Tsukuba is blessed with a number of top-rate museums worth visiting. Several of these have been introduced in past issues of The Alien Times. One that hasn't been introduced previously is the Science Museum of Map and Survey on the grounds of the Geographical Survey Institute, where the new radio telescope is being built.
The spacious museum includes numerous displays related to map making and surveying, and in outdoor garden area behind the museum is a really interesting scale-model version of a section of the earth with Japan at the top. It allows you to climb up the slope starting at about Taiwan and walk up the length of Japan and back down the other side to the Russian-held Kurile Islands. It's a great way for kids to learn geography while having fun. There is also an actual survey plane on display there as well.
To get there, turn in the first entrance to the right off of Nishi Oodori just north of Hiratsuka Oodori. It's the first building you come to. As with most every other museum, avoid going on Mondays (or if that happens to be a national holiday, the following Tuesday), as that is their day off.
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