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“Great History of Tokyo - Much Better Than We Expected”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Edo-Tokyo Museum

Edo-Tokyo Museum
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: This fascinating museum displays artifacts and architecture that tell a tale of Tokyo's history. Exhibits include replicas of an ancient Kabuki theatre and the original Edo Castle.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great History of Tokyo - Much Better Than We Expected”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2014

For history buffs and anyone interested in the history of modern Japan, this is a great museum. I really wished that this had existed when I lived in Japan 25 years ago, as it explained so much that I didn't understand then. This is more of a modern museum with plenty of life-size reconstructions and dioramas taking visitors through the history of Tokyo, from its founding as Edo under the Tokugawa Shogunate through to the modern day. This includes some unique insights into life in the lead-up to and during WWII.

There are some amazingly detailed reconstructions of street scenes from Tokyo's history and daily domestic life. There is enough English signage to make the visit worthwhile if you don't speak Japanese. Apparently the English guides are good if you are nervous about the amount of Japanese, but speaking both languages, I though the English signage was just fine.
The museum provides insights into daily life and who the Japanese are that as a tourist you can't normally get by visiting the temples and shrines. There are some interesting insights into the commuter and "salaryman" cultures which dominated so much of 20th century Japan.

There is enough to keep kids interested and if you relate them back to your own country then it will be quite an educational experience.

Visited July 2014
Thank JaneBloggsTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level Contributor
72 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“A lot to take in!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2014

Firstly, I would definitely recommend getting an audio guide- they don't cost anything other than a returnable deposit, and although they basically tell you what is written on the stands, it means you can peruse at your leisure. There are also some foreign language tours, which we were unable to attend as we were at the mercy of an 18 month old's attention span!
There are some very interesting artefacts and models which give an insight into life in Edo, the origin of the Tokyo we know now. However, towards the end of the visit I started to feel like my brain was trying to process too much information, I'd recommend skipping bits if there's an exhibition futher on that you know you want to look at. Personally I found the Tokyo at war section really interesting and poignant. It was interesting to hear about the war from a Japanese perspective.
There's a really nice gift shop (one of the nicest we found actually) selling souvenirs.
Top tip! They are very strict about no eating or drinking, even for babies, so don't make the mistake we did and try to sneak your child a quick snack to keep them going if you want to avoid a telling off by the eagle eyed attendants!

Visited July 2014
Thank LibsDibs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohegan Lake, New York
Level Contributor
479 reviews
204 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 221 helpful votes
“Just Okay”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2014 via mobile

The Edo Museum is a large building that has only two floors of exhibitions illustrating some of the history of Tokyo. Some of the exhibits are large reproductions that are grand on nature, while others require a lot of reading. Overall, it's a decent place to spend two hours on a rainy Tokyo day but it definitely is not a must see attraction.

1 Thank stuartled
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Banff, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
123 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
“Great Historic Value”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2014

Spent a few days in Tokyo back in 2008 as I was visiting friends while I was living in Nagoya doing the typical foreign aspect of teaching English. This was by far one of my highlights while visiting Tokyo as I didn't expect much from this museum as I had been to a lot of temples, shrines and a few other museum since my arrival to Japan and they simple left me wanting more.

This museum gives great insight to the Edo area and somewhat leans into why Japan is still very different from other countries around the world and why the Japanese seem to be multiple people at times. As they say two faced, public face and private face.

I am so coming back to this museum on a future visit to Japan as I was so interested and it was a lot of information to take in all at once. A bit overwhelming.

Warning though this is not a artifact Museum but rather a history museum but by far worth the visit. For Artifacts visit the prefectures Castles that are spread out across Japan.

Visited August 2013
Thank Banff_Bear31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
131 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Good overview of Tokyo/Edo history but few artifacts”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2014

As others have noted, this museum gives a good overview of Edo-Tokyo history. Wow is the history and structure complex.

The museum does a good job of walking through the history up until modern day. My wife and I enjoyed the history lesson.

Reason for "average" review is two: (1) there are few "original" artifacts in the museum [many items are reproduction] and (2) the museum is geared heavily towards adults and difficult to keep attention span of non-Japanese reading elementary or middle school children.

Sumo museum is a short walk from this museum.

Visited July 2014
Thank Brian-IFlyAlot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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