Shitamachi Museum, Tokyo

Shitamachi Museum, Tokyo

The Shitamachi Museum provides a glimpse into the lives of working-class Japanese people living in Tokyo during the 1920s and 30s, a period just before World War II. Its primary aim is to preserve a way of life that has largely disappeared in modern times. Shitamachi was an area situated in the vicinity of Edo Castle, characterized by its small wooden tenements where merchants, craftsmen, sailors, and fishermen resided. Today, Asakusa is the only remaining area that still retains some semblance of the Shitamachi lifestyle.

This museum offers an authentic representation of life and the culture of old Edo, showcasing original exhibits donated by former residents. It was first opened to the public in 1980 and consists of two levels. As you enter, you'll encounter a replica of a merchant's house, where wooden clogs known as Geta were crafted and sold. Additionally, there's a hand-pulled cart or rickshaw, which was a common mode of transportation in old Edo. Nearby, you'll find an old tenement shared by two families who operated shops. Adjacent to the house, there's a well and a washing board reminiscent of those used in old Edo.

On the second floor, you'll discover individual exhibits, including toys, artifacts, kitchen utensils, board games, and various pots and pans used during festivals. One notable exhibit is the entrance to a Japanese public bath known as the Sento, generously donated by its original owner.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Tokyo. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Shitamachi Museum on Map

Sight Name: Shitamachi Museum
Sight Location: Tokyo, Japan (See walking tours in Tokyo)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Tokyo, Japan

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