Shitamachi Museum, Ueno

If you really want to learn about and experience what life in Tokyo was in the 19th and 20th centuries, then you have to visit the Shitamachi Museum in Ueno. The literal translation of Shita-Machi is “down town”. Shitamachi means a central business district where merchants, coppersmiths and traders used to have their shops, and often times, even their living quarters. This museum houses actual/real buildings and structures that existed 100 to 150 years ago. You can even walk into many of these structures, take pictures and really get a sense of what life must have been like back in the early days. Watch out for an ancient hand powered rickshaw, pots and pans, and tools that were in actual use many years ago. There are two floors of the museum, the first floor has the shops and living quarters and the second floor has things like toys, clothes, household items, bedrooms and bathhouses from the world war era.

Very interesting way of understanding life of Tokyo! You can read more about this museum at its official site. It is located near Ueno park and very close to the Tokyo National Museum. It is a great addition to the museum or an Ueno trip.

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      (Dead lotus plants during the winter at the Shinobazu pond)

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           (Bentendo Hall Temple in the middle of Shinobazu pond)

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       (The Shinobazu pond overlooking the Shitomachi museum)

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                  (Birds swimming inside the pond)

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          (Birds of various colours in the Shinobazu pond)

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(shop selling hanao straps used in traditional Japanese wooden clogs called geta)

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                         (hanao strap seller shop)

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                            (A case to store luggage)

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 (A Dagashi store or candy store with an apartment behind the main store)

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(The Dagashi-Ya is meant to depict the life of a mother and daughter who sold candy and lived in the room behind the store)

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                        (A pump well for drawing water)

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            (Some kind of plant hanging to keep away the evil spirits)

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             (painting depicting 19th century life in Tokyo)

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             (another painting depicting 19th century life in Tokyo)

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Items: Shitamachi Museum, Ueno, Tokyo (official website)

Price: Price to visit the museum is 175 or 300 yen

Location: 2-1,Ueno-koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0007

Timings: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, closed Mondays, closed Dec 29 – Jan 1, closed temporarily when changing exhibits

Telephone: + 81-3-3823-7451

Type: Tourist/History/Cultural

How to get there: Take JR Yamanote line to Ueno Station or Ginza line subway to Ueno subway station. Once at the station, walk 5-10 mins south west towards Shinobazu pond

Language: English guide present at the museum

Also visit nearby: Tokyo National Museum & others in the Museum District, Ueno Park, Toshogu Shrine, Ueno Zoo

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