Monday, September 10, 2007

Meiji mura museum

This is museum of old houses of Meiji period (1868 - 1912) in Japan. Very beautiful place on hillside near lake. Houses are collected all over Japan and now they have over 67 houses, which ranges from completly Western till Japanese style. Museum exists for about 40 years and I saw new houses are being built.

Everything looks real here - houses, train, tram etc. Even food in cafes and restaurants are from that period. I saw matches placed on the table for smokers, while matches are very rarely or not at all used in Japan now.

Sometimes in the museum concerts are held in churches and halls. During my stay there, I listened to horn and singing performances. Very nice atmosphere and feels that it is not museum, but you actually have traveled back to that era.

Meiji mura
Image: Whole streets have been recreated.

There are people through museum working in costumes of that Meiji era. For example, this police man has full Meiji era uniform. They are always ready to talk in Japanese and English about house they represent.

Meiji mura
Image: Meiji era policaman infront of old police station. Mustasche is also real

There are also steam locomotive running, albeit its a short course - 800m oneway. Train runs all day in short intervals and is disconnected, turned and connected again at both ends.

Steam locomotive
Image: old steam locomotive for visitors enjoyment

Steam locomotive
Image: Looking out of train

Video: Here me overenjoying while riding steam locomotive

Natsume Soseki house
It was nice, Japanese house with tatami rooms and some musical instruments displayed. This in video is called biwa. I chatted with this old man and suddenly he started to play. This instrument came to Japan from Persia some 1200 years ago by Silk road. Now only two persons in Japan can make it. It is played just in concerts, not in events like weddings or banquets.

Meiji mura
Image: Biwas inside Natsume Soseki house

Here is some short example how it sounds:

Video: sounding example of biwa instrument

Here are some examples of other buildings:
Meiji mura
Image: Mie prefectural office

Meiji mura
Image: Higashi-Yamanashi district office

Meiji mura
Image: Areal view of sector 5. Tall building in background is head office of Kawasaki Bank

Meiji mura
Image: Kitasato institute

Meiji mura
Image: Also some traditonal houses are featured in museum. This gate was in backyard of old bank building

On the map are shown 5th stage. This can be seen from museum train. Drag your mouse on the map to see around this place. Rest of museum and entrace is on Southern direction.

There are few buses early morning from Meitetsu Nagoya station to museum (note: two big stations in the center of Nagoya - Meitetsu Nagoya station and JR Nagoya station, they are next to each other). Otherwise if you did not make to buses, Meitetsu railway train to Inuyama town and then bus to museum. It costs 1600 yen for museum, but its really worth every yen.

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