Edo Tokyo Museum
At this museum, there are replicas dedicated to exhibiting the landscape of the common people who lived in the castle town during the Edo Period. There are a total of 7 floors above ground and 1 floor underground in the museum, with permanent exhibition and temporary exhibition rooms and special events and exhibitions which take place 5 times a year. There is an exhibition room that is partitioned according to the ‘Edo Zone’ and ‘Tokyo Zone’. In the ‘Edo Zone’, you will find models of ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) and senryoubako (wooden boxes) as well as reproductions of the living quarters of people during the Edo period. You can gain a lot of insight into the lives of the citizens during the Edo Period with the multitude of models and exhibits.
Not only do you get the chance to learn about the Edo Period exclusively, but you can also learn about Tokyo after the shift from Edo to Tokyo. Through photos and exhibits, you can learn about events in Japanese history that were significant in changing the course of Japanese history. Such events include the Tokyo Fire Raids, Meiji Restoration and cultural enlightenment.
In the museum, there is also a video hall where you can view videos to enrich your knowledge, as well as a library where you can read documents related to the history of Edo. Moreover, as mentioned above, there is the permanent exhibition and special exhibition that you should take your time visiting.
There are over 140,000 precious books dedicated to Tokyo and Edo and from this collection, you are allowed to copy 1 book for personal research purposes. For tourists who would like to learn more in depth about Japan and the history, the Edo Tokyo Museum is a recommended spot to spend some time at. As Japan heads closer to the 2020 Olympics, the museum is strengthening its support for foreign visitors. The museum offers English guidebooks for visitors. Furthermore, visitors from abroad can be rest assured with the ample number of models and art displays, so that they will not leave the museum without having learned something new. It should be noted that there are English-speaking volunteers who can assist foreign visitors, as well as headphone sets that visitors can borrow to hear English commentary.
Ryogoku Sumo Hall
Next to the museum, there is also the Kokugikan, or Ryogoku Sumo Hall. The Ryogoku Sumo Hall was built as a facility to host the competitions for sumo wrestling, a professional sport that has continued thriving in popularity since the Edo Period. If you are going to learn about Edo and Tokyo at the Edo Tokyo Museum, then by searching around the Ryogoku area with its air of shitamachi, you will be able to encounter a different Tokyo.