To fully appreciate a great city one needs to know something of its history, this is the perfect place to start when visiting Tokyo! This museum covers the history of Tokyo (Edo) from approximately 1600- to post war reconstruction and does so in an interesting and entertaining way. There are a number of scale models, dioramas and hands-on activities that keep even young children from getting too bored. (however, this is not a children's museum)
The museum is fairly large, even if you are not that into history it is good to allow at least a few hours to go through the whole place. There is adequate signage in English, but you are better off getting an audio-guide to fully appreciate what you are seeing. There are also volunteer guides available if you want a more personal tour. These guides are available in a number of languages including French, German, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Korean (besides Japanese and English) but for many of these languages you need to reserve in advance so check their website. The audio guide is free and requires no reservation, just get one on either the 1st or 3rd floor information counters (must give a refundable 1000 yen deposit) These are only in Japanese, Korean, Chinese and English so plan ahead if these languages don't work for you.
The main permanent exhibits are on the 5th and 6th floors, if you start on the 6th floor and work your way down to the 5th, going from the "Edo-zone" to the "Tokyo-zone", you will follow things in chronological order. The other reviewers and photos posted basically tell you what you need to know
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