Ryogoku Area

Sumo & my favorite museum in Tokyo

ModelBridgeCorner
You can spend hours zooming in with binoculars on the intricate models of Old Tokyo life at the Edo-Tokyo Museum.

Ryogoku is where you go to see sumo wrestlers and Old Tokyo – the sumo stadium and the Edo-Tokyo Museum are both right next to Ryogoku Station.

If you're lucky enough to be in Tokyo during the three 14-day sumo tournaments of the year, it's not to be missed. Details on dates & tickets here.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Tokyo during the three 14-day sumo tournaments of the year, it’s not to be missed. Details on dates & tickets here.
If you're not in Tokyo at tournament time, you can still see wrestlers going about their daily business in Ryogoku. They often take the train, and you can spot them easily by their size and the fact that they never wear western clothes.
If you’re not in Tokyo at tournament time, you can still see wrestlers going about their daily business in Ryogoku. They often take the train, and you can spot them easily by their size and the fact that they never wear western clothes.

Now let’s head over to my favorite museum in town: the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Half the museum is about everyday life in the Edo Era (during the time of the shōguns, before Japan opened to the West) and half of the museum is about life in the Meiji Era (after 1868, including fascinating info about life in Japan during WWII).

 

Instead of dull, dry, exhibits, they use full-scale rooms to show what life was like, and intricate models of town life that you could look at for hours, they are so amazing.
Instead of boring pictures, they use intricate models to show every aspect of town life. You could look at them for hours, and still find new things to see.
The Echizen model from the outside...
This is the old Echizen kimono emporium – now it’s the Mitsukoshi flagship department store, in Nihonbashi.
...and the inside! Isn't the detail incredible?
Here’s what that model looks like from the inside. Amazing, huh?
You can get an idea of how large these models are. Each figure is about 2" tall.
You can get an idea of how large these models are. Each figure is about 2″ tall.
This is one of the fantastic costumes worn by the male kabuki actors who play women's roles.
There’s a room that explains everything about kabuki theatre (including an animated model of special effects). This is one of the fantastic costumes worn by male kabuki actors who play women’s roles.

And on the Meiji Era side…

WWIIRoom
This is a life-sized construction of a typical World War II-era room, showing how ordinary people lived during wartime. For example, that big saké bottle is filled with unhusked rice. The stick poking out the top was threshed around inside to get the hulls off before cooking.
This is the model of the post-war black market near Shinjuku Station. All the figures are about 3" high.
This is the model of the post-war black market near Shinjuku Station. The figures are about 3″ high.

Open: Six days a week, closed Mondays, on the day after national holidays, and from December 29 – January 3. Open other holidays.

Hours: 9:30 – 17:00 (Last entry 16:30)

Admission: Adults: ¥600, Seniors (65 & older): ¥300, College students: ¥480, High school & middle school students: ¥300, Younger children: Free. (Plus extra fee for special exhibitions.)

DIRECTIONS & MAP

Nearby destinations: Akihabara, Asakusa, Asakusa-bashi, Inari-cho, Kappabashi, Ningyo-cho, Ueno

Jonelle Patrick writes mysteries set in Tokyo. The fourth one is just out in paperback…

When Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura’s phone rings with the news that his mother’s death wasn’t an accident, his world begins to unravel. New evidence links her to…read more

 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s