Looking almost like a film set for a historical
drama, the main exhibit here is a life-size reconstruction of an early
nineteenth-century neighorhood on the banks of the Sumida River, filled
with shops, warehouses, private houses, and even a canal with a
traditionally built boat. There are eleven buildings in all, and you can
take off your shoes and wander around inside them to get a glimpse of
what daily life might have looked like in that era.
The foliage and lighting of the exhibit area change with the seasons, and sound effects of birds and street sounds add to the overall ambience. While it’s nowhere near as big as the Edo-Tokyo Museum (two subway stops away in Ryogoku), this compact museum is worth checking out if you’re in the area, and it can be combined with a visit to the nearby Kiyosumi Gardens (a two-minute walk from here) as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art (a nine-minute walk).