SCIENCE MUSEUMS N’ SUCH

Atsugi City Children’s Science Center(Japanese)

Children’s Ferrite & Science Museum, Akita (in English) features a high-tech museum, a jungle-gym, a Soap Bubble Castle which is really a giant molecular jungle gym, “fuwa fuwa dorm” which is a giant trampoline in the shape of a conch.

Chiba Museum of Science and Industry

Discovery Park Yaizu

(The) Earth Simulator Center, Japan Agency for MarineEarthScience and Technology (JAMSTEC)
JAMSTEC is famous for its supercomputer the world’s fastest, which is used to make 30-year weather forcasts that predict typhoons, storms, blizzards and other weather phenomenon, including superstorms. The objectives of JAMSTEC are to advance our understanding of the space environment is in great demand now as the dynamic activities of the Sun, solar wind, magnetosphere and ionosphere can influence modern technology systems and endanger human life and health. The numerical simulation and modeling driven by integrated observations are powerful methods for understanding the complex Sun-Earth system, and they are an important means for predicting space weather. Its science program and workshops are often press-worthy. 3173-25 Showa-machi, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0001

Earthquake Learning Center helps you learn of the reality of the damage that is unleashed by major earthquakes and how to prevent earthquake damage and to make countermeasures. There is also a corner for learning how to put out fires. Earthquake Learning Center at Meguro Disaster Prevention Center 1-19-7 Meguro-ku, Tokyo. Phone: 03-5723-8517. Access: “Gakugei Daigaku” Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line-15 minutes walk. Open 9:00am-5:00 pm closed Wed, 2nd Thurs.

(The) Earth Simulator Center, Japan Agency for MarineEarthScience and Technology (JAMSTEC)
JAMSTEC is famous for its supercomputer the world’s fastest, which is used to make 30-year weather forcasts that predict typhoons, storms, blizzards and other weather phenomenon, including superstorms. The objectives of JAMSTEC are to advance our understanding of the space environment is in great demand now as the dynamic activities of the Sun, solar wind, magnetosphere and ionosphere can influence modern technology systems and endanger human life and health. The numerical simulation and modeling driven by integrated observations are powerful methods for understanding the complex Sun-Earth system, and they are an important means for predicting space weather. Its science program and workshops are often press-worthy. 3173-25 Showa-machi, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0001

Ehime Prefectural Science Museum(Japanese)

Ehime Prefectural Science Museum(Japanese)

Fukuoka Science Museum Fukuoka

Gifu City Science Museum

Hachinohe Children’s Science Museum

Hamamatsu Science Museum

Isehara City Children’s Science Museum

JST Virtual Science Center

KAGAWA PREFECTURAL SCIENCE MUSEUM

Kawaguchi Science Museum

Kawasaki City Youth Science Museum http://www.keins.city.kawasaki.jp/9/ke9320/

Kazuaki Iwasaki Space Art Gallery http://www2.wbs.ne.jp/~kisag/en/index.html

Kids Plaza Osaka features a combined science museum, culture center and playground with games, toys and characters – a place that is designed to teach children about the world that they live in. Thre e is also a “Cultures of the World” section, for instance, where kids can try on ethnic traditional costumes or American football uniform. 2-1-7 Ogimachi, Kita-ku Phone: 06- 6311-6601Access: Next to exit #2 of Ogimachi Station on the Sakaisuji subway line.

Kitami Region Museum of Science, History and Art

Kobe Science Museum

Koriyama City Fureai Science Center(Japanese)

Kyoto Municipal Science Center For Youth

Kyoto National Museum, Kyoto

***Lake Biwa Museum in Shiga prefecture explains the eco-systems and wildlife around Lake Biwa. Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest inland lake. was formed over 4 million years ago and is one of the oldest fresh water lakes in the world. The lake is home to many ecosystems, including some living organisms that exist only in Lake Biwa. Browse the very excellent Living Lakes website’s info on Lake Biwa to see why you MUST visit Lake Biwa.The lake was used as a transportation artery with harbors in Otsu and Katada, as well as other cities, and was vital to the development of the area. Since olden times, Kyoto had suffered shortages of drinking water and water for farming and fire-prevention. It had also suffered very poor transportation either by river or canal and depended on horsepower and manpower for overland transportation of goods and supplies between cities. Thus plans had been made for opening a canal from Lake Biwa to Kyoto over the mountains and finally leading the water to Yodo river which reached the commercial city of Osaka downstream. To read about how the Lake Biwa canalization project was a world engineering feat and the world’s largest water-power generation plant at the time, see this website.Lake Biwa today supplies drinking water to over 14 million people living in the Kansai area.

Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation) Features genome models and models that show you how the internet works using black and white billard balls;; a space training capsule from Masa, with a genuine space toilet, shower etc so you can see how astronauts live; and rescue robots that can go into collapsed buildings to collect information. Museum is bilingual and has bilingual info brochures as well. Closed Tuesdays. Admission: Y500 for adults, Y200 for kids aged 6 to 18. Access: In between Fune no Kagakukan (Maritime Museum) and Telecom Center stations on the Yurikamome, Odaiba.

Mitsubishi-minato-mirai-gijitsukan is located close to Landmark Tower, Yokohama, features 6 zones including environment, space, ocean, construction

Misawa Aviation & Science Museum, Aomori

Museum of Future Science and Technology

Miyazaki Science Center

Mukai Chiaki Children’s Science Museum

Nagoya City Science Museum(Japanese), Aichi

Nagoya City Museum
, Nagoya, Aichi

National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation(English, Japanese)

The National Science Museum, (Kokuritsu Kagaku Hakubutsukan), Tokyo (in Japanese and English)

Niigata Science Museum(English, Japanese)

Obihiro Children and Youth Science Museum

RiSuPia
in Koto-ku, Tokyo, is a state-of-the art (or should it be state-of-the-tech?) digital museum (run by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.) designed to spurr interest in science and mathematics. It features 24 games and displays and hands out hand-held PDA (personal digital assistants) to children at the museum entrance. When your kid holds a PDA over a blue light infront of a display information on the display is shown on the PDA screen. What’s really cool at the museum is the Prime Number Hockey. Players compete against one another by selecting prime numbers (integers that are not divisible by other integers except 1 and the integers themselves on their side of the oard). Various integers projected on the hockey board, slide around like discs on an ice hockey rink and when a kid touches a number that isn’t a prime number, the number splits and divides itself up. By the time the game is over, even young kids would have learnt the smaller prime numbers by heart. It grants free admission to children of middle school age and younger.2-5-18 Ariake, Koto ward, Tokyo. Phone: 03-3599-2600 (10:00-18:00hrs) Closed on Mondays, year end and beginning of the year. 2-5-18 Ariake, Koto ward, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3599-2600 (10:00-18:00hrs) Closed on Mondays, year end and beginning of the year. RisuPia website’s info is in Japanese only.

Saitama Museum of Rivers in Saitama Phone: 048-581-7333 Access: 20-minute walk from Hachigata Sta., Tobu-Tojo Line; or 10-minute bus ride from the south exit of Yorii Sta., Hachiko, Tobu-Tojo, and Chichibu Lines. Get off at the Hakubutsu-kan-mae bus stop
39 Kozono, Yorii-machi)

Sapporo Sewerage Science Museum

Sapporo Science Center(Japanese)

Science Museum Tokyo

Science Museum of Osaka

Science and Technology Museum

Sendai Science Museum

Sony ExploraScience Museum in Odaiba, a hands-on interactive museum with the usual optical illusions, explore physics type of instruments and lots of robotic and computerized games and activities. A 3-D visual ride throughtime and space to the big bang, birth of the sun. Access: 5th floor of the Mediage building, part of the Aquacity Odaiba complex, in between Odaiba Kaihinkoen and Odaiba stations on the Yukiamome monorail.line. 500 yen for adults, 300 yen for children aged 3-15. Exhibits are labeled in both English and Japanese. Website in both English and Japanese.

Tamarokuto Science Center

Tanakadate Aikitu Memorial Science Museum

Tohoku Rekisi Hakubutukan

Tokushima Prefectural Museum
Naruto-shi, Tokushima

Tokyo Mizu-no-kagakukan (Tokyo Water Science Museum) Phone: 03-3528-2366 Free entry. Learn about water, water quality and how the water system works. Take water tours, visit giant underground waterducts, the aqua laboratory and be surrounded by soap suds. 2-4-1 Ariake, Koutou-ku, Tokyo 135-0063 Access and info in English here.

Tomakomai City Science Museum

Tottori Prefectural Museum Tottori-shi, Tottori

Toshiba Science Museum Phone: 044-549-2200 The museum focuses on a number of themes: energy & environment, computers, space, health, the latest 50s science & technological trends.

Toyama Science Museum

Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum
Yamaguchi-city, Yamaguchi

Yamanashi Prefectural Science Center Kofu city, Yamanaishi prefecture has a very good science museum with hands on activities for children – including a snow room, an anti-gravity moon thing, a tornado to view, lots of optical illusions, science experiment shows. 358-1, Atago-machi, Kofu. Phone: 055-254-8151 More info here

Yokohama Science Center Yokohama (website in Japanese and English) THe space exhibits are particularly notable – featuring a Spaceshuttle Captain’s chamber, space research laboratory)

Maritime & Transportation Museums

Chikatetsu hakubutsukan
, Tokyo. A subway train museum.

Museum Of Maritime Science
Funenokagukukan, Tokyo Bay is a great place for hands-on learning activities. The museum in Odaiba (Funeno Kagakukan station) in Tokyo promotes “an understanding of shipping and the sea” and is built to imitate a 60,000 tonne luxury cruise liner. Beside it is the dry-docked Japan’s first Antarctic observation ship Sohya Maru. 1,000 yen for adults. Open all week as well as weekend.

Marine Science Museum, Tokai University (Tokai Daigaku Kaiyo Kagaku Hakubutsukan) Miho, Shimizu 2389, (0543) 342385 phone 357095

NYK Maritime Museum A museum that informs you of Japan’s maritime history and offers a display of the routes that boats took to carry people, materials and culture to other parts of the world after the Meiji era; videos, large-scale replica of a 1920s luxury liner in the magnificent building that was once the historic Yokohama branch office of the shipping company NYK Line. A free cup of tea is offered to visitors.

Osaka Maritime Museum

Tokyo Automobile Museum (Toyota Hakubutsukan), Nagakute-cho, Aichi

Tokorozawa Aviation Museum, Saitama Phone: 04-2996-2225 Access: 8-minute walk from Koku Koen Sta., Seibu-Shinjuku Line
1-13 Namiki, Tokorozawa-shi (inside Tokorozawa Airport Memorial Park)

Toyota Museum A cool! place to visit with model cars of the future, robots and nostalgic automobiles and other memorabilia (gas pumps).

Transportation Museum (Kotsu Hakubutsukan) 1-25 Kanda Suda-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Yokohama Maritime Museum / Sail Training Ship Nippon Maru

Astronomy Observatories & Planetariums

Akashi Municipal Planetarium 2-6, HItomaru-chou, Akashi, Kyogo 673-0877 Phone: 078-919-5000 (see website for access)

Angel Land
Fukui has a planetarium Entrance 500 yen (adults) 250 yen (primary school) 100 yen (Preschool-K)

Bisei Astronomical Observatory (English here, Japanese site) 1723-70 Ookura, Bisei-cho, Ibara, Okayama 714-1411 Phone: 0866-87-4222 Fax: 0866-87-4224

Dodaira Tenmondai astronomical observatory. Must phone in advance for reservations: 0493-67-0014 Tokigawamura or village’s Chiiki Shinko-shitsu regional promotion section (Take the Tobu Tojo Line to Ogawamachi Stn in Saitaima Prefecture, and then a local bus to the Shiraishi Shako bus stop. From there it’s a 90 min hike to the Mt Dodaira observatory. There are self-catering accommodation facilities that hikers can stay at while visiting the facility. The observatory is now a recreational facility open to the public. Families may book too.

Hoshino Yakata Astronomical Observatory. “We stayed at the Himeji Municipal Accommodation and Facilities Center. It is fairly new, clean and comfortable. There is a small group of facilities. A Nature Sanctuary, Children’s Museum (play area), Science Museum (with planetarium). Himeji attractions & other attractions: We had a great time. Of course, in town there is also Himeji Castle, a zoo and aquarium. I don’t know how it rates there on a national scale, but we enjoyed and and plan to go again. The links are below. Just as a side note – they are very accommodating toward food allergies (must notify them in advance). Even the cafe at the science centre put together something special.” – LeeseOther links and URLs to check out.

Kakamigahara Aerospace Museum Gifu (Japanese only)

Kenritsu-gunma-tenbundai
in Gunma conducts tours and seminars for the public.

Kuma Kogen Astronomical Observatory 488 Shimo-hatanokawa , Kumakogen-cho, Ehime, 791-1212 Phone: 81-892-41-0110 Fax: 81-892-41-0822

Mt Ikoma Space Science Museum (Ikoyama Uchu Kagakukan) 2312-1, Nabatake-cho , Ikoma , Japan Info from Ikoma city page.

Misato Observatory (Japanese only)

Ohotsk Sea Ice Museum of Hokkaido Ohotsk Sea Ice Museum of Hokkaido link currently down

The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 229 Invaluable information for those who want to know the history of Japanese Space Research at this URL. Note that ISAS puts a special emphasis on developing children’s education and on life-long education aimed at raising a broad understanding and appreciation of science and technology and upon its educational role in meeting school education activities. ISAS staff are very positive toward public lectures requested by a variety of groups and organizations from all over Japan.

Saitama Uchyu-gekijyo in Saitama features a planetarium and a space hall focusing on space research.

Sendai Space Hall

Sendai Astronomical Observatory

Tsukuba Expo Center has a newly renovated planetarium which allows dynamic views of the starry skies – it now has the world’s biggest Space Dome. The center has space stations that allow you to feel what it’s liketo be an astronaut at NASA or NASDA, it even serves up astronaut food.

Space World, Kitakyushu city, has the distinction of being the first theme park in the world focused on space. Check its attractions out at this page, they are pretty cool!

Urawa Youth Astronomical Museum (Website in Japanese)

Usuda Star Dome in Nagano. Visitors allowed to view the stars between 10:00-21:00 hrs.

Dinosaur museums:

Dinosaur FACTory (English, Japanese) Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Panasonic Center, 2-5-18, Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo, 135-0063 Phone: 81-3-3599-2500 Fax: 81-3-3529-0009

Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum This may well be I think the best dinosaur museum for kids in Japan. Fukui is a key area for dinosaur finds as well. Take the virtual tour of the museum to look at their great facilities.

Gunma Prefectural Museum of History features a cast of Gallimimus is included in the dinosaur exhibit. Access: in Maebashi, Gunma.

Hakone 3D Space & Dinosaur World
Open daily including Golden Week holidays. Access: Take bus bound for “Kojiri-togendai” from Odawara Station (50min.) to Sengokuhara Bunka Center. It’s a 1-minute walk from the bus stop. A 250 inch-wide screen shows how extinct dinosaurs moved their body parts and lived on the earth. Phone: 0460-4-3365, Sengokuhara, Hakone (located beside the St Exupery Museum). PERSONAL COMMENT: Not recommended. It is a dilapidated theme park that does not warrant a visit unless you are nostalgic for movie screens of the 60s. Rusty seats, sand pit, a few fairground games. Very young kids of course won’t mind.

Hakusan Dinosaurs Park
Shiramine (webpage in Japanese)

Historical Museum of Hokkaido
(Kaitaku Kinenkan) The museum‘s prehistoric exhibit includes an Allosaurus cast. (The museum has lots of info in English and also has many Ainu cultural artefacs worth taking a look.) Access: Ko-nopporo, Atsubetsu-machi, Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido Phone: (011) 8980456 Admission ¥300 adults, ¥100 university and high-school students, ¥50 children, free for seniors. Website information is posted in English as well as Japanese.

Iwaki City Museum of Coal and Fossils Iwaki, Fukushima Its dinosaur displays feature a cast skeleton of the sauropod Mamenchisaurus. Closed on third Tuesdays. Access: 10 minute walk from JR Joban Line Yumoto Station or if driving, take the Joban Expressway Iwaki-Yumoto IC. (access info in English at website)

Kagoshima Prefectural Museum feature the Allosaurus and Camptosaurus in their dinosaur exhibit. Access: Kagoshima, Yamashita-machi, Kagoshima, Kyushu (Map & Access info in Japanese only. Do not confuse this museum with the Kagoshima Prefectural Museum of Culture which is a different museum altogether)

Kitakyushu Museum of Natural History in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka features a variety of dinosaurs on display including the Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, Protoceratops, Triceratops, and Probactrosaurus. (Website in English and Japanese)

Kyoto Municipal Science Center for Youth in Kyoto has skeletal reproductions of the Protoceratops, Saurolophus, and Tarbosaurus. Website in Japanese only.

Makuhari Messe, Chiba, International Hall 7-8, World’s largest dinosaurs including “Supersaurs” on display at the Gigantic Dinosaur Expo 2006. See photo. At 9,000 sq. meters of exhibition space, it is the largest of dino-exhibitions ever. The display of the whole skeleton of Seismosaurs, one of the largest dinosaurs, is the first anywhere in the world.

Mifune Dinosaur Museum
Access: 3-995 Mifune Mfinue-machi Kamimashiki-gun Kumamoto 861-3207 Phone: 096-282-4051 Fax: 096-282-4157

Nakasato Dinosaur Center is particularly active in excavations in the Mongol Desert and has a lot of expertise in those species. Make sure you visit their Fighting Dinosaurs webpage. Access info

National Science Museum
(Kokuritsu Kagaku Hakubutsukan) features several dinosaurs including: Allosaurus, Camptosaurus, Coelophysis, Protoceratops, and Tarbosaurus. Access: 7-20 Ueno-kouen Koutou-ku Tokyo 110 Japan Phone: (03) 3822-0111

Niigata Prefectural Natural Science Museum
Niigata
Highlights: The Natural Science Museum features a Triceratops cast in the Prehistoric exhibit. (English info is available on the website)

Osaka Museum of Natural History
’s prehistoric exhibits include casts of Allosaurus, Coelophysis, Ornitholestes, and Stegosaurus.Nagai Park, Higashi-sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka 546 Phone: 06-6976221 Website (English info is available)

Saito Ho-on Kai Museum of Natural History
Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture a.k.a. Museum of Natural History, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan A cast of Allosaurus is represented in the prehistoric exhibit. Access: 20-2 Honcho 2-chome, Sendai, Miyagi 980 Phone: (022) 625506

Takikawa Museum of Art and Natural History in Takikawa, Hokkaido JAPAN Tyrannosaurus and Protoceratops casts are included in the prehistoric exhibit. Access: 2-chome 5-30 Shinmachi, Takikawa-shi, Hokkaido 073-0033. Phone: 0125-23-0502

Tochigi Prefectural Museum (Website with English and Japanese info available) Its prehistoric display features casts of Allosaurus and Stegosaurus. Access: 4-2-7 Sakura Utsunomiya, Tochigi 320 Phone: 0286- 213566

Tokai University, Natural History Museum
(English webpage is under construction Japanese website link) in Shimizu, Shizuoka The museum has casts of Tarbosaurus and Probactrosaurus on display. Access: Tokai University 2407, Miho Shimizu-shi Shizuika-ken Phone: 0543-342385

Toyohashi Aichi Museum of Natural History Toyohashi, Aichi The museum’s collection includes exhibits of: Allosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Edmontosaurus, Iguanodon, Stegosaurus, Triceratops and an actual anatosaurus fossil (the anatosaurus lived on earth around 67 million years ago). There are many other fossil-related materials, a Georama, and large screen video equipment.

Disaster Science (Volcanoes & Earthquakes) Museums:

Aso Volcano Museum 
Disaster Prevention and Information Center, Shizuoka Prefecture
Disaster Prevention Learning Center, Saitama Phone: 048-549-2313 30 Fukuro, Konosu-shi Access: 20-minute walk from Kita-Konosu Sta., Takasaki Line
Museum of the Mount Bandai Eruption
HOKUDAN-CHO EARTHQUAKE MEMORIAL PARK

Tachikawa-bouzaikan(Tachikawa Fire and Disaster Prevention Museum) in Tachikawa-city, Tokyo Phone: 042-521-1119
The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial


Energy & Communications:

Communications Museum Tei-Park (Teishin Sougou Hakubutsukan in Japanese)
Denryokukan in Tokyo features a HUGE “Earth Watching” interactive globe, 3D theater and many other hands on attractions.
Electric Power Historical Museum
Epson Aqua Stadium
Fuji TV Tower (Fujiterebi-honshyabiru), Tokyo. Located in the very popular entertainment district of Odaiba, this museum allows kids to see what a TV studio and equipment look like.
NHK Studio Park in Tokyo. A place where you can learn how TV programmes are made. Meet well-known mascots and characters in the studios here and participate in NHK live studio programmes.
Gas Museum
Genkai Energy Park

Gas Science Museum
Gas Energy Exhibit Hall
Intercommunication Center — ICC
Kyushu Energy Science Center
Tepco Electoric Energy Museum(Japanese)TEPCO SONIC(Japanese)
Toshiba Science Museum Phone: 044-549-2200 The museum focuses on a number of themes: energy & environment, computers, space, health, the latest 50s science & technological trends.


Geology, Rocks & Minerals & Mountain and Mining Museums

Children’s Ferrite & Science Museum
Crystal Museum
* Fossa Magna Museum The Fossa Magna, a major faultline running through Japan is an important geological part of Japanese topography.
Aso Volcano Museum
in Kumamoto, Kyushu is located in Kusasenri Meadow, in the caldera valley of Mt Aso Japan’s and one of the world’s most active volcanoes. The museum explains the natural history, geology and flora and fauna of the Aso area. You can also view pictures of the interior of the crater taken with two TV cameras at the crater. Kusasenri is located on the northern mountainside of Mt. Eboshi-dake and is the post-card scene where cows and horses grazing in summer and enjoy skiing and skating in winter. Phone: 0967-34-2111
Geological Museum You can take a virtual mini tour of museum. The museum has lots of geological 3D models e.g. volcanoes of Japan. Fascinating stuff for kids mad about rocks and volcanoes. The museum belongs to the Geological Survey of Japan and is consequently an authority on the geology of Japan.
Hidaka Mountains Center
Jigokudani (Hell Valley) in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido has enough belching sulfurous fumaroles and fissures and the bubbling Oyunuma Pond to rival Owakudani. See here for info and access.
(The) Kiseki Museum of World Stones Shizuoka, a museum of “stone”, more than 7,000 collection (English & Japanese)
Kuji Amber Museum(website in Japanese)
Mizunami Fossil Museum
Nakatsugawa Mineral Museum
Omuta Coal Industry and Science Museum (English, Japanese)
Oshika Geological Museum of Japan Median Tectonic Line
Owakudani Shizen Kagakukan (The Owakudani Natural Science Museum) tells you about the natural history, geology, geography as well as flora and fauna of the Hakone area including of course the Owakudani (Valley of Greater Boiling). There are displays on the many kinds of fish in Lake Ashino-ko, a realistic simulation of the eruption of Mt. Kami-yama. Not to be missed — hike the Owakudani Nature Trail — Owakudani which is the key attraction for visitors — being a valley of sulphurous rocks and bubbling mud from which fumaroles and crevices belch sulfurous vapours that can easily overcome the visitor. The 30-minute walk is a grim reminder of the underlying volcanic activity and the dormancy of Mt Fuji and other volcanoes in the Japanese archipelago today — a real hands on science lesson for children especially those who see fumaroles for the first time. Access: Get to Hakone via the regular (futsuu) train (90 mins) from JR Tokyo station to Odawara on the Tokaido line then from Odawara change to the Hakone-Tozan line to Hakone-Yumoto. OR by Odakyu bus service from Shinjuku stn to Hakone-machi (2 hrs, abt 2,000 yen)
Oya Stone Museum Oyamachi in Utsunomiya City, Tochigi is the source of Oya-ishi or Oya Stone (that Frank Lloyd Wright liked to use in his buildings). Scenery is spectacular and comprises the varied rock formations featuring cliffs and craggy mountains reminiscent of those in Chinese paintings. The town of Oya is the only place where an entire town is built into a mountain of stone. Visit the Oya Museum. As you approach the museum, cliffs and outcrops tower on either side and the museum features an old subterranean stone quarry in a cavern 60 meters below sprawled over 20,000 square meters. Worth seeing are the excavated set of Jomon bones from 7,000 years ago that include an intact skeleton noted for the high bridged nose structure, folded arms and legs burial manner and evidence of cannibalism in one of the excavated bones which had signs of being cut by a sharp stone implement. Access is by rapid train on the Tohoku-housen-line (1.5 hrs)or 50 min by shinkansen to reach. During the visit to Oyamachi, the Oya-ji cave temple founded by Kukai is one of the best examples of magaibutsu stone art Oyaji features one of the oldest magaibutsu – the image carved into stone should not be missed: 27 m high, 20 m in girth and the head alone is 5 m in length — as well as the Heiwa Kannon-zo or Kannon Peace Statue(see photos here).
Iwaki City Coal and Fossil Museum, Iwaki, (website in English, Japanese)
Iwami Silver Mine Material Museum Silver was discovered in 1526 and silver production is an important historical heritage of the Sengoku and Edo periods. The site is currently being proposed for World Heritage nomination.
Summary of Mineral Industry Museum, Akita University  for its 13,000 geological specimens
Tateyama Cardera Sabo Museum features Tateyama Caldera video clips. Consult the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Official Guide in English for access and info. Read this account of a trip to Tateyama’s Murodo in winter. Stay at the Tateyama, Murodo Villa a 400 year old “hut” and national cultural asset.
Yunooku Gold Mining History Museum
The Yubari Coal Mine Museum

Natural History Museums:

Fukui City Museum of Natural History
(in Japanese only)

Biwako Museum of Natural History
, Otsu City. An excellent museum that documents the human and natural history of the region, including an aquarium of fish from Lake Biwa.

Lake Biwa Museum
in Shiga Prefecture, Museum of “lake and human” — natural history, history, environment (includes aquarium). (website in English & Japanese) Browse the very excellent Living Lakes website’s info on Lake Biwa to see why you MUST visit Lake Biwa. Japan’s largest inland lake was formed over 4 million years ago and is one of the oldest lakes in the world and is home to diverse species including some that live only in Lake Biwa. The lake supplies drinking water to over 14 million people living in the Kansai area thanks to a canalization project (from Lake Biwa to Kyoto over the mountains and leading the water to Yodo river which reached the commercial city of Osaka downstream) that was an engineering feat in its day and the water power generation project also the largest in the world at the time (read all about it here).
Museum of Nature and Human Activities
Hyogo is Hyogo Prefecture’s natural history museum has exhibits and videos of wildlife and natural environment in the area (English and Japanese website)

Geihoku Museum of Nature
(in Japanese)

Gunma Museum of Natural History
(in Japanese only)

Hakusan Nature Conservation Center
The website has information on the hiking trail and the log cabin accommodation that is available to hikers.

Izu Natural History Park A delightful park for kids and the park has a kid-friendly but all in Japanese website. Kids that go online to read about the wildlife and particular focus on succulents. (web info in Japanese only)

Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History
(web info in Japanese only)

Kitakyushu Museum of Natural History & Human History (English and Japanese web info)

Kurashiki Museum of Natural History
in Okayama city (in Japanese)

Miyazaki Prefectural Museum of Nature and History (in Japanese)

Nakagawa Museum of Natural History

Natural History Natural History Museum, Kishiwada City, Osaka (in Japanese)

Natural History Museum and Institute
, Chiba

Natural History Museum, Tokai University

Osaka Museum of Natural History
in Osaka has many interesting dioramas of what life and nature looked like during the prehistoric eras including the Jomon era, as well as of tidal flat life in the Osaka Bay. (English & Japanese)

Saitama Museum of Natural History in Saitama Prefecture
(English & Japanese webpage info)

Toyohashi Museum of Natural History


Wakayama Prefectural Museum of Natural History
(Japanese)

Dolls, Toys & Instruments Museums:

Erzgebirge Toys Museum of Karuizawa
Hakone Toy Museum
Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments
Itabashi Antique Doll Museum
Izu Teddy Bear Museum at Izu has more than 1,000 exhibits. Phone: 0557-54-001
Japan Toy Museum
Japan Footwear Museum/ Japan Folk Toy & Doll Museum
Kobe Doll Museum
Koga Masao Museum Of Music
Music Box Museum of IzuSekiguchi Doll Garden [CLOSED]
Shiho Doll Museum
Tateshina Teddy Bear Museum
Teddy Bear Museum
Teddy Bear Museum

Toy Art Museum
Toys Club
Warabekan Toy Museum

World Kite Museum(Japanese)
Yokohama Doll Museum An excellent collection and much visited attraction in Yokohama.


Anime & manga museums:

Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum in Osaka showcases the work and records the life of Osamu Tezuka, widely considered Japan’s greatest maker of cartoon animation [anime]. The museum recreates Tezuka’s workshop and features an animated film about his life and thousands of examples of his work. Try your hand at making your own movie in the studio there. Location: 7-65, Mukogawa-cho, Takarazuka-shi Phone: 0797- 81-2970 Access: Takarazuka Station on the JR Fukuchiyama and Hankyu Takarazuka lines
Ghibili Museum, Mitaka Read about this museum here and here.
Suginami Animation Museum

Themed Museums (see JTNO listing):

Baseball Museum (Yakyu Taiku Hakubutsukan) Entrance: 400 yen adult / 200 yen child
Costume Museum
JCII Camera Museum
Kobe Fashion Museum
Kobe Lamp Museum

Minamata Diseaze MuseumMitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial Museum (English, Japanese)
Museum of Kites 1-12-10, Nihonbashi, chuo-ku, Tokyo
Ikazaki Kite Museum
, Aichi, Shikoku
Nihon Soccer Museum
Sumo Museum
(Sumo Hakubutsukan) in Sumida-ku, Tokyo. Website in English and Japanese The museum underlies the importance of the national sport of sumo cpllecting and preserving a wide range of artefacts and materials related to the history of sumo, from woodblock prints and banzuke (official listings of rank) to the ceremonial aprons worn by the great rikishi of the past. The museum is also a research center. Access: 1-3-28 Yokoami, Sumida-ku Via train (JR Sobu line) to Ryogoku Stn.
Tobacco & Salt Museum The museum, exhibits cultural and industrial aspects of tobacco and salt.
Tokyo Fire Museum in Yotsuya 3-chome
Tokyo Taiko-kan Drum Museum
Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka. Instant noodles (1958) are known to be Japan’s best invention of modern times. Join classes to learn how to make noodles by hand. Everything you want to know about instant noodles is here, check it out at: 8-25 Masumi-cho, Ikeda-shi Phone: 072-752-0825 Access: 7 mins walk from Ikeda Station on the Hankyu Takarazuka Line.
Taimeiken Kite Museum, Nihonbashi, Tokyo
Tne Naito Museum of Pharmaceutical Science and Industry
Tokai Univ. Human Science Museum

World Kite Museum, Yokkaichi 3-5. Higashihoncho, Yokkaichishi, Shiga

Children’s Museums & Playstations:

Kids Plaza Osaka Features a combined science museum, culture center and playground with games, toys and characters – a place that is designed to teach children about the world that they live in. Thre e is also a “Cultures of the World” section, for instance, where kids can try on ethnic traditional costumes or American football uniform. 2-1-7 Ogimachi, Kita-ku Phone: 06- 6311-6601 Access: Next to exit #2 of Ogimachi Station on the Sakaisuji subway line.
Kidzania
at Urban Port LalaPort, Koto-ku 2-chome, Toyosu, Tokyo, will be a scaled-down for kiddies’ virtual town with a collection of facilities and shops or hands-on job-experience theme park. Scheduled for opening in October 2006, 50 pavilions will offer children a chance to work at a gas station, beauty salon, TV station, fire department, automobile maintenance shop, confectionary plant and others (from the website, those facilities look REAL!) Based on Mexico city’s big-hit theme park that opened in 1999. Kidzania is based on a recent trend of edu-tainment and is billed as “Japan’s First Facility For Children to Experience Various Professions Hands-on”. Admission is steep: Kids willl pay 3,000 yen and adults 2,000 yen.
National Children’s Castle Not a real castle or shiro in the sense of the word, but a play-adventure place for urban children in Tokyo.
Shonandai Culture Centre Children’s Museum(Japanese)
Youth’s & Children’s Museum