Osaka Science Museum – The fun visit with children

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North of Osaka, the island of Nakanoshima concentrates at its heart several museums in the city, including the one devoted to science. Its tall circular building is directly opposite the National Museum of Art, notable for its original steel and glass structure. In 2019, the Osaka Science Museum celebrated its 30th anniversary.

It is perfect for families with children for one educational and fun excursion around the main themes regardingspace engineeringthat chemistry andelectrical energy used for industry. It very regularly welcomes school groups from the surrounding area and it is important to clarify that the written explanations are mostly given in Japanese. English translations exist, but they are not as detailed. We then rely on independent experiments with manipulation of the tools shown.

4 floors about science applied in everyday life

The museum route is completed in 4 circular floors; we start with the highest to go down gradually to discover the lower rooms. Each floor is organized around a specific topic, namely:

  • 4F is dedicated to discovery of space with at the beginning of the visit a representation of the sun in relief. Here you can discover the fundamental principles of the universe through models and small experiments.
  • 3F honors industrial chemistry. We discover the different uses of several basic materials such as metal, plastic as well as certain minerals and medicinal herbs found in nature. A section is also devoted to synthetic materials used to make sportswear and astronaut suits.
  • 2F offers scientific demonstrations led by a facilitator in Japanese and explains the use of materials in everyday life. A playground for the little ones is also present, where the great laws of science are represented in the form of fun activities, for example with distorting mirrors.
  • 1F focuses onElectrical engineering and its use by manufacturers for a more comfortable everyday life. A window particularly shows the development of household appliances in Japan.

Osaka Science Museum, view of the exterior building as well as the National Museum of Art 2

A popular planetarium with visitors

The Osaka Science Museum has a pretty spectacular planetarium with its dome 26.5 meters in diameter for around 300 seats. It is larger than the Cité des Sciences in Paris and smaller than the planetarium in Nagoya, which is one of the most gigantic in the world with its diameter of 35 meters. In 2022, it enjoyed major improvements, including a new projector called the Infinium Σ (Sigma) and manufactured by the Japanese company Konica Minolta.

We observe the Milky Way and its thousands of the largest stars visible to the naked eye. The sense of immersion is striking. Different screenings are scheduled every day and change approximately every 3 months. The planets of the solar system are regularly approached.

It is necessary book your session at the planetarium at the same time as you take your ticket to the museum’s permanent exhibition. In fact, daily screenings are often crowded and it is not uncommon for people to wait 2 hours or more to access them. Attention: The sessions are broadcast and moderated only in Japanese.

Visiting the science museum remains a good address for an inexpensive activity to do with the family, which also allows you to seek shelter in case of rain. ☔️ or high heat in summer. Visiting on weekends and during national holidays is generally not recommended, due to the large crowds expected.

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