Scheduled Exhibition Leisure and Popular Culture in Edo

Exhibit Period

16 Feb (Sat) ~ 21 Mar (Sun) 2006

Exhibit Times

9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(last admissions at 4:30 p.m.)

Museum closed

Monday every week

Admission Fee

Adult ----------------------------------500yen (450yen) High school/university student----------300 yen(270yen) Middle/elementary school student ------100yen (90yen) Senior citizens (aged 70 or over) --------FREE Persons with disability, plus one helper---HALF PRICE *(brackets indicate group rates for groups of 20 or more)


By the early 19th century, the castle town of Edo (now Tokyo), established as the capital of the shogun’s government by Tokugawa Ieyasu 200 years earlier, had grown to a metropolis of over a million inhabitants and become the biggest city in the world.

Leisure districts developed in central areas of the crowded city: The Yoshiwara pleasure quarters and the Shibai-machi theatre district top the list as the two most notorious places of ill repute, followed by the public square at Ryogoku, and the great temple parks of Ueno and Asakusa, which continue to draw crowds today.

From time to time urbanites would flee the monotony of day to day life and head for the outskirts to enjoy a spot of seasonal blossom-viewing or on the pretext of visiting temples there. These sub-urban “tourist resorts” - as such destinations became - and the people who went to enjoy them were adopted as a theme for artists of ukiyo-e.

This exhibition introduces the leisure spots and famous sights of Edo – the stage on which the drama of popular culture was played out. Why not take this opportunity to join the excursions and escapades of the fun-loving folk of Edo as they head for parties and picnics, in town and out?

Museum Talk

(by one of our curators; Japanese only)
18 Feb (Sat) 1:30pm
4 Mar (Sat) 1:30pm
18 Mar (Sat) 1:30pm