TUS Museum of Science 近代科学資料館
The Tokyo University of Science's TUS Museum of Science is a free-entry museum on the university's Kagurazaka campus. The Museum showcases primarily the history of recording (both typographic and audio) and calculating devices.
Its Japanese name translates as "modern scientific materials archive," and it has two floors of phonographs, abaci, typewriters, personal computers and calculators, both mechanical and electronic - even a huge bathroom-sized computer from the 1950s.
The TUS Museum of Science opened in 1991 and since 2010 has been housed in a building that recreates the look of the University's original 19th century Meiji period building, when it was called the Tokyo Academy of Physics, founded to help drive Japan's modernization.
The Museum's first floor is dedicated mainly to the history of calculating machines, but with a small section on the history of audio recording.
The two most eye-catching exhibits in this section are an antique analog differential analyzer from the 1930s, and a huge, vacuum-tube studded parametron electronic calculator from the 1950s that was operated by feeding in punch cards.
The walls are lined with shelves packed with unwieldy mechanical calculators, typewriters, abaci, personal computers from throughout the decades, and even a few computer games, from ancient to relatively modern.
The second floor has changing special exhibitions, and memorabilia related to the Tokyo University of Science.
There is some information in English, including a good guide pamphlet, but not very much. The main attraction for the average English-speaking visitor is the breadth of the collection and the technological nostalgia evoked by the displays.
The Museum is staffed mainly by students of the university.
Photography inside requires special permission.
Hours10am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday. Closed Sunday, Monday, and university holidays, including the summer and winter breaks.
4 minutes walk from the West Exit of JR Iidabashi Station, or 3 minutes walk from Exit B3 of Iidabashi Subway station. Walk along the main Sotobori-dori Avenue (Route 405) in the Ichigaya direction (i.e., west). The Museum is at the far end of the university campus, a little up the second street on your right.
1-3 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8601
Tel. 03 5228 8224
The Mathematical Experience Plaza of the Tokyo University of Science is downstairs in the same building, and is for children. Hours: Noon-4pm Wed-Fri, 10am-4pm Sat, Sun. Closed Monday, Tuesday, public holidays and university breaks (including the long summer and winter breaks).
The chic Kagurazaka shopping and dining district is a short walk from the TUS Museum of Science .
Yasukuni Shrine commemorating Japan's war dead, is a 15 minute walk away, on the other side of the Kanda River.