Location: Miraikan (The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation)

What a long name for a museum. The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. Fit that on a key chain! The museum is really named Miraikan, but the subtitles sure help to understand what it is you can see inside.
 The museum is located in Odaiba, which was reclaimed and redeveloped into a nice business, residential, and entertainment district. Odaiba is home to a few more attractions for tourists, including the Fuji TV Building, some themed shopping areas and the Joypolis amusement arcade (closed until July, argh).

Unlike the rest of Tokyo, Odaiba was redeveloped in the past 20 years or so. This means the streets are wide and designed for faster traffic flow and city blocks are quite large. It feels more like the tourist areas of Orlando, but with fancy large commercial and residential buildings instead of tourist trap attractions.
 There's a nice pool out front. I visited in the late afternoon, as the sun was just starting to creep under the roof.
 The centerpiece of the large atrium area once you actually enter the exhibit area is this globe.
 It's called Tunagari (Geo-Cosmos) and is updated with actual weather. It can also show other graphical distributions around the world and be used to display visual arts.
 In front of/beneath the globe is a large seating area, as you can see above and below. Next to that is a futuristic city (Lifestyle 2050), where visitors can be assigned jobs and housing and see their influence on the community over the next several years.
 Other exhibits on the lower floor focus on what you would expect from a museum with such a long, descriptive name: emerging science and innovative ideas.

There was an area devoted to showing how a computer can track our movements and what we do (spacial information science), but it was presented in a fun, interactive way. Hopefully, information obtained from similar systems set up in train stations and cities can help us learn about traffic patterns and how to improve the flow of people through crowded spaces. However, upon reflection, it does show how easy it is for Big Brother to watch you! The exhibit is called ANAGURA. As you travel from station to station, you learn about what ANAGURA can do, and as you interact with it, your "ME" icon changes. Eventually, you create a song that is played on the large wall of the exhibit.

The lower floor is also home to ASIMO, the humanoid robot, as well as other robots with less exciting functions.
 Upstairs contains more general-science related, permanent exhibits. The photos above and below were taken inside a space shuttle model. Yes, that is a space toilet up there.
 You can see how astronauts sleep, and watch videos on how they eat and perform daily tasks. While most of the footage appears to be from the 1980s NASA shuttle flights, it's still interesting to see. A nearby exhibit teaches you even more about living in space - temperature, exercise, etc.
 Another kind of ship is on display - a deep ocean submarine (I think). You can't go inside, but it certainly looked impressive. This is part of the Extreme Environments exhibit.
There are other exhibits showcasing how the brain and body works, other life science issues, the environment, DNA, and medicine.

I love science museums, and Miraikan has some fascinating exhibits. I wish there was more to do, though, as I felt I was just looking at some new, cool, shiny things rather than really experiencing new technology. That said, the ANAGURA and city exhibits I mentioned above are the exceptions, and at least half my time (probably more like 2/3 of my time) was spent at just those two exhibits.

Kids will enjoy the place if they're in elementary or middle school or have a great love of science and technology. Adults can have fun too and learn a lot about some newer technology. Admission is 600 yen for adults, 200 yen for children under 18. The museum is open from 10AM-5PM, but it's closed on most Tuesdays and at the end of the year. Check the English website.

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