Fifteen minutes south of Umeda Station is a place called Nakanoshima, which is home to many interesting buildings and museums; one such example is the Osaka Science Museum.
History of the Osaka Science Museum
The Osaka Science Museum’s precursor was the Osaka City Electricity Museum, the very first science museum in Japan, which opened in 1937. The Osaka City Electricity Museum was also home to the first planetarium in East Asia. By the 80’s, the original museum was very outdated and in need or repair, so the Osaka Science Museum constructed in its current location in 1989 to replace it. Today the Osaka Science Museum is a very popular place for locals and tourists alike and its planetarium is extremely popular, often selling out on weekends. Also, the museum offers more than 200 hands on science activities, so both parents and kids can learn, and experience science together.
Getting to the Osaka Science Museum
The Osaka Science Museum is located on the west side of Nakanoshima. To get there, you will have to either walk roughly 15 minutes from the Yodoyabashi Station off the Midosuji Subway Line or 5 minutes from the Higobashi Station on the Yostubashi Subway Line.
Osaka Science Museum
The sweeping metal building next to the OSM is the National Museum of Art, which we will talk about it another time.
The oval shape of the building is meant to represent the orbit of planets in the solar system.
As soon as you enter the museum look to your left and you will see this funny looking robot. This robot’s name is Gakutensoku [学天即], and he is a replica of the first robot in East Asia by the same name, which was built in 1928. Gakutensoku moves and writes while making a number of facial expressions.
The ticket counter for the exhibit hall and the planetarium can be found on the bottom floor of the museum. These tickets are sold separately, so if you wish to go to both the planetarium and exhibition hall, you have to purchase both tickets. Don’t worry, the tickets are not very expensive; one adult for both activities is only 1,000 yen.
The planetarium offers at least two different shows for guests to choose from, so be sure to specify which show you wan to see when you are purchasing your tickets.
If you come here with your little kids, it might be a good idea to choose the “Family Time” show, which allows talking during the showing. Unfortunately, the narration for any of the planetarium’s shows is only in Japanese and there are no foreign language audio guide.
The entrance for the exhibition hall is on the bottom floor near the ticket counter. When you enter the exhibition hall you will be taken up to the 4th floor and then slowly work your way down to the 1st floor. Each floor has a different theme, and there are various activities and displays on each floor.
4F The Universe and Space Findings [宇宙とその発見]
3F Familiar Chemistry [身近な化学]
2F Science for Parents and Kids [おやこで科学]
1F Electricity and Energy [電気とエネルギー]
The Osaka Science Museum
|Address||4 Chome-２-１ Nakanoshima, Kita Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 〒530-0005|
|Admission Fee||Exhibit Hall
Adult: 400 Yen
Adult: 600 Yen
|Hours of Operation||Tuesday-Sunday
Closed Mondays *
* If Monday is a national holiday, the museum will be closed the following day.
I have always loved how cheap city museums are in Japan! The Osaka Science Museum is not your typical museum since it encourages so much interaction with the exhibits. Even if you aren’t a kid and only have a passing interest in science, this museum still has a lot of interesting and fun things to look at and do. While the museum is great any time of the year, this is a great indoor activity to escape the heat in the summer, or even a rainy day.
Coming next time,
The largest Tenmangu shrine in Osaka, Osaka Tenmangu!
(The start of our Tenjin Matsuri Series)
The adventure continues…