The Tokyo Fire Museum in Shinjuku is a facility that gathered together the history of firefighters in Tokyo. Not only is it free to enter, but the building itself is built inside Yotsuya Fire Station. Inside the museum, there are exhibits that provide hands-on displays for both kids and adults to enjoy and learn at the same time. It is the perfect place to spend an inexpensive outing in the afternoon.
Audio Tour guides
When you arrive at the Tokyo Fire Museum, the receptionist will guide you to the elevators to start your own tour. There are sound guidance available in English, Mandarin, and Korean, which can be retrieved on the first-floor of the basement (B1F). Every exhibit in the museum has a number that can be entered into the device. When the number is entered on the sound guide, explanations will be given in the selected language. Also, there are guided tours available, however, they are only conducted in Japanese.
Once you get a device (should you need one), start your tour on the 5th floor. It begins with the history of Tokyo firefighting during the Edo period, and the exhibition content approaches the modern age as you descend to each floor.
The 6th floor features a project exhibition area and multimedia room for special exhibitions and screenings of disaster-prevention videos. Here you can learn how to deepen your knowledge and thoughts on natural disasters such as earthquakes and fires, as well as on the necessary daily preparations.
The Unique Techniques of Edo Period Firefighters
Making your way down to the 5th floor, you will see what firefighting was like during the Edo Period in Japan. The diorama and the images on the screen portray the streets of that era and how the firefighters of the Edo Period put out houses that was on fire. At that time, there was limited supply of water and the houses were mostly made of wood. Moreover, as the buildings were built closely together, fire spread at a faster rate, causing larger damage and casualties. To extinguish the flames, the most efficient method used during the Edo period, was to demolish the burning building to prevent further fire spread.
The Machines and Techniques of the Meiji Firefighter
On the 4th floor, you can see the modernization of firefighting from the Edo Period. By the Meiji period, facilities and technology became more advanced, which led to the creation of improved firefighting equipment.
One of the most impressive exhibits on this floor is the huge replica of the horse-drawn steam pumper. The horse-drawn steam pumper was imported from Europe. Besides this, there are other displays of vintage fire-fighting equipment in the exhibition.
Modern Firefighters - Saving Houses, Saving Lives
The 3rd floor exhibits the firefighting ways of the modern times. Here, you can find an adorable looking exhibition where they will provide a step-by-step explanation on the actions taken after a fireman is notified of a fire situation. Also, in the center area of the floor, there is an animation theater where an animation video is shown to educate the importance of disaster prevention in a manner that is easy for children to understand as well.
Furthermore, there is a helicopter that is permanently installed on this floor which you can actually sit in. Inside, you will see a monitor on the entire surface of the cockpit which will make you feel like a fireman who helps citizens from the sky.
Fire Engine Evolution
Another fascinating section of the museum is the exhibition of Firefighting Classic Cars on the B1 floor. Here you can see various kinds of fire engines that have been used since they were introduced in Tokyo in 1924 and observe the evolution of these vehicles from the Meiji Period to the present age. Normally, it is prohibited to climb on the exhibits, however, several times a year when the Ride Photography Session is held in the Fire Museum, guests are welcome to get on the firefighting classic cars to get their pictures taken. To add on, there is a commentator that will explain the history and operation of the fire engines.
There are many fun areas in the Tokyo Fire Museum but the coolest part of the museum would definitely have to be the permanently installed firefighting helicopter that is located outside the exhibition hall on the 5th Floor! You can actually enter inside this red helicopter and experience the taste of being a firefighter.
Relax and Take In the View
On the 10th floor, there is a rest area where you can relax while eating your lunch box and snacks. From this floor, you are not only able to enjoy the amazing view of Tokyo, but if the weather is sunny, you can even see Tokyo Sky Tree and Mount Fuji.
The Tokyo Fire Museum is a place where families can enjoy their time together without any cost to use the facilities. What are you waiting for! Bring your lunch boxes and come explore the evolving history of Tokyo firefighting! The Tokyo Fire Museum welcomes everyone to come and visit!
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