Miraikan – Emerging Science Museum
The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, or Miraikan as it is better known, is a fascinating, high-tech showcase of Japan’s lead in science and technology. There is a wealth of interesting exhibitions including cutting edge medicine, robotics and transportation. Miraikan features many hands on displays that will keep visitors fascinated for hours.
The interactive and bilingual science museum Miraiken opened in 2001 in a high tech steel and glass seven level building which is quite a spectacular artwork in its self. One of the most spectacular items is a giant geo cosmos globe of the earth that is made of what looks like a spherical video display. The centre is more than a museum as it is also a working science laboratory that works on several technological developments.
Robotics make up a large portion of the exhibition. A favourite is Honda’s ASIMO robot which was one of the first humanoid like robot. Asimo is being trained and it is hoped he will be able to give guided tours of the centre in future years. Another robot on display takes the form of a baby seal. Known as Paro, he can interact with people and is a real crowd pleaser.
Space exploration is also featured with models of satellites and a full size model of a section of the International Space Station. Here you can walk through the station and gain an insight into life in space. There are also some virtual-reality rides where you can learn more about space.
The Life Science section deals with some of the amazing medical research that is being done today. There is a lot of information on nano technology, which it is hoped will be used in medicine in years to come. There are several interactive and video displays which explains current and future medical research.
Also on display is an actual-size model of the Shinkai 6500 Submarine. This is the world’s deepest manned research submersible and can take man to some of the deapest parts of the ocean.
The centre has a large hands on area, where people are given a credit card type device. Here you enter some information about yourself and this then starts many of the video and interactive displays; it is quite a novel and fun system.
In the centre of the hands on area is a huge tube system filled with black and white balls. These balls move around a huge maze. The object of the exercise is to show how the internet works, Most people don’t get it, but it is fascinating to watch.
The museum is a short walk from either the Telecom Center Station (U09) or Fune-no-kagakukan (U08) on the Yurikamome line.
Official Miraiken Website