Exhibition on Space at the Ibaraki Nature Museum Through June 15
The Ibaraki Nature Museum is a top-rate museum of natural history located about 40 minutes southwest of Tsukuba between Mitsukaido and Iwai. In addition to numerous permanent exhibitions on various forms of living as well as extinct species of life (including life-size replicas of giant dinosaurs), the museum also features various special exhibits.
Under the rather enigmatic title of "Dreams Beyond Legends Towards Space Science" (the Japanese title translates "The Future of Space and Humanity: From Princess Kaguya (part of ancient Japanese mythology) to the Space Station"), the museum is featuring a temporary exhibit on space exploration, its past and future. The 8 exhibits are entitled, "The Attraction of Space", "A History of Rocket Development", "Utilizing Space", "The Natural Sciences and Experiments in Space", "Japanese Astronauts", "Future Space Development", "Experiencing Space Flight", and "Japanese Research Institutes Related To Space".
Also included in the exhibit will be an actual rock brought back from the moon as well as a meteorite of Martian origin. Numerous pictures taken from space show the beauty of the earth as seen from space, with the goal in mind of inspiring the passengers on spaceship Earth to take better care of their inheritance. The next temporary exhibit, from July 5 to Sept 15, will feature dinosaurs found in Argentina.
To get to the museum by car, proceed first out Tsuchiura-Gakuen Sen until it deadends and turn left onto another 4 lane road. Turn right when that road deadends in another 4 lane road (Tsuchiura-Noda Sen, route 354), and proceed until that deadends in Route 294. Turn left and go towards the center of Mitsukaido, and turn right at the first traffic signal. This will put you on back onto the old route 354 leading towards Iwai. Go straight for about 9 km and turn left (south) onto route 20 (Yuki-Iwai Sen). The museum is located about 3 km down this road, a few hundred meters off to the left. There are signs with the symbol of a mastodon on a half circle and numerous points along the way. The entrance fee is 710 yen for adults, 430 yen for students and 140 yen for children junior high and under. The museum is open from 9:30 am to 5 pm daily except Mondays
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