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Updated: April 2, 2018
The Shitamachi Museum Annex, on the opposite side of Ueno Park to the Shitamachi Museum itself, is a restored liquor store with displays that show what a traditional liquor store would have looked like several centuries ago. No admission fee is necessary and you are free to look about the faithfully restored shop.
The aim of the Shitamachi Museum and its annex is to showcase the lifestyle, culture, and customs of the common people of pre-modern Tokyo. The museum offers visitors the opportunity to venture into faithfully reproduced interiors of old, wooden merchant homes that were once ubiquitous in the city—a hands-on experience that both adults and kids alike can enjoy.
During the Edo period (1603-1867), the ruling Tokugawa shogunate imposed a strict feudal hierarchy, the lower classes of which included merchants and craftspeople who lived in the so-called shitamachi area. Shitamachi itself refers to the lower-lying areas of Tokyo, which includes the environs of the museum and its annex.
After visiting the annex and completing your Shitamachi Museum visit, spend some time in Ueno Park to explore the other museums in the area, including Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum on the north side. If you exit from the park on this side, you can walk to the charming Yanaka area, which is among the better preserved shitamachi areas of Tokyo.
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