PAST TOKYO with Manami Arai: Manami Gets a Taste of Downtown Nostalgia at the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

PAST TOKYO with 新井愛瞳:江戸東京たてもの園でノスタルジックな下町風情を味わう
PAST TOKYO with Manami Arai: Manami Gets a Taste of Downtown Nostalgia at the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
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Dressed up in the latest popular style with Swankiss, we took Manami Arai from UPUPGIRLS (KARI) to get to know Tokyo’s past at the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum.


As its name suggests, it’s an open-air museum that first opened in 1993, and restores, preserves, and displays historical buildings with high cultural value which were built from the Edo Period to the early Showa Era, but have been relocated due to difficulties keeping preserving them at their original sites.


The museum is located in the western part of Koganei City in Tokyo, and covers about 7 hectares! Not only can you see different buildings, you can also enjoy seeing a variety of flowers, too. The weather today was perfect for a stroll! We decided to take a peek at the area housing displays of old shops, public bathhouses, and taverns.


This is the result from the collaboration with DVD magagazine IDOL NEWSING vol.2, where she’ll experience Tokyo’s new and old.

The first place we set foot in was a dried goods store. There were dried mushrooms and seaweed hanging on display, and we could easily have fun imagining what it what this downtown area looked like during its heyday.

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This one was a florist shop built during the early Showa Era. It was during this period that people would often buy flowers to give to someone. Somehow seeing it made us long for a time gone by.

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Here we have a stationery shop that was founded in the early Meiji era. Because it had originally been a wholesale calligraphy supply retailer, the shop was decorated with calligraphy brushes and ink.

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We take a few more steps and take a rest at a traditional umbrella shop. It’s been brought back to the way it appeared in the 1930s. But despite its age, the inside of the store was surprisingly clean.

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After that, we took a tour of a retro soy sauce shop and the taverns before visiting the public bathhouse Kodakarayu! There’s a rumor that many of the buildings here at the Tokyo-Edo Open Air Museum remind us of the Ghibli movie “Spirited Away”.

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Of course at the museum you can see big buildings like these, but you can also fetch water from a well, ride the tram, sit around the hearth and kindle a fire, or take a nap on top of the farmhouse’s tatami… When you walk around the architectural garden, it really feels like you’ve traveled back in time to the Edo Period.


If you find yourself bored of all the urban areas when you visit Tokyo and would like to experience the way the city was in the past, we encourage you to give the Edo-Tokyo Architectural Museum a visit.

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Related links
Manami Arai Twitter :
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) official site :

Photos by Mime Soga
Hair & Make by hitomi
Translated by Jamie Koide

website :


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Tokyo Edo Architectural Museum
Address : Sakura Machi 3-7-1, Koganei-shi, Tokyo
Nearest Station : Musashi Koganei
TEL : 042-388-3300



Been working in girls’ fashion magazines for a long time and am now the chief editor of Tokyo Girls’ Update. I have more expertise in Japanese teen fashion than anyone else (probably)! I’m a huge fan of the Revolutionary Girl Utena and Bakemonogatari animes.

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