Tamba-Sasayama History And Art Museum in Japan's Oldest Wooden Courthouse
The Tamba-Sasayama History And Art Museum is housed in what was, until 1981, Japan's oldest wooden courthouse. In 1982, the museum opened and this building was designated an Important Cultural Property of Tamba Sasayama City.
Although the building was slightly renovated to make it more suitable as an art museum, the simplicity of the original design was retained. Additionally, the elegant traditional atmosphere of the building still remains to this day. There's also an intact courtroom in the museum where you can feel the past.
You can also take part in a mock trial in front of a Meiji Era (1868-1912) judge in this courtroom while wearing period costumes. Photography is permitted during this experience.
Learn about the History and Culture of Tamba Sasayama
Items on display include artifacts excavated from the Kumobekurumazuka Kofun (historical grave mound) and Miwayama Kofungun (grave mound group), two Cultural Properties of the city, among other relics. Here you can see the Kanshikikyo, a bronze mirror, as well as the Kagamiita, a part of a harness, and other daily-use items that make up the Kofun Period (250-538 CE) collection of Japanese history.
During excavations at the ruins of Sanbon Toge Kitagama kiln, precious artifacts dating back to the Kamakura Period (1185-1333) were discovered, revealing the roughly 800-year-old history of Tamba pottery. The short history of Ojiyama porcelain and its predecessor, Furuichi pottery, and Edo Era (1603-1868) pottery ware can also be studied here.
Visitors can see works depicting famous Japanese castles and places from the same period, like "Tokaido, Nakasendo, Koshukaido Painted Screen" and "The Tale of Genji Picture Scroll Suma-Akashi." There is also armor left behind by the feudal lords of Sasayama and the Aoyama family, alongside an array of other antiquities.
Be sure to come by and see these rare treasures when visiting Tamba Sasayama.
Tamba-Sasayama History And Art Museum
Address: Sasayama, Gofukumachi 53
Official website: http://www.withsasayama.jp/REKIBUN/rekibi_top.htm
Access: From Sasayamaguchi Station along the JR Fukuchiyama Line, take the Shinki Green Bus bound for the Sasayama Eigyosho and get off at Kasuga Jinja-mae stop. Walk for one minute from here and you'll reach the museum.
Admission: Adults 300 yen, High School/University Students 200 yen, Elementary/Junior High School Students 100 yen (for groups of 30+ Adults 250 yen, HS/U 150 yen, E/JHS 50 yen) *Special exhibitions incur an extra charge.
Closed: Mondays (open if a national holiday and closed on Tuesday instead) and December 25 - January 1