Thursday, February 1, 2007

11. Museum Review: Science Museum (Kitanomaru Park)

The first mistake I made in visiting this museum was coming by myself. The Science Museum is mostly for children, and is best when visited as a family. Make that a Japanese family. I was given an excellent and thorough museum guidebook, but many of the exhibits were hard to figure out without command of the Japanese language.

That said, any child interested in science, or in 'touching' things, will have fun running around trying to figure things out. There are 5 floors covering just about every area of science you can think of: illusions, optics, mechanics, electronics, the universe, construction, metals, the Internet, environmentalism, energy,... the list goes on and on. There are also workshops offered throughout the day. The workshop schedule was translated, so non-Japanese speakers are welcome to join.

The Science Museum was founded by the Japan Science Foundation, opening its doors in 1964. The exhibits do seem a little dated, but they were still interesting and educational. The Japanese kids who were there seemed to be having a very good time, and they were definitely learning. If you decide to bring your children, bring along a couple of their Japanese friends as well. I think the museum is best for children in grades 1 through 9.

The Science Museum is located within Kitanomaru Park, which is connected to the Imperial Palace. I was impressed with the park, I didn't even realize it was there. A picnic lunch, followed by a visit to the museum, would be a nice family outing.

Address: 2-1, Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.
Phone: 03-3212-8544

Hours of operation: 9:30-16:50, closed from December 29 to January 3.

Admission Fee: Adults 600 yen
Jr. and Sr. High Students 400 yen
Elementary to 4 years old 250 yen

Access: The museum is a 7 minute walk from Takebashi Station of the Tozai Line or Kudanshita Station of the Tozai/Hanzomon/Shinjuku Lines. It is very close to the Nippon Budokan Hall.
**Free entry with Grutt Pass 2007 (#15)

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