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May 16, 2005
Located about 20 minutes by train and bus from Shinjuku station, this museum/park is a real treasure hidden away in Metropolitan Koganei Park. For a mere ¥400, you are allowed to wander about among more than 20 reconstructed homes, businesses, gates, and arbors of many different periods in Tokyo's (Edo's) past. Many of the buildings are open for walkthroughs, and all are of historical significance.
In addition, interspersed throughout the different buildings were various craftsmen plying their trades. We saw toymakers, paper-umbrella makers, textile workers, and printers working away and offering samples of products. What a treat to see delicate and masterful workers steadily doing a task that is so often lost in today's busy world.
Additionally, a great noodle shop is located in one of the reconstructed buildings, where you can try your luck at the automated ordering machine!! Best of luck!
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday and can be reached via Koganei Koen Nishi Guchi Bus and then by walking through Metro Park.
From journal Tokyo, Japan - A First-Timer's View
January 4, 2005
This is an open-air museum set up by the Tokyo Metropolitan government with the sole purpose of preserving designated buildings of historical value from the Edo period for future generations. It spans 7 hectares.
We spent a delightful afternoon reliving the movie, taking in the sights, and clowning around with the exhibits. Ask for an English brochure that provides detailed explanation of the history and origins of the buildings.
For fans, the must-see buildings are the public bathhouse (Kodakara-yu), the House of Uemura, the bar (Kagiya), and the stationery store (Takei sanshodo). Look out for the yellow tram, which brought Sen to the witch's sister in the swamp.
If you have time, explore the peaceful Koganei Park as well. This park seemed popular with the locals. It seemed a little odd to us, after arriving from the snow-covered Hokkaido the day before, to see Tokyo in her autumnal coat. Still, we counted ourselves lucky to be able to see two seasons in one trip.
How to get there:
Take the JR Chuo Line from Shinjuku station and alight at Musashi Koganei Station (third stop after Mitaka). Exit through the north exit across the station and take the bus at either bay no. 2 or 3. Alight at Koganei Koen Nishi Guchi bus stop, cross the road, and walk towards the Koganei park. The museum is located within the park, about a 5-minute walk.
Fee (purchase from the vending machine in the visitor center):
¥400 for adults and ¥200 for students or senior citizens over 65 years.
Open from 9:30am to 5:30pm
The museum is closed every Monday and on public holidays.
From journal Hokkaido, the JR Express Experience