Osaka Science Museum
The Entertaining Children-friendly Visit
Osaka Science Museum is located on Nakanoshima Island in the north of the city center. Educational and entertaining thanks to manual activities, it mainly targets curious children interested in spatial exploration and in questions related to energy. The museum also shelters a planetarium renovated in 2022.
In the north of Osaka, Nakanoshima Island gathers several of the city’s museums, including the Science Museum. Its tall circular building is located just in front of the National Museum of Art and its remarkable steel and glass original structure. In 2019, Osaka Science Museum has celebrated its 30th anniversary.
It is a perfect visit for families with children and an educational and fun outing mainly themed on spatial engineering, chemistry and electricity in the industry. The museum is also frequently visited by children’s groups from of schools of the surroundings, and it is important to know that most of the written explanations are mainly in Japanese. Translations in English do exist, but they are not as detailed. However, feel free to take part in one of the autonomous experiences using the tools displayed for this purpose.
4 floors of science applied to daily life
The museum spreads on 4 circular floors. The visit starts at the upper one and continues going down toward the lower levels. Each floor is dedicated to a specific topic:
- 4F is an exhibition about space exploration, with a relief depiction of the sun at the beginning. Model scales and small experiences help understand the universe’s fundamental laws.
- 3F is dedicated to industrial chemistry. It shows the various uses of several base materials such as metal, plastic, some minerals and medicinal herbs found in the nature. A part is dedicated to the synthetic materials used to make sports apparels as well as the astronauts’ suits.
- On 2F scientific demonstrations are performed by Japanese animators, who explain the materials’ uses in the daily life. There is also a playground for the younger ones, where the great laws of science are represented through fun activities, such as distorting mirrors.
- Floor 1F focuses on electrotechnics and its industrial use for a more comfortable daily life. A display shows, for example, the evolution of household appliances in Japan.
A popular planetarium
Osaka Science Museum also has a quite spectacular planetarium, with a 26,5 meters diameter dome and about 300 seats. However it is smaller than Nagoya’s planetarium, which is one of the largest in the world with a 35 meters diameter. In 2022, it benefited from important improvements, such as a new projector called Infinium Σ (Sigma) made by Japanese company Konica Minolta.
One can observe the Milky Way and thousands of its biggest stars that can be seen with the naked eye. The feeling of immersion is stunning. Various movies are aired every day and there is a turnover every 3 months. Movies on the planets of the solar system are frequently aired.
It is necessary to book the planetarium session in advance at the same time of purchasing the admission ticket for the museum. Indeed, the projections of the day are often quickly filled and it is not unusual to have to wait for 2 hours or more for admission. Attention: the sessions are aired and hosted only in Japanese.
Osaka Science Museum is a good address for an affordable family activity, and also offers shelter in case of heavy rains ☔️ or heat in summer. Visiting on the weekend or on the Japanese national holidays is generally not recommended, due to the large numbers of visitors expected.