This Sunday was my first full day off in Japan. While my female training mates headed to Shibuya for some clothes window-shopping, I visited a couple museums and spent some time wandering the back streets of Akihabara.
My first stop was the Science Museum, tucked inside a park among several other government buildings, including the Modern Art Museum and the National Archives. The building itself is shaped like a five-pointed star, with the four longer spokes each holding a certain exhibit, and the smaller front spoke holding offices, seating, or a cafe. You start by traveling to the second floor via an escalator, which brings you to the first exhibit.
Each exhibit or area is full of interactive gadgets. For example, the second floor has two bicycle exhibits, both of which have bicycles you can "ride" (they are fixed to the ground) to accomplish tasks or learn about a science principal. One station taught about motor-assist bikes, while another taught about energy and power.
Other exhibits included Waku Eco Motor Land, which taught about driving vehicles and Eco-friendly car principles such as hybrids and even recycling cars.
The third floor had exhibits on energy, such as atomic energy, natural gas, motors, and electricity. The fourth floor had very fun areas on construction, future technology, and space. The final fifth floor had more on mechanics, computers, DNA, and optics.
I was able to pick up an english guide which provided basic general information. The exhibits and most of the stations had english titles but Japanese text. Several of the stations had computer games in Japanese text that I would not be able to understand. Even so, most of the exhibits are easy to figure out and fun to play with. A child would be able to spend hours here turning knobs, pushing levers, and pedaling bikes to the point of exhaustion, and I had a great time as a (former for now) science teacher and kid-at-heart. I spent about two hours there.
As a destination in Tokyo, it's located right next to the Imperial Gardens, so visitors can easily access the location by walking. On the way there, I saw many runners jogging around the park, which seemed enjoyable. For those who have an interest in science or those who have children, the Science Museum is a perfect destination.