Japan Museums: Miraikan - National Museum of Emerging Science & Innovation
The Miraikan (or to give it its full name the National Museum of Emerging Science & Innovation) in Odaiba in Tokyo is a science museum established by Japan's Science and Technology Agency. The Miraikan opened in 2001.
The Miraikan appeals to families with young children, who flock here especially at weekends and public holidays, drawn by the various educational and fun activities the museum offers.
The Miraikan has three main floors of exhibits on the 1st, 3rd and 5th floors. The 5th floor has a family-friendly cafe, the 6th floor the 112-seater Dome Theater Gaia, while a new restaurant with fine views is due to open on the 7th floor.
The first floor "Symbol Zone" gives a first view of the large high resolution globe, the Geo-Cosmos, which projects various screenings which have changed over the years. Presently featured are cities and their populations, temperatures, global weather systems and human movement in continuously changing displays.
The Special Exhibition Zone located on the first floor has staged a number of top class exhibitions over the years: The World of Manga Experienced Through Science (2012), Toilet!? - Human Waste & Earth's Future (2014), Pokémon Lab: You do it! You discover! (2015) and Game On: Why are videogames so interesting? (2016).
Visitors ascend a curved ramp to the 3rd floor with various interactive exhibits divided into the themes of Art, Information, Lab and Robot. The Information section includes the large, mechanical Hands-On Model of the Internet while the Robot section includes performances by an Asimo robot.
The 5th floor has more themed sections: The Earth, Lab, Life and the Universe. The Universe sections contain a scale model of the ISS living quarters and another scale model of a neutrino detector (Super-Kamiokande) buried 1,000 meters underground in a mine near Hida in Gifu Prefecture.
The Earth section looks at natural and man-made disasters including earthquakes, epidemics, volcanic eruptions, nuclear accidents and extreme weather.
The Lab section looks at the scientific exploration of the world's oceans and of outer space. There are models of the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Chikyu, a research drilling ship working in the world's oceans and operated by the Japanese research organization (JAMSTEC).
The Life section has exhibits on medicine and cells in the human body including new research on stem cells.
Open 10am-5pm; closed on Tuesday; open on national holidays.
620 yen for adults; 210 yen for children under 18; free for children under 18 on Saturday; free for children of pre-school age. Special Exhibitions and entrance to the Dome Theater (300 yen) are charged separately.
2-3-6 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0064
Tel: 03 3570 9151
Miraikan is a short walk from either Fune-no Kagakukan Station or Telecom Center Station on the Yurikamome Line or from Tokyo Teleport Station on the Rinkai Line.