Osaka Science Museum is an interactive educational facility largely targeted at children on the island of Nakanoshima in central Osaka. There are four floors of themed exhibits, a separate planetarium, and regular science shows. The museum was opened in 1989, but was developed from the previous Osaka City Electricity Science Museum which had been opened in 1937.
Although English pamphlets are available, there is a limited amount of English information for each exhibit and the bulk of the explanations are written solely in Japanese. Nevertheless, the hands-on nature of the exhibits, particularly in the 2nd floor “Enjoy Science” area, make this a fun venue for families with children.
After buying their tickets in the basement level visitors take an elevator to the 4th floor and then work their way down. The floors are themed as follows:
4th Floor – The Universe & Discovery
This floor introduces basic scientific principles, the history of science, and has astronomical displays of the stars and planets.
3rd Floor – Familiar Chemistry
Here the material world is introduced through metals, minerals, plastics, fibers, and medicines many of which can be handled or – in the fragrance section – smelled!
2nd Floor – Enjoy Science!
Here you will find wind chimes and windmills, balls suspended by jets of air, magic mirrors, dancing balloons, a transparent piano, echo tubes and more. This floor is obviously targeted at small children, but older children and adults seem to enjoy it just as much. A variety of fun interactive exhibits help children to understand the basic properties of light and sound, motion and momentum. If the exhibits on the other floors don’t interest or excite you, just head straight to the 2nd floor and play.
1st Floor – Electricity & Energy
This floor explains how power is generated and displays its practical application through a variety of electronic equipment. There is also a pedal power section where you can generate your own electricity.
The Science Show
Various experiments are shown and explained by science instructors at regular intervals throughout the day. This 3rd floor show is given in Japanese only.
Tuesday – Friday: 10.00 | 11.00 | 13.00 | 14.00
Weekends & Holidays: 11:00 | 13.00 | 14.00 | 15.00
The planetarium is a separate facility in the basement of the museum which holds regular shows throughout the day. This was Japan’s very first planetarium but was completely renovated in 2004. It now boasts a 26.5m diameter dome screen on which panoramic digital images are projected of the complete night sky. The planetarium show is narrated in Japanese only, costs 600 yen to view, and lasts for 45 minutes.
On the 1st floor there is a café, and a museum shop selling books, stationary, science games, and science themed accessories. Be sure also to check out the artworks on the outer wall of the museum that illustrate a variety of optical illusions.
The Osaka Science Museum is located on the island of Nakanoshima which lies between two rivers in central Osaka. It is located right beside the National Museum of Art, Osaka and a 6 minute walk from Watanabebashi Station on the Keihan Nakanoshima Line. Higobashi Station on the Yotsubashi Subway Line is a 10 minute walk away.
Open: 9.30 – 17.00 (Last entry at 16.30)
Closed: Mondays (Or closed on Tuesdays when Monday is a national holiday)
|Admission||Adults||University & Senior
High School Students
|Junior High & Elementary
|Museum Exhibits||400 yen||300 yen||Free|
|Planetarium Show||600 yen||450 yen||300 yen|
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.