Museum of Maritime Science

“Museum of Maritime Science” makes it sounds like it’ll be devoted to algae and tides, but it’s actually about ships. It’s a huge museum that takes a couple of hours to get through, and is quite interesting. There are incredibly detailed models of all kinds of ships through the ages, from Columbus’ Santa Maria to WWII battleships to modern container vessels.

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The museum is shaped like a giant cruise ship.

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Historically, Japan isn’t famous as a sea-faring nation, but it did have some beautiful ships.

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A WWII battleship.

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Some of the technical sections are actually pretty interesting, showing you how the engines work and how the ships are driven.

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I recently watched this intersting TED talk on why we need to explore the oceans, so somehow this display of an underwater city really captured my imagination.

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This is how the shoguns traveled when they went somewhere on water.

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Kids will love the remote-control ships and submarines.

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There are two ships, one an arctic research vessel and one a ferry that you can tour, as well as the museum.

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This isn’t actually part of the museum, but it’s just down the road.

The museum is in Odaiba. I happened to visit on Marine Day (third Monday in July), so the admission was free. It normally costs 700 yen for adults and 400 yen for kids. The Japanese name is the Fune Kagakukan (Japanese: 船の科学館). It’s open from 10:00 to 5:00 every day except Mondays (or Tuesdays if Monday is a holiday), and New Year’s. TEL: 03-5500-1111 3-1 Higashi-yashio, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 135-8587

Website in English: http://www.funenokagakukan.or.jp/index_e.html

Transportation information: http://www.funenokagakukan.or.jp/sc_09/index_en.html

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