Photo:ElsieNessie on Flickr

Meiji Mura Museum, Inuyama

Meiji Mura is an open air architectural museum situated at Inuyama of Aichi Prefecture. It is a museum with historically important buildings of Meiji period of Japan. Most of the structures found in this museum are bought from various parts of Japan and they are rebuilt here.

There are more than 60 buildings in the large space extending over one kilometer square area of the Meiji Mura ground. It was built in 1974 by Yoshirou Taniguchi and Moto Tsuchikawa.

The museum could be accessed from Nagoya by the Meitetsu line. Inside the museum, there are buses, trams and steam locomotives to provide transportation for the visitors. Most of the buildings of the Meiji period had some Western influence. As the Meiji period marked the end of feudal rule in Japan, the structures found here are regarded as the residuals of the final feudal culture of Japan.


Imperial Hotel in the Meiji-Mura museum in Inuyama, near Nagoya
Photo: knhiraoka on Flickr

The museum is situated at the bank of the Iruka pond in a woody region which also provides an outlook of an ancient structure. The main entrance and the lobby of the Imperial Hotel from Tokyo is the most important among the buildings. It is one of the structures situated at the entrance area of the Meiji-mura museum.

The Uji-Yamada post office situated here still provides the facility to send mails with Meiji period's stamping. The steam locomotive of this museum also could be considered as reminding about the Meiji era. There are ten buildings which are regarded and maintained as the most important cultural property.


Meiji Mura has five different areas each including a number of buildings. Their brochure has the names and other details of each buildings and its importance during the Meiji period along with the peculiarities.


The first area has 13 different structures from the Meiji era. The Main gate of a national High school is one among the most important structures we could see here. A Butcher house, Mie prefectural school building, Mie prefectural office, St.John's church of Kyoto, Entrance porch of Tokyo blind school etc. are some other attractions of this particular area.

The second area has the District office of Yamanashi, a Sake Brewer, branch of the Yasuda bank, Sapporo's telephone exchange, a police box of Kyoto etc. The third area consists of the streetcar models of Kyoto, Prince's villa, a teahouse, a foreigner's house, ruins of Nagasaki foreign settlement etc. While the forth area has a Gymnasium, a barber shop, some hospital wards, Japanese Evangelical church of US, Steam locomotives of ancient Japan, Uji post office building, and so on.

The last area has the famous St.Francis Xaviour Cathedral of Kyoto, the main gate of Kanazawa Prison, Head office of a Tokyo's bank, some bridges, a library, police box of Tokyo, district court of Kyoto, a photo studio, Main Entrance hall and lobby of the Tokyo's Imperial Hotel etc.


Some buildings hold cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, game areas etc. for the visitors. Being a tourist place, this museum is visited by a lot of people every year. The gardens, buildings and the environment of the museum are well furnished and maintained to provide the best environment inside it. It gives a feeling of travelling to the ancient Meiji era of Japan.
This museum is an area that helps the people to learn history and gain knowledge about the past structures and the structural as well as cultural developments achieved by Japan during that period. For students and those who research about the past Japanese periods, this museum is a great treasure.

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