Edo-Tokyo Museum

It was about time to feed our brains some knowledge about Tokyo's history and culture so we headed to Edo-Tokyo Museum, which is located in Ryogoku close to the Sumo stadium. It is a large museum depicting the history and lifestyle of Tokyo particularly the Edo period.

Oni-gawara of the Main Ridge Tile of Sensoji Kannon Temple
The permanent exhibition occupies two floors of the building. It features the life-size replica of the Nihonbashi Bridge leading into the Edo Zone, which includes Edo Castle and the Edo city plan, high-ranking buke residence and scale model of townspeople's residential district in the Kan-ei era.
nihonbashi bridge
Nihonbashi bridge

Here you can also see interesting miniature models, dioramas, various artifacts and building from various eras.

The main feature in the lower floor section is a full-size Nakamura Kabuki Theater positioned in the capacious main hall.
nakamura kabuki theater
facade of the Nakamura-za Kabuki Theater
nakamura theater

The museum also offers a unique opportunity to experience for visitors and have their photo taken while climbing into full-sized replica bicycles and rickshaws. But these vehicles won't take you anywhere since these are intended for display purposes only.
This bicycle was made in Japan based on an imported bicycle around 1877. The front wheel was large to catch speed.
rickshaw during the Meiji period
As for the old Daimyo palanquin, you can try to sit inside here. This particular palanquin or sedan chair was used by the lord of Tsuyama Domain for the daimyo processions. It was carried by two people in the front and two in the back. It is made more for practical use compared to the decorative palanquins for the ladies.
daimyo palanquin
palanquin or sedan chair
woman's palanquin
There's also the Koe-oke or a set of pails of night soil. This night soil was used as manure for growing vegetables and rice. It is said that the farmers went to Edo City to collect excretions. HB tried to manage lifting the heavy buckets.

night soil barrels

On our way out I caught a glimpse of this colorful and intricate indistinct object positioned near the exit of the building. Turns out it was a Kumade, a bamboo rake of fortune. It is decorated with various auspicious objects. It is believed to bring fortune to businesses, and are offered to the Shinto altar or displayed at other places in the shops, offices and homes throughout the year.


The museum was both  fun and interesting. Plus it wasn't crowded and it was easy to get around. Admission fee for permanent exhibition is 600 Yen. Each ticket is good for multiple entries on the day of purchase. Tickets are available at 1st and 3rd floor ticket counters. Permanent exhibits are rotated on a bi-monthly basis.

Edo-Tokyo Museum
1-4-1 Yokoami, Sumida, Tokyo 130-0015, Japan

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