The Osaka Maritime Museum is an architectural wonder built it is built in a huge glass and metal dome which was actually fabricated on land and then towed 33 km across the Osaka bay to the museum’s site becoming a major icon to the area.
The award winning structure conceived by Mr. Paul Andreu, a French architect is 35 metres high and 70 metres in diameter, it has four floors of exhibition space and tunnel entrances which connect the dome with the shore. The building has been designed to withstand the powers of earthquakes, the sea and wind, all which are a threat to the reclaimed land in which it sits.
The museum is dedicated to the exhibition of articles related to the sea including ships and the ports. The centre promotes public understanding of the history of Osaka, which has developed in tandem with the port and marine transportation as well as the various ways people have related to the sea and it’s ports.
The exhibition itself is quite amazing, the centrepiece is a fully reconstructed 17th century merchant ship called Higakikaisen it has been beautifully hand crafted and is a very popular attraction to the centre. There are quite a few interesting exhibits with a large nautical collection of treasures.
Visitors can try their hand at a high tech yacht simulator where people can sail virtually in the theatre. The centre boasts this is the first of its kind in the world.
Also on display is a very good representation of the Osaka ports and its reliance on the sea. Showing how the city was built and grew all because of its sea trading. The city and its people have a very strong connection with the bay and seas.
Opening in 2000 the centre’s four floors have their own theme with Invitation to the Sea on the 1st floor, Japanese-style Wooden Ships on the 2nd floor, Prosperity of Osaka Port on the 3rd floor and World Culture Linked by the Sea on the top floor.
Note: Osaka Maritime Museum has now closed indefinitely as of March 2013