This park, on Itsukaichi Kaido and just 15.5 km from Yokota, features large grassy fields, deep woods and cherry trees. The best reason to go, though, is the Edo-Tokyo Tatemono-En(Open-Air Architectural Museum). It is a town of relocated buildings from old Tokyo. You can wander inside homes from the samurai period right up to the 20th century. You’ll visit thatched-roof farm houses, architects’ homes and sprawling old estate residences, the kind usually only glimpsed by peeking over high walls. There’s a downtown, too, with shops and bars and a bathhouse, all set up as they were in yesteryear. You might want to wear sandals or other slip-on shoes, because you’ll be taking them off every time you poke around one of the old houses. (Admission ¥400 per adult. Children 12 and under are free.). Elsewhere in the park, a 2 km cycling course, with free bikes available for children under 16, is open daily. Some bikes have training wheels and children are welcome to bring their own. There is also a children’s playscape built like a huge pyramid with many ways to go up and down. It is so large, 100 children would easily have room to play. Hours: 9:30-4:30pm; closed Mondays (Tuesdays if Monday is a holiday) and December 28-January 4. Telephone: 042-388-3311
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Turn right out the East Gate (0km). Turn left at the fourth light, at 1.2km. You are on Itsukaichi Kaido (Route 7). After about 12.5km you will be traveling along a “greenbelt” on your left that appears to have a stream in it. Itsukaichi Kaido takes a jog to the other side of this “greenbelt” in a quick left then right turn (marked in English). At 14.4km, you will cross Koganei Kaido (Rt. 15). Keep driving straight through two more traffic lights, after crossing Koganei Kaido. The park entrance, at the third light, is well-marked and there is a landscaped street on your left. There is ample parking. GPS for park entrance nearest parking lot: 35.7129, 139.5181. The cost to park is about ¥250 an hour.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Go to Musashi Konagei station on the Chuo Line toward Tokyo. Take bus #3 and get off at Koganei Koen-Mae (10 minutes by bus, five minutes by taxi).
BIKE DIRECTIONS: A path leads from the Sayama Lake area directly past the north boundary of the park. Nina Carr, 2007. Updated and directions verified in 2011.
View East Gate to Koganei Park (Edo-Tokyo Architectural Museum) in a larger map
Comments and photos by Sarah Straus, March 28, 2013 – This is an amazing place! We went on March 28th and the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Museum happened to be free! There were games and crafts for kids, food vendors and a very colorful parade. It was also a day the cherry trees were in full bloom and the area of the park just in front of the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Museum was alive with pink. It makes for a great place to have a picnic and take photos of your children under the cherry blossoms. We all enjoyed walking through the old buildings, even my 5 and 3 year olds. They thought it was especially fun to climb into the baths at the Edo period bathhouse. What a fun day. We will definately go back with bikes, kites, and ready to play on the large climbing structures.
Sarah Straus, December, 2013 – We returned to this park in December to let the kids play at the playground. We found a fun surprise! Sledding, but without snow. There is this AstroTurf hillside where kids can sled. It is free. Bring your own sled or buy one at a store in the park for ¥1280. It was really fun! On this side of the park there is also a bouncy dome, a dog park, and croquet. Even in the cold of winter a few people were flying kites. Also, it is possible to rent small bikes with training wheels for kids to ride around the park.