The Fukagawa Edo Museum (深川江戸資料館, Fukagawa Edo Shiryōkan) is a historical museum located in the typical and picturesque shitamachi quarter of Fukagawa, Koto-ku, Tokyo, and reproduces the popular Edo neighbourhood of Saga-cho (佐賀町) at the end of the Tokugawa period. Fukagawa is located at the Sumida River and was home to artisans, craftsman and wealthy merchants.
The museum was established in 1986. It houses an exhibition hall on two floors as well as eleven full-scale replicas of traditional houses; vegetable and rice shops, a fish store; two food stalls; a fire watchtower; a boathouse with a boat actually floating on water and several tenant homes; so-called nagaya (長屋, “long houses” or “row houses”), all painstakingly arranged to depict an actual Fukagawa neighborhood.
The museum employs a lot of sound and light effects and pays meticulous attention to minute details, such as birds singing, cats sleeping on the roof, a dog relieving itself at a pole, roosters crowing and rats scurrying along beams. A day’s cycle lasts forty-five minutes, with the lighting imitating day and night, dusk and dawn. The seasons change as well, depicted with blooming sakura trees in spring, looming typhoon skies in the late summer and leafless trees in the winter.
Visitors can roam freely about the quarters and – after removing their shoes – explore the interior of the buildings and most exhibited artefacts at their heart’s desire. Volunteer guides stand ready for free tours in Japanese and English language. The museum shop on the first floor offers books and pamphlets on the exhibits and on the Edo period in general (most of them in Japanese) as well as other souvenirs.
More photos in the Fukagawa Edo Museum gallery.
Visiting hours and admission:
Daily 09:30 to 17:00 (last entry 16:30); closed from Dec. 28 to Jan. 5.
Admission 300 JPY (discounts for elementary & junior high school students and disabled visitors).
Address and access:
1-3-28 Shirakawa, Koto-ku, Tokyo; 135-0021 東京都江東区白河 1-3-28; Phone: 03-3630-8625, Fax: 03-3820-4379
Access: Three minutes walk from Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station (Toei Oedo Line, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, from Exit A3).