Every year during the middle of April, the various research institutes in Tsukuba open up their facilities to public tours. This year, the institutes will be divided up into three groupings by location to facilitate moving from one display to the next, and there will be free shuttle bus service from the Bus Center along a set route. If you are interested in seeing what kind of research is being done at the various laboratories, this is an excellent chance to have a look. The institutes are open to the public on the respective days from 10 am to 4 pm each day.
On April 18th, 15 institutes located mainly in the Sengen, Namiki and Umezono areas will open their doors. They are: the National Research Institute for Metals, the National Research Institute for Research in Inorganic Materials, the Tsukuba Space Center, the National Environmental Research Institute, the Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, the Tsukuba Administration Office Agency of Industrial Science and Technology, the Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, the National Institute of Materials and Chemical Research, the National Institute of Bioscience and Human Technology, the Geological Survey of Japan, the Meteorological Research Institute, the Aerological Observatory, the Meteorological Instruments Plant, the Japan Automobile Research Institute, the Tsukuba Institute of Construction Technology (Kumagai Gumi Co.) and the Tsukuba Center, Inc. The two shuttle buses leave the Bus Center, with the first bus leaving at 9:50 going one direction around the loop and another bus leaving 10 minutes later going around the route in the opposite direction. The two buses will repeat the same courses at 11:15 (11:25), 13:30 (13:40), and 15:00 (15:10), stopping at 11 stops along the 57 minute route. You are free to get off and reboard at any point along the way.
The next grouping of institutes are all located on the north side of Tsukuba, and will be open on Wednesday, April 19th. This group is made up of 10 institutes including the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, the Geographical Survey Institute, the Building Research Institute, the Public Works Research Institute, the National Laboratory for High Energy Physics, the University of Tsukuba Hydraulics Research Center, the University of Tsukuba Animal Research Center, the Tsukuba Botanical Garden, the Tsukuba Botanical Garden National Science Museum, the Tsukuba Building Test Laboratory Center For Better Living, and the NTT Field System Research Center.
As this day's route is shorter, the two buses will be able to make 5 round trips each. The starting times at the bus center are 9:50 (10:00), 11:10, (11:20), 13:00, (13:10), 14:20 (14:30), and 15:25 (15:35), and if you miss a bus, you can always take the regular bus service for a fee.
On April 20th, 17 institutes to the southwest of central Tsukuba will be featured. They are as follows: the National Agricultural Research Center, the National Institute for Agrobiological Resources, the National Institute of Agro-Environmental Sciences, the National Institute of Animal Industry, the National Research Institute of Agricultural Engineering, the National Institute of Sericulture and Entomological Science, the Fruit Tree Research Station, the National Institute of Animal Health, the National Food Research Institute, the National Center for Seeds and Seedlings, the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, the Tropical Agriculture Research Center, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council Secretariat, the Tsukuba Life Science Center (Institute of Physical and Chemical Research), the Tsukuba International Agricultural Training Center (JICA), the Japan Information Center of Science and Technology, and the Tsukuba International Center (JICA). Again there will be two shuttle busses from the Bus Center, but the times are not yet set.
On Saturday, April 22nd from 1 to 4 pm, 4 institutes will have special displays aimed at children. They are the Tsukuba Space Center, the Tsukuba Life Science Center (Institute of Physical and Chemical Research), the National Research Institute for Metals, and the National Research Institute in Inorganic Materials.
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