I met up with my friend S on my last full day in Japan. We took the train out to the Koganei suburb and after a bit of hunting around the small station to locate the right bus stop, we decided to have brunch at a bakery there.
The bus ride took about 10 minutes and then we walked another five into the park and to the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Museum. (Entry costs 600yen.) It also happened to be the last day of the Studio Ghibli exhibition so there was a growing queue when we arrived. We opted to skip the exhibition as it was mainly pictures/concept art and models of the locations in the Ghibli movies. I would’ve been more interested if it hadn’t been so crowded in there. We went straight out to the actual open air part.
This house is a Western-style home that was originally built in Shinanomachi, Shinjuku Ward. The German architect Georg de Lalande enlarged the house around 1910, transforming it into a three-story wooden structure. The house came under various owners over the years, but from 1956, Mishima Kaiun, the inventor of the lactic acid beverage Calpis, lived there. [source]
The Edo-Tokyo Open Air Museum consists of recreations and reconstructions of various historical houses around Japan. Some of them are the actual houses – dismantled and transported here and reassembled. You can enter most of them and poke around the rooms.
This one is the House of the Leader of the Hachioji Guards (Hachioji-sennin-doshin)
The Hachioji Thousand Warriors were the retainers of the Tokugawa Shogunate Family, who were deployed to Hachioji in the Edo period (Edo period: 1603-1867). The house of the retainers’head, which used to stand at the site bestowed by the shogun, is not as big as the surrounding farmhouses. However the fact that it has an entrance hall with a shikidai, a low, broad wooden step, which is a standard feature of upper-class houses, shows that it was a house of prestige. (Late Edo period) [source]
This house was built in Nishi-Azabu, Minato Ward, in 1952. The guest room and the dining room were built around 1897 in Kyoto and relocated after the Second World War. The storehouse, which dates back to 1874, has been restored to its original condition. [source]
This photography studio used to be in Tokiwadai, which was developed as a “healthy residential area”. Since lighting equipment for photography was not fully developed in those days, frosted glass was used for the second-floor windows on the north side of the studio for lighting purposes. [source]
(You can enter most of the buildings but you have to take your shoes off. I was wearing boots I didn’t fancy having to take them off and put them on again multiple times so I only went into a few buildings, one of which was this Tokiwadai Photo Studio.)
Ok, enough for now. I think I’ll split this post into two parts to avoid photo overload.