in its seven-hectare park area. There are 30 buildings and the others exhibited at present. All of them are the historical buildings of great cultural values which were relocated from the original place when they became impossible to preserve at their actual places as time goes by.
What special about this museum is that they are real, not replica, and you can freely go into every building and see Japanese-lifestyle at each period. The interiors of each building are also what they(people at that time) really used. So here you can feel how people lived in old-time Japan, which we cannot easily see in modern society anymore.
3 time zones Each zone has its specialties.
West zone : Mainly from the Edo period（the early 17th century to the late 19C）to the Meiji and the Taisho period（the end of 19C to the early 20C).
Farther west area : You can see old-style houses with thatched roofs here. The volunteer group regularly gives demonstrations of smoking out thached-roof houses to protect from insects by making a fire in the Irori fireplace. They occasionally offer special seasonal events which are deeply connected to Japanese traditional culture.
Main west area: It was the time when Japan was firstly westernized after more than 200 years isolation policy. So buildings those days were influenced by mixture of Western culture and original Japanese style.
Center zone : Including visitor center. Mainly late 1800’s to early 1900’s. House of Korekiyo Takahasi is impressive, having beautiful Japanese style interiors and a garden.
East zone : The early Showa period. （The Showa period :1926-1989 )
The days before our lifestyle was too modernized. You can enjoy the atmosphere of a downtown area of old Tokyo. Old utensils and tools are displayed in the restored buildings. The variety of shops are displayed to stroll around.
The others : There are variety of outdoor exhibits other than houses.
Access & Info
It’s not very center of Tokyo, but it’s not too far away, either. The easiest access is from Musashi-koganei Station on JR Chuo line. It takes you 20 minitutes from Shinjuku Station to Musashi-koganei station and 5 minutes bus ride from the station will take you to the museum. Exit from North gate and take any bus depart from Bus terminal 2 or 3. Get off at “Koganei-koen-nishiguchi” stop. It is 5th bus stop from the station.
I believe it would be a nice half day escape from urban Tokyo, especially when you are interested in Japanese traditional houses and Japanese old lifestyle.
In cherry blossom season, surrounding park is fantastic viewing spot. Let’s enjoy picnic!