Sumiya Banquet Culture Museum
- Rooms on the 1st and 2nd floors showing ingenious designs
The scene of dining extravaganzas befitting Edo culture
Opened as a salon in 1641, this property has taken the role of catering to socialites and many high-ranking geisha quarter of Shimabara. Today, as a museum, it tells the story of those sumptuous feasts held in the Edo period. And, as the only example of Ageya architecture left in Japan, it has been designated as a National Important Cultural Property. An Ageya was a banquet house where guests would invite high-ranking geisha to sing and dance, rather like a Japanese-style restaurant might do now. Wealthy merchants and intelligentsia would gather in the area, leading to the formation of a haiku circle called Shimabara Haidan in the mid-Edo period.
The building is stylish and is resplendent with daring designs. The seating spaces are all contrived differently, and the walls feature mother-of-pearl working, giving the property the ambience of an artwork. The art collection includes a folding screen of red and white plum blossoms by Buson Yosa (Important Cultural Property) and paintings on sliding doors by Okyo Maruyama and the Kishi school. Also, the museum rotates the artwork collection in spring and autumn exhibitions.
Which Edo-period agrarian uprising caused the district’s relocation and its colloquial naming of “Shimabara”?
|Address||32 Nishi Shinyashiki Agaya-cho, Shimogyo-ku|
|Hours||15/3~18/7, 15/9~15/12, 10:00~16:00 (closes at 16:30)|
|Closed||Mon during open season (following day if Nat Hol)|
|Adm||1st Fl., Adults ¥1,000, Junior high and high school students ¥800, Elementary school students ¥500/2nd Fl. (reservation required): Adults ¥800, Junior high and high school students ¥600, Elementary school students or younger not allowed|
|Access||A 7-min walk from JR Tambaguchi Stn/ A 7-min walk from Umekoji Koen-mae Stop of City Bus|
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