From Japan Travel:
The Nihon Minkaen (日本民家園) is an open-air museum in the suburbs of Kawasaki City. The museum is home to 25 preserved buildings from the Edo Period (1603-1867) which were relocated to Kawasaki from all over Japan. They include traditional farmhouses, such as a gasshozukuri farmhouse from the Shirakawago area, samurai houses, merchant houses, houses from post towns, homes from fishing villages, a shrine and a kabuki stage.
Below is map from the open folk house museum, which shows the different type of houses
Official site: http://english.nihonminkaen.jp – has all the info needed on each of the house. Maybe better to check this after you have visited the place.
We travelled from Shin-Yokohama to MukoGaoke Yoen which took us about 1 hour total, transferring in Machida. Wasn’t difficult to find the open air museum. there’s a small shop by the side of the road (left) that sells yukata – this shop also have a number of home items: ashtrays, mini shelfs, trays, and… replica samurai swords.
The open air museum is really amusing and choke full of information related to the structure, architecture, culture and history of the folk houses, each of the house area is a replica of different villages and types throughout the edo period grouped geographically. In some of the house you can find the open fireplace with old men tending to the fire. You can sit around the open fire and talk to these men if you feels like your japanese is up to scratch, they are so friendly and has a deep understanding of both history and structure of each of the house. The information you can roughly find on the nihon mintaken official page.
The resting area sells soba which is not half bad !
There is also an art museum within the area, with an open air suitable for family / kids. Overall it was a really good trip, may not visit in a long time,but definitely worth the one time trip.
The place is close to Fujiko F Fujio museum, and it is possible to visit both place if you leave early enough in the day – which we unfortunately did not, since we didn’t really plan our trip (we kinda just wing it). We finish off the day by returning to Machida and treating ourselves to a bowl of Ippudo Ramen. Gotta love Japan…