The Museum Meiji-Mura (Meiji Village)


2018.07.25

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

  • Meiji Mura (meaning Meiji Village) is an open-air architectural museum near Inuyama City in Aichi Prefecture. The museum was opened in 1965 in an attempt to help preserve culturally important buildings from the Meiji era (1868-1912) - the period that followed the end of Japan’s feudal age when it was cut off from the rest of the world. Meiji era architecture is known for its strong influences that were drawn from Western architectural styles of the time, while retaining elements and aesthetics of traditional Japan. Meiji Mura is a must-visit location for anybody interested in architecture or Japanese history – few other Meiji era buildings exist in Japan today due to the extensive damage caused by the bombing of WW2.

    The Museum Meiji-Mura (Meiji Village)

    The Museum Meiji-Mura (Meiji Village)

    The museum is spread over a wide plot of land with over sixty original buildings interspersed among winding roads and thickets of trees, and set along the side of the picturesque Iruka Pond, which allows for great views as you make your way around the site. Visitors are recommended to dedicate at least half a day to this spacious museum if they want to explore all of the buildings and exhibits. Meiji era buses, trams and even a steam train operate throughout the day ferrying visitors to and from the various zones inside the park. Although it is a pleasant experience to walk from one section to the other, as well.

    The Museum Meiji-Mura (Meiji Village)

    The Museum Meiji-Mura (Meiji Village)

    Buildings inside the park include the grand entrance hall of Tokyo’s former Imperial Hotel, St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral which was relocated from Kyoto, the infamous Kanazawa Prison and the former home of one of Japan’s most celebrated writers – Natsume Soseki – author of I am a Cat, Botchan and Kokoro.

    The Museum Meiji-Mura (Meiji Village)

    The Museum Meiji-Mura (Meiji Village)

    The Museum Meiji-Mura (Meiji Village)

    The Museum Meiji-Mura (Meiji Village)

    Other attractions include a variety of buildings gathered from up and down the country including parts of Nagasaki’s foreign settlement, sake breweries, public bath-houses, hospitals, schools and even a working post office. Some of the buildings have been converted into cafes where visitors can rest and get a bite to eat, but most places have been preserved as they were when they stopped being used, complete with furniture and other items still inside, giving an interesting insight into life in Japan in arguably one of its most historically important periods. Most buildings have explanations in both Japanese and English, and there are pamphlets at the entrance in various languages. Many staff also speak English making it easy to get around and understand. Some of the buildings also hold cultural experiences including sake tasting and traditional Japanese dance performances.

    The Museum Meiji-Mura (Meiji Village)

    The Museum Meiji-Mura (Meiji Village)

    Entrance to Meiji Mura will set you back 1700 yen and it is open year-round. Bare in mind this is an open-air museum, so suitable shoes and clothes for walking in are recommended, also it is a much more enjoyable experience on a dry day, so check the weather before planning your trip here – although they do have umbrellas you can use if the weather takes a turn for the worse!

    Meiji Mura is accessible from Nagoya Station on public transport in about one hour. Take the Meitetsu Inuyama Line to Inuyama Station before transferring onto the Meitetsu Bus to the Meiji Mura. For those traveling by car there is ample parking available on site.

    Museum Meiji-Mura
    rating

    4.5

    494 Reviews
    place
    Aichi Pref. Inuyamashi Uchiyama 1
    phone
    0568670314
    opening-hour
    [Mar.--July, Sep.--Octo.] 9:…
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    Nagoya
    place
    Aichi Pref
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    Inuyama
    place
    Aichi Pref
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