The Nihon Minka-en, a park filled with old houses from the Edo Period (1603-1868) is one of my favorite places in the Tokyo area. I’ve been there quite a few times, though, so I was happy to discover the Edo Tokyo Tatemono-en in Koganei City, west of Tokyo.
It’s similar to the Nihon Minka-en, but most of the buildings are of more recent vintage, the majority being from the 19th and 20th centuries. There are three sections, one of old, wooden Edo-Period buildings, one with a recreation of a typical street from the early 20th century, and a third with homes belonging to important people of great historical value.
Not only are the buildings interesting on the outside, but the museum has done a really good job of recreating what they were like inside. In the photo below, you can see an abacus and the account books in this cosmetics shop called Murakami Seikadou (notice that the kanji are all written from right to left). All of the buildings have English pamphlets with interesting descriptions of the buildings’ history, architectural characteristics, and most interestingly, details about the people who lived in them and their businesses or lives.
The photo below shows an umbrella-maker’s shop. There’s an interesting display on how they were made.
A small residential street of row houses.