You may have heard about this place in the news. It’s called the Rikujou Jieitai Kouhou Senta-, or the Ground Self-Defense Forces Public Information Center. It was part of a scandal involving wasteful government projects just after the defeat of the LDP in the last election. At that time it only received about 2,600 visitors per week, despite costing millions of dollars to run. Thanks to the scandal, however, it’s getting really crowded these days, although it remains to be seen what will happen when they start charging admission in April.
It’s kind of a mediocre museum that you can walk through in about 15 minutes. There’s a history of the SDF, a bunch of tanks and helicopters, a 3D movie theater, and you can try on army uniforms or other military equipment like flak vests and parachute packs.
The obligatory omiyage (souvenir) shop complete with military-themed cookies and candy.
These “Dead or Alive” cookies are described on the box as a game of Russian Roulette. Ten out of 12 are regular sweet cookies, but two are extremely spicy and taste awful.
To get there, take the Tobu-Tojo line, or Yurakucho/Fukutoshin Line to Wakoshi Station. From there, it’s about a 15-minute walk. Here’s a map: http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/eae/prcenter/guide.html
Official site: http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/eae/prcenter/index.html (Japanese only)