Osaka Museums: Osaka Maritime Museum
Osaka Maritime Museum - なにわの海の時空館
Housed in a futuristic dome, the Osaka Maritime Museum in the Osaka port district traces the importance of the sea in the commercial history of Osaka as well as the many rivers and canals in a city once known as "the Venice of the East".
The Osaka Maritime Museum opened in 2000 and was designed by renown French architect Paul Andreu, whose other works include the Grand National Theater in Beijing (also a dome), Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Grande Arche at La Dense in Paris. The dome of the Osaka Maritime Museum actually sits on reclaimed land in the sea and is reached by a submerged tunnel.
The main focus of the 4-story Osaka Maritime Museum is a replica Edo period (1603-1868) trading ship, the Naniwa Maru (Naniwa is a previous name for Osaka) and there are exhibits of figureheads and maritime art showing Osaka's central role in the coastal trade of Japan. LCD-screen videos and dioramas are used to expand your nautical horizons.
The first floor of the Osaka Maritime Museum is the "Welcome to the Sea" area, which includes a kids' corner and "The Theater of the Sea" with dynamic films of sea journeys from the 16th century Age of the Discoveries aimed at putting the viewer in the center of the action of buffeting waves and pirates.
The second floor contains the Naniwa Maru, a superb replica of a higaki kaisen trading ship. The third floor shows how Osaka developed as a properous port and the fourth floor has exhibits on global sea trade and simulators to try your hand at sailing a large container ship.
The Osaka Maritime Museum has a small children's library, a hands-on area, but there is no restaurant, though there is an area where you can bring your own packed lunch.
The Osaka Maritime Museum was designed by French architect Paul Andreu
The Osaka Maritime Museum is housed in a modernist dome
Access - how to get to Osaka Maritime Museum
Osaka Maritime Museum
Tel: 066 4703 2900
Hours: 10am-5pm, closed Monday
Admission: Adults 400 yen; The Sea Adventure Pavilion is an additional 400 yen.
The Osaka Maritime Museum is a short walk from Exit 1 of Cosmosquare Station on the Chuo Line of the Osaka subway. If driving on the Hanshin Expressway Wangan Route exit at Nanko-Kita.
A replica Edo period trading ship, the Naniwa Maru, is a major focus of the museum's exhibits