Away from the madding crowd
It is best to start with the Edo Fukagawa Museum. The displays are mostly monolingual (Japanese only), but an Englishspeaking guide is available to lead groups of foreign visitors through the permanent exhibitions.
The gem is at the basement where there is a full-size Edo-era neighbourhood by the Sumida River. Visitors are allowed to wander inside the local residents’ houses (shoes off, please!). There is a communal outhouse, a portable noodle stall, an outpost and a neighbourhood cat that has been meowing since the museum was opened in 1961!
The district is also known for its Kiyosumi Teien, or Kiyosumi Garden, a traditional Japanese landscape garden, designed and constructed in the Meiji period in the late 19th century.
A temple near Kiyosumi Teien.
With a small lake in the centre, the garden hasstepping stones, stone paths and stone bridges.
Kiyosumi Teien is popular among local visitors, who come to indulge in landscape painting, photography, leisurely strolls and a picnics.
A sense of solitude envelopes the garden’s perimeter. Cheery yet soothing sounds of various types of birds that have called the garden their habitat are heard. It’s hard to fathom that it’s located just next to a busy main street!
Walking through the quiet neighbourhood mainly populated by small, closely spaced abodes with interesting facades brings me to the main shopping street of the district.
Not a tourist haunt, the wares and specialty on sale are geared towards the locals.
Kiyosumi Teien is a traditional Japanese