Sumida Heritage Museum is a museum dedicated to local history in the downtown Mukojima area which is located close to Sumida Park. This museum has no English information available at all. However, it is very cheap to enter at only 100 yen, and some of the displays can be enjoyed visually without any English guidance. This is quite a small museum, but is worth a look if you happen to be in the area.
The museum has separate exhibits on three floors. On the 1st floor is a historical display of artifacts and manuscripts from ancient, medieval, and early modern times. For this section you would probably need the help of a Japanese friend to tell you what you are looking at. There is also a small library area here with a table and chairs for those who want to read.
On the 2nd floor there are some nice dioramas depicting life on the banks of the Sumida River in historical times. There is also a display section here which is devoted to art works depicting the horrors of the Tokyo firebombing of March 10th 1945. On a more cheerful note there is another section which displays materials related to the Sumida River Regatta, an annual boat race held between Waseda and Keio universities which has been held every year since 1905.
The 3rd floor hosts special exhibitions on various themes related to the local area, which can include art works and local traditional crafts. When this writer visited there was a display of ukiyo-e (“floating world”) woodblock prints of the Edo era (1603 – 1868) showing what the Sumida area would have looked like in those times and how people would have lived.
There is also a small museum shop on the 1st floor selling pictures, postcards and local crafts. There are some ukiyo-e postcards here that would make for nice souvenirs.
Sumida Heritage Museum is located on the east side of the Sumida River and is a 14 minute walk from the Toei, Tokyo Metro, and Tobu Asakusa stations. A visit to this museum can be easily combined with a visit to Ushijima Jinja Shrine in nearby Sumida Park as it is only a 4 minute walk to the south. Here is a map showing the museum’s location.
Address: 2-3-5 Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 131-0033
Opening Hours: 9.00 – 17.00 (Last entry: 16:30)
Closed on Mondays, the 4th Tuesday of each month, and from December 29th – January 2nd.
Entrance Fee: 100 yen
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.