National Museum of Nature and Science
From prehistoric times to now.
In addition to its world-famous zoo, Ueno Park in Taito Ward, Tokyo, is also home to a number of renowned museums and art galleries. Amongst these, the largest, and probably most popular is the National Museum of Nature and Science. As the name suggests, this museum chronicles the entire biological and technological history of Japan, from prehistoric times right up to today.
The museum, which spans 5 floors of permanent exhibits, has a long and storied history dating all the way back to 1871, when it first opened. A recent overhaul has seen the layout and the exhibits of the museum being given a fresh 21st-century coat of gloss.
Of greatest interest to new visitors is “Theater 360”, one of the most immersive 3D visual experiences you are likely to find anywhere, that doesn’t require the use of a headset.
The technology behind Theater 360 first debuted in 2005, at the 2005 Expo in Aichi. The Expo’s “Japan Room” experience proved so popular that after the Expo ended, the exhibit was moved to the museum, given a tune up and relaunched in December 2006 in its current form. (For a schedule of movies and events, go here.)
Theater 360 consists of a walkway for visitors to stand on, surrounded by a sphere of cutting-edge holographic projection technology. Visitors are then treated to a sweeping overview of Japan’s biological past, from the days of the dinosaurs right up to modern times in full 3D.