Established in 2009, this rather specialized ethnological museum focuses on unique textiles, graphics and product designs with a traditional Japanese aesthetic. One highlight is Chuzaburo Tanaka's massive collection of "boro" patchwork-style textiles and folk arts from northern Japan, most dating back 100 years or more. Unlike many museums, here you can touch many of the exhibits, and there are even some items of traditional clothing that you can try on for yourself.
The other focus of the museum is ukiyoe, woodblock prints from Edo-era Japan. The Ukiyo-e Theater screens a 40-minute video presentation of works from the Spaulding Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, subtitled in English, which offers a fascinating glimpse into daily life in Edo-era Tokyo whlie exploring nine famous works by Hiroshige, Hokusai, Utamaro and Sharaku.
Most of the museum's exhibit areas are on the second and third floors, while woodblock prints are exhibited along the staircase running from the third to the sixth floor, continuing on to a small sixth-floor exhibit space. One flight up is the roof deck, offering views of Sensoji Temple in one direction and Tokyo Sky Tree in the other. Down on the first floor is a rather large museum shop that sells handicrafts and textiles (including items from Tanaka's collection) as well as more ordinary souvenirs.
After the museum is closed you can relax with a drink and a snack in the top-floor Bar Six (pronounced the French way), which offers a panoramic nighttime view of Sensoji Temple and the rest of Asakusa.
See the bonus photo album on Facebook.
Bar Six (Bar)
Ringer Hut (Japanese regional)
Kamiya Bar (Bar)
23 Banchi Cafe (Brewpub)
Harmonic (Belgian rest/beer bar)
Que Bom (Brazilian)
Komagata Dojo (Unagi)
Hanamasa (Senzoku) (Retail)
Kitano Ace (Retail)
100% Chocolate Cafe (Cafe)