At the heart of Japanese sumo, the city of Ryogoku, is the acclaimed “Edo-Tokyo Museum.”
With a huge structure 62 meters high, and an infrastructure that is based on a warehouse from the Edo period, it is a museum that offers its visitors the opportunity to know in depth the peaceful Edo period. When you arrive at the museum and after buying the tickets, you go up to the first room on automatic stairs that leave behind paintings or representations of the Edo period. Upon reaching the first room you can see a replica of the Nihonbashi Bridge. At that time, this bridge connected the rest of the cities of Japan with the city of Edo. Below is detailed information on each of the Tokugawa shoguns who ruled in this period of history, beginning with its founder, the honorable “Tokugawa Ieyasu.”
The Edo period is the longest era in Japanese history, beginning in 1603 to 1868. Its founder was Tokugawa Ieyasu, a pacifist samurai who ended the stormy war that had been raging in Japan for several centuries.
Subsequently, his son, the second Tokugawa shogun, in an extraordinary way of separating Japan from foreign influence, closed the entrance to the country, in other words, no one could enter or leave Japan without authorization from the shogun himself. This is how during the Edo period Japanese culture began to flourish, and the great city of Edo (now Tokyo) began to develop, being even at that time the most populated city in the world. In the Edo-Tokio museum, the visitor can observe little by little the revolutionary city was being built little by little but at a fast pace. The visitor is invited to try the ancient means of transport and even see what the rooms of common families were like. There are replicas of the main characters of this era, such as the elegant Oiran, the Kabuki actor and the famous Samurai.
This museum not only shows what life was like in the Edo period, but extends to modern-day Tokyo. Going through the Meiji restoration, all the home changes to the European style and dress. There is a section dedicated to the American bombings that destroyed almost the entire city of Tokyo, losing many buildings of historical importance from the Edo period and the Meiji period to the flames.
Finally, the museum shows how Tokyo was evolving again into an industrial city and all the challenges that it had to go through to end pollution until the present day ecological and modern metropolis of Tokyo. The museum is a highly recommended visit for those who want to know in depth how the great capital of Japan was created. The exhibits are suitable for all audiences and it is a fantastic tour to see the history first hand.
The complex consists of two large rooms, with many activities and objects for those who want to feel through their own experience what it was like to be a citizen of Edo.