Osaka - Museum of Housing and Living

Continuing on our exploration of unique sights in Osaka, we headed to the Museum of Housing and Living which we were happy to find didn't disappoint expectations.  Housed on the 8th and 9th floors of a high rise building near Tenjinbashisuji 6-chome station, the "exhibits" of the museum were largely divided into two parts.   

After paying for our tickets on the 8th floor, an escalator immediately whisked us up to the next floor where we entered a life-sized reproduction of an 1830's Osaka neighborhood.  Here, we were allowed to freely roam among the stores and houses, exploring their wares and trying to imagine what life in Osaka must have been like during the Edo-period.  Meanwhile, the lights and sounds around us simulated day and night conditions, even a sudden thunderstorm!  My only disappointment was that none of the written explanations were in any other language aside from Japanese.  While I still feel like I gained a lot from the exhibit, I'd definitely inquire about a audio guide if I had to go again. 

Eventually, we followed the back alleys of the neighborhood to the next part of the museum where the most impossibly elaborate models and dioramas tell the story of Japanese housing and architecture during the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa periods.  One of the most fascinating dioramas we saw modelled a post-war bus settlement in which whole neighborhoods were formed by buses converted into homes.  But, aside from vividly illustrating Japanese life through the times, I felt like this part of the museum inadvertently showcased other Japanese trademarks.  That is, meticulous attention to detail and precision workmanship.  As someone who's detail oriented and likes to work with her hands, my swooning mind was blown.  

All in all, I'm not sure if this museum is for everyone, but if you've ever fantasized about starring in your own period drama or historic movie (like me) and loved making detailed dioramas in grade school (like me), then this place is probably going to be your cup of tea.  


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