Meiji Mura Museum: Gateway to Meiji History

Do you wanna know how it would feel like living in the Meiji era? Or wanna witness how amazing architectural designs were during that time? Or wanna learn and boost your knowledge concerning this Japanese history? These will be some reasons for you to visit Meiji Mura or Meiji Village in Inuyama, Aichi. For only 1,700 JP yen, you can gain access to this site and witness a rich culture unfolds before your eyes.

One of Japan’s outstanding open air museum, Meiji Mura displays over 60 buildings from Meiji period (1868-1912). This period’s architecture is strongly depicted by influx of Western’s. Most of the buildings were destroyed during the war or lost to city redevelopment that’s why collection of this era’s edifice from across the country was moved to Meiji Mura for preservation. Their original locations range from nearly all the islands of Japan to as far as Hawaii, Brazil and Seattle. The 1st director of Meiji Mura, late Dr. Y. Taniguchi requested his then schoolmate and VP of Nagoya Railroad Company, late Mr.M. Tsuchikawa to choose valuable structures that were going to be destroyed to be reconstructed to their original appearance at Meiji Village.

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Mie Prefectural Office, 1879. The building is symmetrical on the left and right sides with its axis at the entrance.
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Iwakura Substation of Nagoya Rail Road Co., 1912. Features include semicircular arched windows, belts of dark-colored clinker bricks, and buttresses at the four corners of the building.
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St. John’s Church, 1907. Its brick exterior is a beautiful blend of Romanesque and Gothic design, its interior features distinctively Japanese designs appropriate to Kyoto’s climate.
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St. Paul’s Church, 1879. In contrast to the farmhouse-style exterior, the interior is Gothic, with a crossing ribbed vault ceiling, called “umbrella ceiling”.
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Imperial Hotel Main Entrance Hall and Lobby, 1923. The main finish is Greenish tuff (volcanic rock) carved in geometric patterns, and yellow brick, while ferroconcrete is used to provide structural strength.
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House of Ogai Mori and Soseki Natsume, 1887. This is a typical middle-class residence of the time.
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Shin-Ohashi Bridge, 1912. Its unique design contrasts art nouveau-style iron balustrades, side balustrades and white granite main pillars, with a robust metal frame.
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Principal’s Official Residence, Peers’ School, 1909. This is a full 2-story building. comprising a Western-style house connected to a Japanese-style house.
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Cabinet Library, 1911. Its design is genuine Renaissance style, and this is a perfect example of Meiji period brick-stone architecture.
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Cabinet Library, 1911.
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Telephone Exchange in Sapporo, 1898. This thick stone outer wall is a symbol of Hokkaido’s use of its natural resources.
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Kanaza Prison’s Central Guard Station and Ward, 1907. Five wards are arranged radially around the octagonal central guard office.
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Ohi Butcher Shop, 1887. This is a Western-style building with a highly appropriate facade for a store in Kobe. It also employs some traditional Japanese techniques in its construction.
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“Azuma-yu” Bathhouse, 1910. The front hall of this wooden structure has 2 stories, the changing room and a Japanese-style room, while the bathroom section at the back is one-storied.
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Kureha-za Theater, 1868. It is a wooden 2-story building, and a drum platform projects from the front gable.
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St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, 1890. This is a typical Gothic structure with a large rose window more than 4 m in diameter above the front entrance.

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Tokyo Central Station Police Box, 1914. This is a ferroconcrete building dressed with a brick facade, and its external shape is an octagon created by cutting the 4 corners of a square.
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Kanazawa Prison Main Gate, 1907. The gate has a 2-storied watchtower on either side, and an arched main gateway in the center flanked by smaller gates on each side.
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Head Office of Kawasaki Bank, 1927. Based on Renaissance style architecture, this ferroconcrete buiding was a genuine bank with an outer wall of granite.
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Head Office of Kawasaki Bank, 1927.

 

Meiji mura’s buildings are arranged so that they can best display their value as a heritage of Meiji culture. Displayed inside these structures were interesting objects of reference related the these buildings. You can also see caretakers for gardens, pathways, and trees to keep the environment pleasant to the eyes.

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 Hours and Fees:

  • Hours:
    • 9:30 – 17:00 (March to October)
    • 9:30 – 16:00 (November)
    • 10:00 – 16:00 (December to February)
  • Closed during Mondays from December to February, December 31 and occasional closures for maintenance
  • Fees:
    • 1,700 JP Yen
    • Plus 1,000 JP Yen for unlimited rides on the village bus, tram and train

Visit their official website at meijimura.com.

Enjoy and have fun!

Other related post:

Little World Museum Inuyama

 

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