Two museums are worth visiting in Tokyo. The Tokyo National Museum is located in Ueno Park and houses an impressive Japanese art and antiquities collection.
However, if you want to see how Japan’s past and these cultural movements shaped the present, then the Edo-Tokyo Museum is your best bet.
Edo is Tokyo’s old name. The Edo-Tokyo Museum is focused on Tokyo’s history during the Edo period (1667-1867). It also focuses on the transition to the post-feudal period after the fall of Japan’s last shogunate. Tokyo was then renamed Tokyo. The museum’s exhibits track the cultural and societal changes that occurred over the centuries. There are large-scale replicas of shopfronts and homes as well as historical artifacts.
The Edo-Tokyo Museum has announced that it will close the entire building to allow for large-scale renovations. The museum will close its doors on April 1st. In keeping with its historical perspective, it gave its projected reopening date using the traditional Japanese Imperial Calendar. They stated that they expect to be open for visitors again in Reiwa 7 by the time they reopen. When is Reiwa 7, you might ask? To everyone’s disappointment, it’s on 2025.
One astonishing fact is that the visitors to this museum are primarily tourists, meaning people around Tokyo rarely visit the place. These are both in short supply due to the ongoing pandemic. So if you think about it, the museum staff is right to believe that this would be the perfect time for large-scale renovations since they aren’t receiving the majority of their visitors anyhow. Plus, it does need some renovating after its inauguration in 1993.
It’s not goodbye forever, but that’s a plus. And in comparison to the hundreds of years of history that the Edo-Tokyo Museum encompasses, three years isn’t too long.