Kabutocho and Kayabacho Machikado Museum

Kabutocho and Kayabacho Machikado Museum, Sakamotocho Park, Kabuotcho, Chuo ward, Tokyo.

兜町・茅場町まちかど展示館

Kabutocho is where the Tokyo Stock Exchange is, and this area, along with the adjacent Kayabacho district, in Tokyo’s Chuo ward, has been a lively part of Tokyo, with strong business associations, ever since the land here was reclaimed from Tokyo Bay in the 17th century, from shortly after the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1603.

Lighting up a corner of the park: the Kabutocho and Kayabacho Machikado Museum, inside Sakamotocho Park.

This afternoon I was walking through the bleak Sakamotocho Park in Chuo ward. Sakamotocho Park dates from 1889 and was apparently the first small park to be created in downtown Tokyo, but it has nothing to show for its venerable history, being an ugly stretch of dirt with a small patch of basic playthings, and an equally ugly prefab elementary school. Again, in a sad commentary on how the ruthless practicalities of life in Japan often run roughshod over the historical significance of places and things, this drab, cheaply built school that looks more like a temporary warehouse was where the great novelist Tanizaki Jun’ichiro (born in nearby Ningyocho) was once a pupil.

Kabutocho and Kayabacho Machikado Museum entrance.

Coming to the other side of the park, what looked like a colorful shop window caught my eye. It seemed an odd place for a store, and on closer inspection I discovered that it was not a retail outlet at all, but a tiny museum, chockablock with ornate Shinto-festival-related paraphernalia, giving off a wonderfully luxuriant golden glow, cheering up a corner of this dismal park.

<img alt="Beautiful omikoshi portable shrine, Kabutocho and Kayabacho Machikado Museum, Nihonbashi-kabutocho, Chuo ward, Tokyo." border="0" data-original-height="800" data-original-width="1200" height="266" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-C2fN7oqBEEE/WkYbK2KBfLI/AAAAAAAAqaI/hJ4Wn-g4Xekl3CG-eGJ9Ia0SI24v7O8jQCLcBGAs/s400/kabutocho_kayabacho_machikado_mus-3.jpg" title="An elaborate omikoshi portable shrine at the Kabutocho and Kayabacho Machikado Museum, Nihonbashi-kabutocho, Chuo ward, …continue reading