Shitamachi Museum

The first floor of this museum is like walking through a real Meiji Era town

The Shitamachi Museum will timewarp you back to the Meiji Era (1868-1912), which is after Japan opened to the West, but before any of the world wars took their toll. Like the Fukagawa-Edo Museum (which chronicles Japanese life from 1603-1868), it’s an indoor, life-sized town you can stroll through, propped with excellent period details.

Every room is meticulously styled with real goods from back in the day, including my favorite, this news stand. Penny candy, comic books, cheap toys – it’s a one stop child magnet of yore
A teakettle maker’s workshop is complete with period tools
Upstairs is a Meiji Era cafe that looks like the local uncles just stepped outside in the middle of their go game…
…plus great displays of childrens’ toys and odd inventions like insect battling tools
They also have a hands-on collection of real vintage stereoscope photos of Tokyo at the turn of the 20th century

Open: Every day, except closed Tuesdays

Hours: 9:30 – 16:30

Admission: ¥300


Read a novel set in Tokyo

The #1 hostboy at Club Nova makes a handsome living, whispering sweet nothings in the ears of women who pay him a fortune for the privilege. But the party’s over when Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura is assigned to investigate the death of one of Hoshi’s customers…read more