Monday, January 25, 2010

Edo-Tokyo Museum 江戸東京博物館

Founded 15 years ago, right next door to Ryogoku Kokugikan (the Tokyo sumo stadium) in Ryogoku, is this fittingly over-the-top home to the 400-year history of Tokyo.

The Edo-Tokyo Museum (江戸東京博物館, Edo Tokyo Hakubutsukan) towers at over 62 meters, ostensibly in homage to the former Edo Castle which was the same height.

Inside you’ll find original artifacts, representations and installations that capture the developing culture. There are also displays that recount the four-century growth of this metropolis, from a humble fishing village, through its establishment (as Edo) as the capital of Japan by Ieyasu Tokugawa in 1603, and on to a city of 12 million people now.

Think scale models of towns and buildings from the Edo, Meiji and Showa periods, along with a large-scale recreation here of the iconic Nihonbashi bridge – the eastern terminus of the Nasendo and Tokaido roads, which linked Edo and Kyoto.

A great way to lose yourself in Tokyo’s past, before all the redevelopment - even if most of this isn't really... well... real.

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