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Motivated by an article I came across on Japan Travel, I decided to visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum and must admit that it exceeded all my expectations!
Size alone, the museum is really quite grand, to say nothing of its collection of exhibits. The wooden bridge that visitors can cross is a replica of the original and is just impressive! Besides the bridge there are life-sized houses which can be entered. It’s a fun for kids as well as for grownups to try lifting some of the rather weighty things of the past such as festival props or barrels of water. The museum has enough space to hold real automobiles from the past while the life-size figures of kabuki actors in splendid costumes look real. The scene is animated by the sounds of a kabuki play such that it seems absolutely alive!
Along with real-size exhibits there are models of streets and houses, boats, shrines, castles and festival processions with hundreds of tiny ‘people’ from Edo going about their everyday business. They are quite small, so to take a closer look visitors are recommended to use binoculars. It’s a lot of fun to watch that ‘life’ from the past.
Museums where all exhibits are behind glass may be boring for kids, but in Edo-Tokyo Museum there are many things that can be touched. It’s possible to get into the telephone booth and understand how different it was from modern ones. A penny-farthing bicycle from the 19th century with its enormous front wheel may seem ridiculous and I watched people of all age trying to get on it and take a photo. For people from other countries there are audio guides in many languages, including Russian.
I enjoyed the Edo-Tokyo Museum a lot, feeling as I had travelled back in time to see all sorts of things that do not exist anymore.
The Edo-Tokyo Museum is located close to Ryogoku Station on both the JR Sobu and Toei Oedo Lines.
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