This small local museum is about 10 minutes away, across the Tama
River. On the grounds is a restored thatched-roof farmhouse full of household implements that the shrine sale enthusiasts enjoy, as well as an old red gate associated with shrines. Admission is free. Unfortunately there are no explanations in English but most exhibits are self-explanatory. Main features include pieced together ancient ceramic pots, rice cultivation, and historic methods of silk production. There’s also an old fire wagon and lots of benches outside on which to sit and eat a sack lunch.
DIRECTIONS: Turn right out the Fussa Gate and left at the second light. Take this street to the river, crossing two railroad tracks. At the “T” intersection, make a right (under a blue pedestrian bridge), then at the 4th stoplight, make a left over the bridge (HamuraOhashi East Intersection—there’ll be a five-story gray concrete apartment building on the right with stone walls on both sides). On the far side of the river, make the first right into a small road (parallel to the river); take the right fork downward. At the stop sign, turn left into a residential area and follow this road around to its end (at
the river). Park in the left lot just past the large brown museum (the right lot belongs to a very pricey restaurant, ¥5000+ per person).
Hours: 9am-4:30pm, closed Mondays (and Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday). Julie Irwin 2007
A real educational treasure exists right out our front door in Hamura. This planetarium is tucked away in a residential neighborhood, sharing space within a small city recreational building. There is no charge to sit and be enthralled with a visual guided tour of the skies over Hamura. Your personal guide will treat you to a 40-minute (20-minute show for young children) audiovisual presentation, depicting the skies from sunset to sunrise. You will see summer and winter constellations, comets, shooting stars, night-time cloud formations, a solar eclipse and a glimpse of our solar system amongst the vastness of space. Though the staff members narrate the program in Japanese only, one can still enjoy the universal language of the stars and space. A working knowledge of astronomy is NOT needed to enjoy the program. But beware! Once you see the show you may gravitate toward the library to learn more about the wonders of space. Just ask the attendant, inside the main entrance, to the right, to see the planetarium (remember, no English is spoken so point upstairs and ask slowly). You must slip off your shoes and use the slippers provided.
DIRECTIONS: Go straight out the Fussa Gate and go right at the “Y” intersection. Continue on to two more lights. Turn right onto the street running in front of Seiyu (Yanagi Dori). Continue on this street through 13 lights or 3.8km until you come to the Hamura Post Office on your left. Turn left at the light just after the post office and continue through one light. Not far from the light, and on your right you will see the dome of the planetarium. Across the street, on your left, is the parking lot. There are about 10 parking slots and one large bus slot. Keep in mind that this is a neighborhood recreation center and there are LOTS of kids involved in all kinds of activities in and around the building, so don’t think you have arrived at the wrong place! Hours: The planetarium is closed on Mondays. Individuals and families are welcome anytime Tuesday-Sunday at 3:30pm (11am and 3pm during Japanese spring, summer, and winter school breaks); school groups and group tours/shows are held at other times. If you have a group larger than 20, you must stop by their office prior to your visit and fill out a special group request form and make an appointment. Marcia St. John