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Science Square Tsukuba

Author: Shaney Crawford, Issue: March 2005, Topic: Tourism, Location: Tsukuba City

Science Square Tsukuba is a museum that highlights some of the exciting research that is happening at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). You might think that a museum about research would be boring, but that is not the case for Science Square Tsukuba. At this museum, you can get a sense of what life will be like in the near future. It's almost like going to a science fiction museum, but in this case, it is science fact -- or soon to be fact! The best part about this museum is that you are allowed to touch and interact with some of the displays.

Exhibits

-- Meet Paro, the therapeutic robot. He is shaped like a baby harp seal and responds to your touch just like a real animal. He is used in pet therapy sessions at pediatric wards and homes for the elderly.

-- Try out the Aimulet, a battery-less information terminal that gives you relevant information about the displays you are looking at.

-- Learn about microfactories, a new concept in environmentally-friendly manufacturing. See the desktop hanko (signature seal) factory that makes the idea of the microfactory easy to understand.

-- See how light can be used to purify air and water. This is a revolutionary concept that uses the photocatalystic properties of titanium dioxide to turn harmful materials into more benign ones.

-- Find out the exact measurements of your feet. A short, simple scan of your foot can give you your actual foot size, including length, width, thickness, and other dimensions. Maybe one day we can all have shoes that are tailored to our actual foot sizes!

The museum is open from 9:30am to 5pm on weekdays (Monday to Friday) and it is closed on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) and national holidays.

There are 90 minute tours starting at 10am and 2pm.

Science Square Tsukuba is in AIST Tsukuba Central, which is located on the west side of Higashi Odori, north of Route 354 (Noda-sen, where the Cineplex is), and south of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The closest bus stops are Namiki 2-chome (Kanto Tetsudo Bus) and Namiki Ohashi (Joban Expressway Bus from Tokyo).

For more information, contact Science Square Tsukuba.

AIST Tsukuba Central 1
Higashi 1-1-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, JAPAN 305-8561
Tel: 029-862-6215
http://www.aist.go.jp

Japanese site for Science Square Tsukuba:
http://www.aist.go.jp/aist_j/museum/sience/index.html

The English site will be coming soon.

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