Are you interested in the daily life of a Tokyo resident during the Edo period? I have just the place for you! This large, impressive museum is located in the nice bridge-like building you see above.
Once buying your ticket on the ground floor, you head up into the main exhibits, which take up two large floors. You start by crossing a reproduction of an Edo-period bridge.
Beneath the bridge is an area used for traditional performances. I was able to see some singing and dancing during my visit.
The other end of the ground floor contains large reproductions of buildings found in Tokyo-period Tokyo. Tokyo-period? That would be the period after the Edo period. Some of these buildings can be entered or viewed.
But you start upstairs, where you'll find dioramas, displays, artifacts, and some interactive exhibits. You can sit in this palanquin, though you won't be traveling far as it's secured in place.
These ladies are lined up to do some vocal performances for a musical show.
The exhibits include life-size examples of daily life in Edo period Tokyo.
There are plenty of small dioramas to give a bigger picture of what structures looked like and how they were used, as well as a look at how people dressed.
As a card collector, I had to snap a photo of these old menko cards. It's easy to find modern reproductions (quite inexpensively), but old ones (even post-World War II) are quite rare at times.
Now we move into the Tokyo era. Buildings and goods become more modern, and perhaps Westernized.
However, Japanese tradition holds strong in the home, as you see in these photos.
The Edo-Tokyo Museum is one of the best history museums I've visited. There are plenty of exhibits, and they have so much detail that one can spend a long time just examining the dioramas. There are occasional interactive exhibits, such as the palanquin seen above, allowing you to get some tactile experience. Signage is pretty good, even in English, and there are English pamphlets available. For anyone interested in really understanding some of the history of Tokyo, this is a must-visit museum, and I have a feeling I will need to visit again to fully enjoy all the exhibits! Plus, permanent exhibits are rotated every two months.
The museum is open 9:30-5:30, but is closed on Mondays. Admission is 600 yen for adults, 300 yen for students (480 yen college/vocational students) and seniors. Free audio tours and lockers are available, as well as volunteer guides. The audio tours and lockers require refundable deposits. The museum is located next to Ryogoku Station, and the website has a great map to show you how to get there.