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Meiji-Mura Museum 博物館明治村

December 18, 2010

An absolute gem, the Meiji-Mura is an open-air museum preserving dozens of Meji Era (1896-1912) Japanese buildings including schools, hotels, prisons, and even a lighthouse. Many of these buildings were strongly influenced by Western architecture and building materials. It's kind of like Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford Museum, only much more spread out around Lake Iruka. There are costumed guides, vintage transportation, and ubiquitous food and gift shops. It's worth the upgrade to the ticket that includes rides (2200 yen versus 1600 for admission only); you'll do A LOT of walking otherwise. The local bus from Inuyama Station is full of "colorful" locals and takes about 20 minutes (410 yen).

 

There's an English-language brochure available at the main gate, and most of the signs feature English as well as Japanese (there's also a serviceable little English-language guide for 1000 yen in the main gift shop).  I found it a little surprising that the first floor of a church was converted into a carpeted playroom, and kids were running around, screaming and (literally) bouncing off the walls. The Christmas handbell concert was superb; I only wish that the girls' junior high handbell choir had a CD available for purchase.

 

Plan on spending the whole day here. Keep in mind that it closes fairly early, like most things in Japan, and I read that the last bus back to Inuyama station leaves at 3 pm, so I really had to  scramble from one end of the park to the other in record time.

 

http://www.meijimura.com/english/index.html

 

 

 

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