The Fukagawa Edo Museum in Tokyo is a small history museum where you can be transported back in time to the Edo era. They faithfully reproduced the townscape of the Fukagawa-Saga Town between 1830 and 1844. The transition of the day is marked by sounds (hour bell, rooster’s crow, peddler’s cry, rain, and so on) and lights (from morning to midnight). The exhibition’s items are replaced every season to enable you to enjoy the exhibition throughout the year in ‘seasonal real-time’.
Fukagawa Edo Museum Outline
You will be pleasantly surprised when you enter the permanent exhibition room by overlooking the whole town from above. Once you enter the town, you can walk on the street with traditional houses and stores on both sides. At the vegetable store, you can see how they sold their products and at the rice store, you can see how they polished brown rice with a machine mortar. You can even try to operate the mortar yourself!
There is a boathouse with shipping agents. Boatmen carry people and goods by a small wooden boat with a wild boar’s tusk-shaped bow, like a water taxi. Two shipping agents also offer light dishes and drinks for a party. At the square, you can find a fire watchtower, temporary food stalls that sell traditional fast foods such as soba noodles and tempura. You can have a rest on wooden benches here while you eat.
Some of the row houses can be entered, which include several one-room apartments partitioned only by thin walls. You need to remove your shoes before entering the room. There are apartments for craftsmen, music (shamisen) teachers, street vendors, and so on. They rent only one small room for the whole family, so they needed to use the room for living, dining, and sleeping. They spread the futons (bedding) only when they sleep at night and stored them away again in the morning.
In the public space for people living in the row houses, there are a well, toilets, a garbage dump, and a small Inari shrine. By walking around the area, you will understand how everyday life was like for the common people 200 years ago.
Your Japan Tour
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Access: From Kiyosumi-Shirakawa (Oedo & Hanzomon Line) station.
Entrance fee: Adult \400, Child (primary / junior high school) \50
Free English speaking guides are available by reservation.
Hours: From 9:30 am to 5 pm (last entry 4:30 pm)