Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
Stroll through the streets of time.
For those interested in experiencing Osaka’s history firsthand, the family-friendly Osaka Museum of Housing and Living is a worthwhile stop on your itinerary.
Begin on the 10th floor, an observatory from which you can look down upon the reconstructed mid-19th century (late Edo period) town below. The model is the only one of its kind in Japan and even features lights that dim when the sun sets. Go to the ninth floor to enter the town and become immersed in the life size reproduction of old Osaka, what was once known as Naniwa. Here you can visit old merchants’ shops including a kimono shop and cabinetmaker, a sento (public bath house), and town hall.
An exhibition room features displays that change with the seasons. From mid-April to late August, summer festival decorations are on display; from early September to early April, the room features an exhibit on the merchants of the past. Decorations change for famous annual festivals, including the new year, hina matsuri (girls’ festival), and the lunar festival. Japanese cultural events are held here sporadically – come to see tea ceremonies, Rakugo (comic storytelling), and koto (harp) performances. Arts & crafts workshops are also held here: learn to make Japanese beanbags or fold origami.
The eighth floor has video displays and scale models depicting life during the Meiji (1868-1912) and post-war periods. Here you can witness firsthand how Osaka expanded and developed during this time.