Updated on October 3, 2017
In the past Setagaya-ku had a rich rural landscape. This pastoral scene, however, was replaced by residences and commercial facilities, as the area rapidly urbanized. But you can still find this vestige preserved in the southwestern part of Setagaya. Walk for 15 minutes from Seijogakuen-mae Station on the Odakyu Line to arrive at lush Jidayubori Park, which recreates the area’s rural landscape complete with a creek. The park’s folk house museum or Minkaen, which opened in 1988, lets visitors learn about and experience the lifestyle and customs from around the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Traditional thatched-roof folk houses remaining in Setagaya were relocated here.
There are different variations of old folk houses in the park: the residence and warehouse of the Ando family (village headman), private houses of the farmer/merchant Shirota family and the farmer Kato family, as well as a storehouse of the Akiyama family and the main gate of the Tanioka family’s residence. All are designated cultural properties of Setagaya-ku. The Ando residence has eight rooms. As it also served as the village headman’s official residence, it has a guest entrance. You can freely enter all of these historical houses, see the daily items on display as if people were actually living there and take them in your hands. In addition, you can engage in various nostalgic activities, such as weaving, soba or buckwheat noodle making, and indigo dyeing.
There are also events to experience how rural life was back then, where local children can engage in rice planting and harvesting. Rice harvesting is a major event drawing more than 1,000 participants every year. It is scheduled to be held on October 11 this year.
◎From the south exit of Seijogakuen-mae Station on the Odakyu Line, a 15-minute walk, or by bus bound for Futako-tamagawa Station, a two-minute walk from Jidayubori-koen-mae bus stop.
Minkaen: Open 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Closed on Mondays (if Monday falls on a public holiday, the following day) and year-end and New Year holidays (but open on January 1).
[Minkaen] Minkaen, Jidayubori Park, Setagaya-ku Phone: 03-3417-8492
[Park] Management Office of Kinuta Park Phone: 03-3417-9575