Meiji-mura (Meiji Village) is an open-air museum displaying valuable buildings and historical materials from the Meiji era, in which the foundations of modern Japan were laid.
Over 60 historic buildings including 9 important cultural properties and an Aichi material cultural property have been gathered and rebuilt on the approximately 1,000,000 square meters of woody hillside,the museum preserves and exhibits all together about 10 thousand cultural assets to harmonise with the environment.
The collection includes Nishikie(color woodblock print), photos, books and other precious cultural objects. Visitors can enjoy a ride on an antique locomotive. Recently, the site has been designated a film commission site and has been used in several productions.
Here you can experience Meiji life and culture directly, discovering the energy and effort of the Meiji era people as they created modern Japan. The buildings are arranged to show the heritage of Meiji culture. Also gardens, walks and trees are carefully maintained to keep the village environment.
Visitors enjoy the fruits of the museum’s forward-thinking founders and enter a virtual time-warp that has a way of evoking nostalgia even for a previously unfamiliar era. Among the priceless buildings located on the museum grounds are the former home of Soseki Natsume, Japan’s most renowned novelist. Lafcadio Hearn’s summer home, built in 1868, has also been transferred from Shizuoka to the museum, and visitors to the traditional home will see how the author who conveyed Japan’s charm to the west immersed himself in the local culture.
You can get a glimpse of Meiji era Nagoya at Tomatsu House, a typical tradesman’s residence that has been relocated from the city. The Nakai Sake Brewery offers up Nintoshu, a local brew with a 400-year history, as well as contemporary snacks. Other highlights are Ekiraku-an tea house, the Cabinet Library and the lobby of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Imperial Hotel.
Visitors can enter many of the museum’s buildings, and inside they’ll be rewarded again with a look at Meiji period furniture and items related to the preservation and acquisition of the structures.
In addition to architecture, museum patrons have a chance to experience the humble beginnings of Japan’s now impressive infrastructure. Early Meiji era streetcars and steam locomotives transport passengers around the museum’s “districts,” and posting a handwritten postcard from the Uji-Yamada Post Office, transferred to the museum from neighboring Mie prefecture, provides a taste of a bygone, more personal era long forgotten in today’s age of e-mail.
Background History of Meiji-Mura
The Meiji era is the time when modern Japan was shaped by opening the door to the world and introducing western culture, so that is recognized as a very important part of Japanese history along with the Asuka and Nara eras. Because of these facts, the Meiji era constructions are based on traditional techniques and knowhow inherited from Edo era and at the same time, they include newly introduced things from the west. Bricks and stones began to be used in construction designed in western styles and as the Industrial Revolution proceeds, more new materials like steel, cement and glass came in.
Thus modern Japanese construction style was established through this era. Many of these constructions, which are valuable both in historical and artistic aspects, were lost in disasters, wars, and particularly through rapid industrial developments after World War II. But two men with great enthusiasm, the late Dr. Yoshiro Taniguchi(the first director of MEIJI MURA) and Mr. Moto-o Tsuchikawa (schoolmate of Dr. Tanicuchi in the former fourth national high school and then vice president of Nagoya Railroad Company.) cooperated and eventually established the MEIJI MURA museum complex from 1962 with the support of many people. Meiji-mura (Meiji Village) was finally opened on March 15, 1965 at the side of IRUKA Lake, which has great nature continued since ancient days.
For tourists who would like to take in the fresh breeze, but still want to keep the ol’ noggin active, Museum Meiji Mura is a one-of-a-kind outdoor architectural museum located on 247 acres of Hida Kisogawa Quasi-National Park. Enthusiastic efforts to preserve the most valuable of these architectural treasures culminated in today’s Museum Meiji Mura.
HOURS OF ADMISSION: 9:30a.m.-5:00p.m. (Mar.-Oct.) 9:30a.m.-4:00p.m. (Nov.-Feb.)
Note: Meiji-Mura is closed Decenber 31 and on Mondays from Decenber through February (except when Monday falls on a national holiday and January 1 through 6, also closed other days in january)
ADMISSION FEE: Adult 1,600 yen. Senior 1,200 yen. Senior High School Student 1,000 yen. Primary and Junior High School Pupil or Secondary School Pupil 600 yen.
An extra charge buys you a pass for the Meiji era trains and buses. The museum is best reached from Nagoya by train on the Meitestu line to Inuyama where visitors can take a 20-minute bus ride from the station’s east exit.
GETTING MEIJI-MURA MUSEUM: By Bus: 20 min by shuttle bus from Inuyama (Meitetsu Inuyama line)
From Nagoya To Meiji-Mura: (Super Express “NOZOMI””HIKARI” of SHINKANSEN,J.R.). About 2 hours from TOKYO About 1 hour from OSAKA or KYOTO. NAGOYA RAIL ROAD (Train & Bus) MEITETSU-NAGOYA (train 30min). INUYAMA (bus 20min) MEIJI-MURA About 60 min. by taxi.
Address and Contact:
MUSEUM MEIJI-MURA 1,Uchiyama, Inuyama-shi (Inuyama City), Aichi Pref., 484-0000 Japan TEL: (0568)67-0314 FAX:(0568)67-0358
Official Website: http://meijimura.com/english/index.html