Yushukan WWII museum: Open every day
Fukugawa Fudo-san Temple: Open every day
Kiyosumi Garden: Open every day
Fukagawa Edo Museum: Closed Mondays
The WWII Museum at the Yasukuni Shrine
If you’re interested in WWII, the Yushukan’s collection of Japanese war memorabilia is like no other in the world. From Zero fighter planes to the tattered flags they planted as they advanced, it tells a meticulous history of the war…from a distinctly Japanese perspective.
(Note: This shrine is somewhat controversial, because it enshrines the souls of all Japanese who have ever fought for their country, making no distinction between ordinary samurai and soldiers and those leaders deemed war criminals in the West. The museum doesn’t especially glorify those who served in questionable ways, but other Asian countries always object when a prime minister pays his respects at the shrine.)
After soaking up as much history as you can stand, move on to something completely different: a fire ceremony with taiko drums at the…
Fukugawa Fudo-san Temple
A straight shot subway ride to Monzen-Nakacho delivers a fire ceremony with taiko drums at Fukugawa Fudo-san temple, where you can get your wallet blessed with fire, make a wish at the dissolving paper dragon fountain, visit the hall of the glow-in-the-dark gods, and walk the Hall of 10,000 Crystal Buddhas.
In nearby Kiyosumi-shirakawa…
Kiyosumi Teien Gardens
Immerse yourself in this serene Japanese garden. It’s one of the most beautiful—and undiscovered—gardens in Tokyo. With paths that wind around a jewel of a lake and cross countless picturesque bridges and artfully placed stepping stones, it’s truly memorable for its serenity.
Fukagawa Edo Museum
And finally, stroll through the fabulous Fukagawa-Edo Museum, a recreation of an authentic samurai-era town where you can walk the streets and go into the shops and houses to see how ordinary people lived.
If you’d like to browse all the gardens or shrines or individual neighborhoods in Tokyo, links are on The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had
And if you’d like to discover super quirky things to do, do a search at Only In Japan