Monday, 6 June 2011

Shitamachi Museum

Jay Dee's post on Ueno Zoo's Thai Pavillion and Japanese Architecture and the subsequent comments made there resulted in me thinking of one place that not many tourists seems to know or head to when they are at Ueno park's vicinity.

A glimpse of the shitamachi (low city) can be found at the Shitamachi Museum located at Ueno Park. A nostalgic visit to how old Tokyo looks like. I wanted to visit the museum again last year and had planned to take my friend who was tagging along with us; but she seemed a tad uninterested in museums and the like; so I scrapped the plan.
An old-fashioned penny candy store. Raimie was pretending to be the store owner and showing that everything on sale is good. ^^
Copper smith work place
Rub, rub, rub. Imagine doing your washing up at the communal well. Thank goodness for indoor plumbing and washing machine!
The boys trying out some traditional games.
A peek into a home. The black & white TV - a status symbol of the time.
If you are visiting Japan and Tokyo specifically, why not make a stop at this small museum. It has interactive display and friendly multi-lingual guides (or was it just bilingual?) Well, they do have English speaking volunteer guide there can provide oodles of fun for a short visit not to mention a chance to see how Oshin  lived when she was younger.


  1. I like those kinds of museums.

  2. @Toshogu,
    You do? Cool!
    I always prefer those with interactive experience. It's great esp for children too. :)

  3. Looks like a fun museum with lots to do and love the interactive aspects of it. Great for learning especially with kids.

    Japan Australia

  4. @Japan Australia,
    It's just a small two-storey museum but yes, oodles of fun spending time there. The staff were really helpful too - providing insight on the living area and history of shitamachi & also on the first floor, they taught us how to play with all the games on display. ^^

  5. I didn't know sitamachi museum.That's interesting.
    As you may go, Edo Tokyo Museum is also interesting.

  6. @cocomino,
    Yes, Edo-Tokyo Museum is interesting too. :)
    Of course, it is so much bigger than Shitamachi museum, which displays are all donated by residents living there!

  7. Do you like the smell of tatami?
    To me, it can smell like damp clothes without being dried by the sun.
    Do you think so?

  8. @London Caller,
    Yes, for those rooms that I suppose did not get aired much. But hey! That's a charm too. Makes me think of how my late grandma's house - no, it didn't smell like damp clothes but you know how old people's kampung house lah.... ^^!

  9. Looks like fun especially since you can touch everything and not just look at them from far. A good way to learn.. Yeah, thank goodness for washing machine! :)

  10. @Bella,
    Good interactive museum, this. And very insightful too.

    Yeah, what I would do without my washing machine. I don't fancy the backbreaking challenge of brainwashing everything! @.@

  11. Oooh looks nice!
    I looooooooooove interactive stuff. Maybe because I always want to touch things. :P

  12. @Ri,
    Likewise. I like to touch stuff too. :D

  13. How about wooden clogs shop? There is a volunteer interpreter who belongs to our same group.

  14. @minor,
    How does the volunteer intrepeter works? You rotate location or is assigned to a place?

  15. hi! I only go to Asakusa. I would request Asakusa two days par month, and usually be assigned one day sometime 2 days. You can choose the place which you want.
    After The Great Earthquake, I would not request anything.

  16. @minor,
    I see. Thanks for the info.

    BTW, have fun with your trip. :)

  17. When I was under six years old. Dagashiya(駄菓子屋/cheap sweets shop) was an exciting world for me.
    I was able to buy any sweets for ¥10.
    Some sweets had a cheap plastic toy.
    The taste of sweets were using cyclamate.

    The shop makes me feel nostalgic, but I ingested much hazardous substances.
    Oh~~~ but I'm fine now. ^o^

  18. @birdmini,
    Yes, and we have something similar here too, and I too ingested many of those too. And went absolutely nuts over the cheap toys. XD

  19. I think you're supposed to dry your tatami regularly in the sun to get rid of the unwanted smell.

    The problem is they are very rigid and can take up a lot space.
    It's not as easy as drying clothes.

    Best to have ceramic tiles lah! Ha ha!

  20. Museums usually don't let you touch anything so it would be fun to visit one that does. Was this a few years ago? Raimie looks so much younger than recent photos. :D

  21. @London Caller,
    Give me a parquet floor anytime over tiles. My old aching joint don't like the cold tiles. XD

    (Can't afford hardwood floors, myself) ^^!

  22. @AVCr8teur,
    Yes, those were taken a few years back. I'm alternating between posts of trip taken last year and trips on previous years until I can and able to write about our 2011 trip. :p

  23. Oh my gosh how can your friend be uninterested with a museum like this??? I wouldn't!! I remember how my husband had to look for me at the V&A Museum for quite some time because I was stuck at one section of the museum for so long just admiring the displays LOL. I tell you the days of washing by hand squatting are long gone, I remember doing that in my kampung days ...mengigil kaki kalau nak bediri LOL. By the way, thanks for mentioning Oshin, that was my first J-drama I have ever watched when I was still a lil girl. I never missed watching it from the beginning to the end ... wish i could get it on DVD all those episodes. Its interesting to see how the young Oshin has grown up now and the elder Oshin has passed away a long time ago :) Haiii kenangan kenangan

  24. @cuteandcurls,
    Hand washing piles and piles of laundry. OMG! OMG! That was my chore every weekend from I was 10 till 12! (By 13, I left home for boarding school. ^^) And my Mom was so fussy about washing too!

    I remember Oshin fondly. The whole family - me, aunts, grandma, grandpa would all sit together and watch it. Lovely memories, that. :)

  25. @cuteandcurls,
    and there is one more fun, interactive museum we like - the Railway Museum. I posted about it some time ago, and I think I'll do a new post again soon! The museum is fun, not only for train enthusiasts. :)

  26. I missed out on that post? Nevermind I wait for your new post hehehehe i really enjoy looking at your photos tu :)
    Awww man i remember those piles and piles of laundry ..worse in those days we had to use them soaps yea sakit my tangan then my mum got us detergent ..OHHH i remember when I had to help wash those baby cloth diapers and I do mean WASH as in really hose em down and soak, scrub, wash ...THANK GOD FOR MODERN DIAPERS AND WASHING MACHINE lol

  27. @cuteandcurls,
    We went to the Railway Museum in 2009 so the post was two years back. I wasn't that exhaustive in my trip reports way back when. I think I've gotten long-winded only recently.Must be the old age. ^^!

    Tell me about hand washing! Pakai sabun buku pulak tu! Ugh! Though in the kampung, we used sabun cap buruh - the one with yellow cube. That one wasn't so bad. XD

  28. It's so close to my house yet I've never been there!

  29. @kathrynoh,
    Well, there are lots of cool places around the place I lived in that I've yet visited too! ^^

  30. Looks like an interesting interactive museum! Don't mind dropping by if I am nearby! : )

  31. @foong,
    It is an interesting museum. A nondescript museum but absolutely fun to visit!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...