This lovely open air museum is another favourite of mine. It is close enough to my house to cycle or walk to. Located in the Tama Hills in a shady green valley it contains 25 houses dating from the 17th century. They have been sourced from around the country, deconstructed and reassembled on site. From the entrance way to the end, it is a pleasant 2km walk. Once at the end, it a lovely walk down through a park back to the entrance way.
The houses include traditional farmhouses, such as a gasshozukuri farmhouse from the Shirakawako area, samurai and merchant houses, houses from post towns and fishing villages, a water wheel, a shrine and a kabuki stage. One of the farmhouses has a soba restaurant.
I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of excellent information available in English and many other languages explaining each house and the exhibits. There are volunteer guides available including English speaking guides. They were very informative and pointed out lots of features I would have otherwise missed
On Sundays demonstrations of traditional handicrafts, straw and bamboo craft making, and cloth weaving can be seen. You can try your hand at traditional indigo dying for a small extra charge . A variety of other cultural events and festivals, such as rice cake pounding, a kabuki play and dances are held at different times during the year.
How to get there
Mukogaokayuen Station on the Odakyu Odawara Line (20 minutes, 250 yen by express train from Shinjuku,) is a 15 min walk away or it is a 25 minute walk from Noborito Station on the JR Nambu Line. (30 minutes, 310 yen from Kawasaki Station).
- [Mar. – Oct.] 9:30 – 17:00
- [Nov. – Feb.] 9:30 – 16:30
- last admissions 30 min before closed time
- Monday (open on holiday)
- The day after Japanese national holidays (open on Saturdays and Sundays)
- Year-end holidays and New Year’s holidays (from December 29 to January 3)
- Adults ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・500 yen
- Students(Senior High School, College) ・・・・・・・・300 yen (ID cards required)
- 65 years and over(Kawasaki City residents: Free) ・・・300 yen (ID cards required)
- Children(Junior High School and under) ・・・・・・・・Free
- Handicapped Persons・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・Free
I have sent 3 groups of my guests there to date, The Australians, my Kiwi family with kids and the intrepid Canadian crew and I am sure they would all agree it is well worth a visit.
Yoroshiku Onegai shimasu
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I have not put ‘open air museums’ of my lists of things to do on my trips to Japan. I think I have been wrong!
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If you have time this one is great, easy access from Shinjuku Tokyo and had great info in English. My other favorite is the outdoor sculpture park in Hakone. Well worth a look if you are in the vicinity.
Next trip maybe!