Japan Museums: National Museum of Nature and Science Tokyo
National Museum of Nature and Science Tokyo 国立科学博物館
The National Museum of Nature and Science is in Ueno Park in central Tokyo and dates originally from 1871.
Permanent exhibits at National Museum of Nature and Science include the evolution of living things including a display of dinosaur skeletons, the flora and fauna of Japan including rice and the influence of rice cultivation on technology, the peoples of Japan throughout history including the Jomon and Yayoi civilizations, the Ainu and Ryukyuans, the geology of Japan and the solar system.
You can also learn about the history of the human habitation of Japan at the museum. There are frequent special exhibitions. The Theater 360 in the museum is a 3D movie theater that was brought to the museum from Expo 2005 in Aichi.
An English guidebook is available at the front desk.
Highlights of the National Museum of Nature and Science
The National Museum of Nature and Science has a number of highlights including the stuffed body of the dog Hachiko, who loyally waited for his dead master at Shibuya Station and is a national icon, an original Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane from World War II and the stuffed bodies of two giant pandas - Fei Fei and Tong Tong bred in nearby Ueno Zoo.
Other noteworthy exhibits include the largest fragment of the Nantan meteorite that fell in China in the 16th century, Tanaka Hisashige's perpetual watch or Myriad year clock and a papier-mache globe made in 1695 by Shibukawa Shunkai, the first official astronomer of the Tokugawa government.
The National Museum of Nature and Science also includes museums in other locations including the Institute for Nature Study in Shirokanedai, near the Tokyo Metropolitan Teian Art Museum and the Tsukuba Botanical Garden in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture.
Admission to the National Museum of Nature and Science is only 620 yen for adults, free for 1st-12th grade children. The museum has an interesting shop in the basement including original figures of exhibits, books and magazines. There is also a restaurant and cafe on the premises.
How to get to the National Museum of Nature and Science
National Museum of Nature and Science
7-20 Ueno Park
Tel: 03 3822 0111
Hours: 9am-5pm: closed Mondays or on the following Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday.