Japan and technology go hand-in-hand. So it’s not surprising that the nation’s capital is home to some of the most interesting technology museums on the planet. From interactive exhibits focusing on science and space, to hi-tech gadgets and futuristic visions of cities, here are our top picks for the best science and technology museums to visit in Tokyo.
The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Established by Japan’s Science and Technology Agency, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, or Miraikan (Future Museum) for short, is one of Tokyo’s most innovative technology museums. The Miraikan curates three or more special interactive exhibitions each year. The focus is often a blending of science and art. As for subject matter, as long as it’s relating to science, anything goes – such as natural disasters, issues of human waste, architectural exhibitions and more. Visitors can also check out real-time information displays from Japan’s many seismometers, while the Geo-Cosmos shows up-to-date global weather patterns.
The Toshiba Science Museum or Toshiba Science Institute is a science and technology museum with a free-entry policy. The exhibition space reflects the values of Toshiba as one of the world’s leading technology and communications companies. The interactive displays focus on the future of cities and renewable energy, of homes and healthcare, transportation and more. There is also a section dedicated to interactive science education, as well as exhibits concerned with the history of Toshiba and technology. The exhibitions are permanent. The museum is about one hour from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo.
The Sony Explorascience Museum fits nicely into the futuristic island of Odaiba, Tokyo. The museum was built with the goal of encouraging public interest in science. In true Sony style, the museum is filled with fun and interactive games, displays and movies. The museum aims to show visitors the link between new technologies and the basic principles of science, demystifying the world of modern tech. The Sony Explorascience Museum is a great place for those traveling with kids.
The Panasonic Showroom, or Panasonic Center TOKYO, shows off the latest gadgets from the technology giant. Like the Toshiba Science Museum, another brand-produced showcase, the Panasonic Center doesn’t charge a fee. But that doesn’t mean they are pushy about their products. In most cases, the only goal of the showroom is to introduce the latest technologies and up-and-coming gadgets to the public. The company does an excellent job of making these exhibits anything but boring. Panasonic has a few showrooms located in Tokyo that are open to the public, but their Odaiba location is the largest. At this location, reservations can be made in advance for the Technics Theater Room.
Check out Japan’s advances in space technology at the TeNQ Space Museum (pronounce ten-cue).Opened in 2014, this is one of Tokyo’s newest technology museums. The focus at TeNQ is space technology and information. One of the highlights is the Theater Sora, where museum-goers can look down at a realistic recreation of what it’s like to see Earth from the International Space Station, using actual footage. The museum is conveniently located inside Tokyo Dome City.