For a unique perspective on the history of Edo, visit the Tokyo Fire Museum in Shinjuku. Learning about the past, present, and future of firefighting will get you fired up for your travels in Tokyo.
Tokyo Fire Museum - image © Florentyna Leow
Throughout its existence, Edo (modern-day Tokyo), with its densely-clustered wooden buildings, tended to burn down very frequently. This is exactly what warrants an entire museum dedicated to the history and development of firefighting. The Tokyo Fire Museum in Shinjuku Ward is hyper-specific in its concept, but it’s an unexpectedly delightful establishment where you can learn all about firefighting and disaster prevention throughout the ages in Japan.
Exhibits are eclectic, ranging from bunraku puppet videos and Edo-period woodblock prints to firefighting trucks and radiation suits. Most come with English-language captions though they’re not always necessary. The interactive aspect of museum is particularly good fun. There’s a room with firefighting games and puzzles, as well as a place for you to try on various uniforms, making this a great museum for travelling families. Best of all, admission to the Fire Museum is free. Don’t forget to finish with a drink on the 10th floor, and enjoy the views of Tokyo. You’ll be able to see the Shinjuku skyline on one side, and the Sky Tree building on the other.
Fire Museum (fire engine museum)
3-10 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0004
Closed Monday and the following Tuesday when Monday is a national holiday
Subway: Directly connected to exit 2 of Yotsuya-sanchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line.
Official Website (Japanese)
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Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
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- If you're visiting more than one city, you might save money with a Japan Rail Pass – see if it's worth it for you
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