Toshiba Science Museum Kawasaki 東芝未来科学館
The Toshiba Science Museum in Kawasaki is a free museum that both showcases Toshiba's latest technologies and looks back at the history of the company, its founders and its products.
The Toshiba Science Museum appeals to young families with children who can learn about science and take part in various fun, interactive science-based games.
The Toshiba Science Museum Tokyo is laid out on one large floor. As you enter, the museum shop is on the right along with two rooms that are perhaps the most interesting in the museum for adults: the Room of the Founder and Firsts of their Kind.
The first has wall panels in Japanese and English detailing the history of the company and the achievements of Hisashige Tanaka and Ichisuke Fujioka, whose efforts would eventually lead to the creation of the company, whereas the latter has displays of Toshiba's pioneering early products including TVs, electric fans, rice cookers and washing machines, which certainly elicit a sense of nostalgia for those old enough to remember using them.
Hisashige Tanaka (1799-1881) was an engineer and inventor during the Edo and early Meiji periods, who began his scientific career producing karakuri dolls (modern examples of which are on display and can be seen performing) before going on to make Japan's first domestically-produced steam engines. The company he founded later became Shibaura Engineering Works and merged with Tokyo Denki in 1939 to become Tokyo Shibaura Denki, known as Toshiba.
Ichisuke Fujioka (1857-1918) studied under foreign engineers in Japan, visited America and met Thomas Edison and went on to produce Japan's first incandescent light bulbs - Mazda lamps. Fujioka was instrumental in introducing electric power to Japan including the nation's first electric railways. He founded Tokyo Denki, which was to merge with Shibaura Engineering Works to become Toshiba.
A further seven sections of the museum are dedicated to energy use, cities, buildings, homes, health care and information as they are projected to develop in the future as well as a science zone section.
Various "amusement exhibits" appeal to children to stimulate their interest in science and technology.
Toshiba Science Museum Tokyo Hours
Open 10am-5.30pm Tuesday to Friday; 10am-6pm Saturday, Sunday and national holidays; closed Monday or the next day if Monday is a national holiday.
Toshiba Science Museum
Smart Community Center 2F
Lazona Kawasaki Toshiba Building
Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki 212-8585
Tel: 03 3599 2600
The museum is a seven minute walk from Keikyu-Kawasaki Station on the Keikyu Line.