Friday, August 14, 2009
Nihon Minkaen Open-Air Folk House Museum
A hidden treasure trove of historical artifacts, this one is located on the side of a huge hill in the middle of a forest, located about 15 minutes’ walk from Noborito Station, just 25 minutes by train from Kawasaki - and entry costs ¥500 for hours of incidentally educational fun!
Apparently (according the propaganda hand-outs they give you) in order to preserve historic architecture from around Japan, from 1965 the city of Kawasaki began dismantling historical houses dating back to the 17th Century and relocated them here, so that now there're 25 fascinating structures, including a shrine, a watermill, and a kabuki theater.
Functional furniture, tools and utensils are also kept, as well as recreations of original thatch roofing and tatami flooring — and there’s a wunderbar soba restaurant hidden away in one of the old farmhouses.
All up it's a mesmerizing, surprisingly quiet place that transports you away from this bustling metropolis to a more tranquil time, where no neon signage or J-pop pervaded our everyday activities.
And - just occasionally - that’s a wee bit of a blessing.