The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation or Miraikan as it is better known, is a fascinating, high-tech interactive museum showcasing Japan’s lead in science and technology.
There is a wealth of interesting exhibitions at Miraikan including cutting edge medicine, robotics and transportation. This interactive and bilingual science museum opened in 2001. It features many hands on displays that keep visitors young and old fascinated for several hours while visiting the large centre.
The seven level building is an amazing piece of modern high tech steel and glass architecture and is quiet spectacular. One of the most stunning sights at the Miraian is the museums foyer void that contains a giant geo cosmos globe of the earth. The globe display is made of what looks like a spherical video display.
Robotics form a large portion of the museum’s exhibition. A favourite is Honda’s ground breaking ASIMO robot, it is one of the first humanoid like robots. 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 especially with the young.
The space exhibition is wonderful and includes models of satellites and a full size model of a section of the International Space Station that you can walk through and try to imagine life in outer space. There are also some virtual-reality rides where you can learn more about space in a very enjoyable way.
The Life Science section deals with some of the amazing medical research that is being conducted in labs around the world. There is a lot of very information on nano technology, which it is hoped will be used in medicine in years to come. You will also find several interactive and video displays explaining a wide range of current and future medical research. The centre is much more than a museum as it is also a working science laboratory and has several technological developments working on cutting edge science.
Not to be missed is an actual-size model of the Shinkai 6500 Submarine. This is a replica of the world’s deepest manned research submersible taking mankind to some of the deepest parts of the ocean.
The centre has large hands on area, where people are given a credit card type device as a guide. Here you enter some information about yourself that interacts with several of the sensors on interactive and video displays to give you an experience designed just for you.
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 certainly fascinating to watch.
The museum is a short walk from the Yurikamome Line at a station called Fune-no-kagakukan (station U-08) near the Maritime Museum or the Telecom Center Station (station U-09). Also note that on Odaiba there are free shuttle buses looping the Odaiba waterfront precincts attractions.
Official Miraiken Website: