Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
To get to know all about the architecture of traditional Japanese houses: the "minka".
The "minka", traditional Japanese houses bursting with charm.
The term Minka literally means "house of the people". Traditionally, farmhouses were called "noka" (agricultural houses) and city houses "machiya". There are many different styles of minka (also called "kominka") depending on the period and climate, and the variations range from the structure to the frame and roof shape. What they all have in common, however, is that they have to play with Japan's unique climatic components: large seasonal temperature variations, a lot of humidity but also a lot of sunshine. Thus the floor is always raised and placed on stilts, and the sliding walls allow air to circulate freely through the house. The "irori", the open fireplace that allows the main room to be cooked and heated, is a recurrent feature in the centre of the minka.
A trip back through time with the Edo-Tokyo architectural museum
The Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum is an outdoor museum displaying a wide range of historical buildings. Most of them are from the Meiji period (1868-1912) but there are also older and newer buildings. They have been moved or rebuilt here to keep track of Japan's architectural history. This history has been almost completely lost due to the many fires, earthquakes, bombings and urban redevelopments. A precious piece of heritage that you can appreciate as if you had gone back in time, and were walking in the Japan of the Meiji era.