Wednesday, February 14, 2007

20. Museum Review: The Museum of Maritime Science (Odaiba)

The Museum of Maritime Science is a large museum dedicated to ships and everything related to them. The museum itself was built to look like a ship, and there are a number of real vessels surrounding it, some of which can be boarded and explored.

As a woman, I have never had much of an interest in ships. That said, I still enjoyed the museum . My husband, on the other hand, absolutely loved this museum. The first floor exhibits focus on ship history, design, propulsion, shipbuilding, and marine development. There are some excellent replicas of the most famous ships in history.
The second floor exhibits focus on maritime transportation, ships & seaports, ships & fishing, maritime safety, defending the oceans,...

The third floor exhibits focus on Japanese boats. I really enjoyed these as I am interested in Japanese history. There is also a radio-controlled boat corner, and a replica of a ship's bridge.
Outside the museum is the 'Yotei Maru', a ferry that connected Hokkaido and Honshu for over 20 years. Inside the ship are a 'Sea & Ship World' with some exhibits for children, and 'Seikan World', a re-creation of Aomori Station in the late 1950's.

Beside the 'Yotei Maru' is the 'Soya', a cargo icebreaker built in 1938 and used during WWII. Later it was used as Japan's first Antarctic observation ship. I enjoyed this exhibit most as visitors are able to get a feel of how life on board must have been like for the crew.

There are some basic English descriptions, but most are in Japanese. I was, however, given a very serious guide book that had some more detailed information and lots of photos.

The museum is obviously located waterfront, so there are some fantastic views of Tokyo Bay and of the shipyards nearby.
Most daughters would be bored here, but if you have a son, husband, or boyfriend, that is another story. Especially if they have an interest in boats, or even just in things mechanical.

Address: 3-1 Higashi-Yashio, Shingawa-ku, Tokyo 135-8587.
Tel: 03-5500-1111

Hours of Operation: 10:00 - 17:00, open until 18:00 on weekends and in summer. Closed Dec. 28 - Jan. 1.

Admission: Adults: 1000 yen, children age 5 - Jr. High 600 yen.

For more information:

Access: Odaiba is a man-made island in Tokyo Bay. To get there, take the Yurikamome Monorail from Shimbashi Station to Funenokagakukan Station (16 minutes). Paid parking is also available.
**Free entry with Grutt Pass 2007 (#44)

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