The Miraikan is my favorite new discovery, what an excellent museum! Mirai means future, and the Miraikan is Tokyo's 'National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation'. The building itself is gorgeous, and it is filled with an overwhelming amount of stimulating scientific information.
There are exhibits on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th floors, and on the 6th is a dome theater, 'Gaia'. The showpiece of the museum is the large globe, suspended from the ceiling, made of a million LED's. The 1st floor exhibition space is currently under renovation.
The 3rd floor exhibits are divided into two topics: 'Inovation & the Future' and 'Information Science & Technology for Society'.
The 5th floor exhibits are also divided into two topics: 'Life Science' and 'The Earth Environment & Frontiers'. There is an in depth focus on 'green' technology.
I am not going to even try to describe what you'll see. You just have to go there for yourself. If you have any interest in science, you'll be here all day. Even if you hate science, you'll probably change your mind after one visit to the Miraikan.
Extremely knowledgable volunteers are on hand to explain all of the displays and to help with the interactive exhibits. I do not know if they speak any English. But, no matter, everything in the museum is explained in depth, in both Japanese and English.
I would recommend this museum for Jr. high students and older, the subject matter was quite sophisticated. I saw some college students picking the brains of the volunteers, one young woman was taking pages of notes! That said, the elementary school kids that I saw were also really enjoying themselves. Especially in the robot making department above!
Reservations are required for the 112 seat dome theater. Pick up a numbered ticket at the ticket machine on the 6th floor. As soon as you arrive in the museum, go straight to the 6th floor and pick up a ticket. I was very disappointed that we were unable to get a reservation, the movie topics looked really interesting. This museum is a 'must see', and its location make it easy and fun to visit. With so many other things to do in Odaiba, it is a great 'day trip' within Tokyo.
Address: 2-41 Aomi, Koto-ku
Open 10am to 5pm. Closed Tuesdays (except for national holidays)
Admission: Adults 500 yen, children 200 yen (18 and under)
Nearest station: Telecom Center station on the Yurikamome line (A four-minute walk in the direction of Odaiba and the Fuji TV building)
**Free entry with Grutt Pass 2007 (#45)