Shitamachi Museum in Ueno Park (October 27 )
Tokyo Free Walking Tour appreciate your participation in our tours in Asakusa and Ueno Park on October 27. 25 guests kindly joined from Lithuania, Ireland, Israel, Canada, America, Columbia, Argentina, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia and Pakistan. Weather was perfect conditions in the light of deepening autumn. We saw a number of the rugby fans and beautiful chrysanthemum display at Asakusa Sensoji Temple and the breathtaking performing arts at Ueno Park. I hope all of you enjoyed walking with us.
Shitamachi( literally downtown) Museum is located on the shores of Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park and dedicated to the traditional culture of the old environments and buildings. The museum reproduces the lifestyle of the common people in Tokyo in the Meiji, Taisho and Showa periods in 1900s. This museum was established about 40 years ago to pass down the culture of the good old days to the next generations.
The 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake and WWⅡ devastated many towns in Tokyo and changed behavior of the people. However, postwar reconstruction process brought modernization and growth. On the other hand, good old culture of the town disappeared as time passed.
1st Floor re-creates the townscape in the 1910s to 1920s. The large house is a store of sandal straps. The nagaya row house is surrounded by alleys. Its tenants are a dagashiya(cheap candy store) . A well was shared by the residents as a social meeting place.
On the 2nd floor the living room shows the typical habits of the common people in the mid-1950 to 60s. Look at the nostalgic TV set, radio and telephone. Moreover, bandai or watcher’s seat of sento (public bathhouse) was indeed used until 1986. The sento functioned as a place for entertainment and social intercourse among the local people. However, as private baths became common, it is regrettable that the number of sento has been diminishing.
I wish Shitamachi culture of the common people will be preserved and last into the future. Visit Shitamachi Musem in Ueno Park and look at the good old facilities which were actually used in the old days.
(posted by Yoshi)