How did Tokyo become a bustling metropolis and leader in technology, innovation and design? The Edo-Tokyo Museum chronicles Tokyo's evolution from Edo, a small fishing village, to a cultural and economic hub. Featuring architecture, art and special exhibitions covering the 15th to early 19th centuries, this is a museum you won't want to miss.
Taking visitors back in time, the museum features displays of the legendary Edo Castle, the historic Nihonbashi Bridge and a reconstruction of the Kabuki Theatre. Films can be seen in the Audio-visual Hall, where travelers can learn about the surreal experience of riding the Tokyo subways or what it would be like if a boy from the future visited modern-day Tokyo. Many special exhibits feature historical items such as ancient artifacts from the reign of Genghis Khan and the Samurai swords of Sakamoto Ryoma.
The museum building itself is also a sight to see, an impressive testament to post-modern architecture. Fashioned after "an elevated-floor type warehouse," the structure features multiple rectangular layers jutting out into the Tokyo sky and covering more area than the Tokyo Dome Stadium.
The Edo-Tokyo Museum is easily accessible by subway and train. It is located in the Sumida-ku region, right next to the Ryogoku train station. Upon entering the museum, the lobby and hall are toward the front, while the Special Exhibition Gallery, restaurants and Audio-visual Hall can be found in the back.