The museum is a small but lovely place, good for spending about half a day. Do be aware of the timings though, because they have craft demonstrations.
Anyway, the first floor is dedicated towards Fukuoka Folk Culture.
|My companion for the day liked it too.|
And this is a peek into life in olden times!
The first floor also has a few other exhibits (including a who's who), but it's pretty tiny. The second floor is where artists show visitors how traditional Hakata crafts are made. There are scheduled times (which you can check on the website), so make sure you come at the correct time or you'll have to wait. There's a different craft every day (there's like 3 and they rotate among that), and on the day I went, it was on making tops!
The tops are really gorgeous, and the master was very friendly.
|I love the rightmost one.|
In the next building, there's a weaving demonstration going on! There's also a set time for it, so be careful not to go at the wrong time. When I went, the weaver was tying the strings together (prep work), and apparently that takes two to three days! Like the top master, she was very patient in explaining what Hakata ori was and what makes it special.
The other side of the hall is done in the style a traditional "Machiya". Actually, the buildings are preserved Machiya, which are basically townhouses.
There's also a garden, which I would have liked to explore but couldn't because of the rain.
There's a little showroom for Hakata ori and a box of traditional toys that you can play with!
The gift shop sells a variety of items - from things made with Hakata ori that is weaved at the museum (there are some lovely wallets there), to beautiful postcards and traditional toys and sweets.
The museum is pretty small, but the live demonstrations mean that there's an excuse to stay longer and see how traditional crafts are made. Plus, I saw a soba restaurant right next to it, so that if you're hungry, you can always kill time there.
You can get to the museum from Gion subway station. Also, Gion has a few temples, and the museum does have walking tours for that (I'm not sure if it costs extra, because again, it was raining).