I believe that if you want to understand the people of a country, first you need to know their history and then you need to see how they lived. Obviously, you can learn from history books about the leaders, you can see their castles and palaces… but that’s not enough. What is really important is to see the common people’s way of life, how they passed on their traditions, their crafts… And the best places to do that are museums, especially village museums.
In Japan there are several “Open Air” museums and two of them are located near Tokyo: the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum, in Koganei, Tokyo and the Bōsō no Mura Open Air Museum in Chiba, close to Narita city.
Bōsō no Mura (which means Bōsō Village - Bōsō is the name of the peninsula where Chiba is located) includes 30 buildings representative for the past of the Chiba Prefecture, from the Edo and Meiji periods: merchant houses, farmhouses, a kabuki stage, an old schoolhouse, workshops, restaurants, a samurai residence… Plus, you can experience here a lot of traditional activities.
Here is a photo of the main street, a place used often in Japanese samurai drama series…
Click on photo for higher resolution:
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: