Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 5 - Shitamachi Museum (Ueno)

4th February, 2003 - Around Ueno you can also visit the Shitamachi Museum, which is sort of an indoors look at an old slice of Tokyo. There's an attempt to recreate a section of old Tokyo... but it never really convinces you that you're anywhere other than an antiques collection. No real life here, and all the displays are statics. There's lots of displays however and recreated rooms, and you might find it sort of interesting - but if you're on a tight budget, in my opinion it's one of those sorts of attractions that can be given the flick. Also - from memory (now 7 years ago), it catered mostly for Japanese tourists, so I didn't find a great deal of English information there. Luckily, having T-chan (my wife's blog-name) there to translate was a big bonus!

They are very proud of their collection of old Japanese toys - mostly of the wooden variety... you know cup and ball, or worse yet - those damnable puzzles. The guide their had a great laugh at the poor gaijin who didn't know how to solve the puzzles... and went to excruciating pains to solve them for me - with the unmistakable air of someone that suspects the world's 20th century dominance by the West was just a terrible, terrible oversight. Having said that... I'm sure he had the same smug attitude to all the visitors (foreign or Japanese alike) - he was just very very proud of his puzzles.

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