Amuse Museum

The Amuse Museum closed permanently on March 31, 2019 because the building became too old. Sadly, the collection was not relocated.

I know you’ll think I’m crazy when I suggest that we visit a museum that’s devoted to…rags. But the Amuse Museum in Asakusa delivers a fascinating look at everyday life in rural Japan in the days way before hardy New Englanders came up with that famous adage: Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

When you find yourself sporting a pair of salmon skin boots (complete with fins), you know you didn’t pick the long straw when they were handing out cushy places to live.
Every scrap of cloth was handwoven and hand-dyed, so you didn’t toss it in the trash as soon as it got a little hole in it. Nope, those scraps of cloth that still had an ounce of usefulness were recycled again and again, reborn as coats, quilts…
…the world’s unsexiest undies…
…and these, a pair of way-before-the-trend skinny jeans that take “prewashed” to a whole new level.
Country life wouldn’t have been bearable without cups of tea brewed in excellent teapots, wooden baths to soak away the aches & pains, and the occasional smoke.

But that’s not all…!

Up on the 6th floor, the Ukiyo-e Theatre loops utterly fascinating explanations of the hidden meanings in woodblock prints, complete with English subtitles. You can come and go – watch for as short or as long as you like – but I bet you’ll stay longer than you planned to!
And next to the Ukiyo-e Theatre is Bar Six – a cozy drinkery with a killer view of Senso-ji temple and the surrounding neighborhood
And last – but certainly not least – the gift shop! The Amuse Museum gift shop is the best place to get a wide range of little souvenirs at really reasonable prices. They’ve got a lot of fun handcrafted wares…
…including authentic antique things it’s hard to find elsewhere…
…and also a fine selection of not-your-usual t-shirts and tote bags. You don’t need a museum ticket to shop here, so if you don’t want to carry stuff around all day, you can stop back in right before you leave.

Open: Six days a week, closed on Mondays, on the day after national holidays, and from 12/29 – 1/3. Open on other holidays. (Bar Six is open 18:00 – 2:00, closed on same days as museum).

Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 (Last entry 17:30)

Admission: Adults: ¥1000, College & high school students: ¥800, Middle & elementary school students: ¥500, Preschool: Free


Read a novel set in Tokyo

When Detective Kenji Nakamura’s phone rings with the news that his mother’s death wasn’t an accident, his life begins to unravel…read more


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