National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation

#6 in Best Things To Do in Tokyo
 picture
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Key Info

Aomi, Koto-ku

Price & Hours

620 yen (about $6) for adults; 210 yen (about ...
Wed-Mon 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Details

Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, commonly referred to as the Miraikan, attests to Tokyo's entrepreneurial spirit and penchant for science and technological innovation. This high-tech museum features a plethora of exciting interactive displays spread across three themed permanent exhibits. In Explore The Frontiers, visitors can learn about space exploration by stepping into a model of the International Space Station, which has been autographed by astronauts who spent time there, including Buzz Aldrin. There's also Discover Your Earth, where you'll find a large LED paneled Earth sculpture, as well as the robotics-heavy Create Your Future exhibit. Make sure you get an eyeful of Honda's impressive ASIMO robot while here. ASIMO has opposable thumbs, can run, and even kick a soccer ball (as it did with President Obama in his 2014 visit to the museum). Kids will particularly enjoy the displays as they can touch, climb on and play with many of them. The museum also features science workshops for kids, talks from researchers and the GAIA 3-D Home Theater. 

Despite its draw, many travelers offered mixed reviews of the museum. Some reported feeling like kids, amazed at the vast amount of things to learn and do, while other adults said the museum is best suited for children. Some visitors also found the exhibits to be lacking, saying the information provided was very basic (the jury is out on whether its language for kids to understand or a translation issue). Travelers did recommend hanging out for the ASIMO demonstration, though some others who attended said the show was boring and the robot not as up-to-date as they hoped. Those who did bring their kids in tow said they had a ball.

The museum welcomes visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. On Odaiba, you can easily walk to the museum from the Fune-no Kagakukan and the Telecom Center metro stations. Admission for adults costs 620 yen (roughly $6) for adults and 210 yen (about $2) for youth 18 years old and younger. Note: On Saturday, individuals 18 and younger get in for free. For more information, check out the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation's website.

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#1 Tokyo National Museum

If you're looking to learn a little (or a lot) about Japan's history, the Tokyo National Museum is the place to go. This museum is one of the country's most expansive, housing about 116,000 pieces of art and artifacts that cover the longest recorded history of Japan. Strolling through the halls of its numerous buildings, you'll spot relics such as samurai armor and swords (a traveler favorite), delicate pottery, kimonos, calligraphy, paintings, and much more, some of which are designated as national treasures and Important Cultural Properties by the Japanese government. In addition to artifacts from Japan's history, you'll also find pieces from all across the Asian continent, including Buddhist scrolls that date all the way back to 607. 

Travelers were impressed with all that the Tokyo National Museum has to offer. Even some who admitted they aren't museum people enjoyed the variety of unique artifacts on display. Travelers appreciated that the museum featured English translations, something that some visitors noticed other Tokyo top attractions lacked (think the Ghibli Museum). Museum goers also say that there so much to see in the Tokyo National Museum that you probably need an entire day if you want to get through everything. If you don't have enough time to do this (or just don't want to) the best thing to do is get a map of the museum beforehand and pick what you want to do before you venture in. 

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