By Bryan Baier
The Niigata Science Museum is an enjoyable place to visit for a day out, particularly if you have young children. The premises is spread out over several floors and has exhibits dedicated to space and the solar system, dinosaurs, robotics, flora and fauna, and more.
Many of these exhibits have interactive components, too. You're able to examine bacteria and bugs with microscopes, get a grasp on the the laws of physics through play, and check out fossils and other relics from times gone by.
Admission fees to the museum are very reasonable. On weekdays, the admission fee is free for anyone junior high aged or below, making it a popular spot for school field trips. If you're a Niigata resident, they also have a "mom and dad" weekday discount, where one adult can get in free if you're accompanying a preschool aged child. If you live in the local area, the museum offers six month passes for adults and children where you can visit as many times as you'd like, perfect for outside the free weekday admission times.
The museum is also home to the largest planetarium on the Sea of Japan coast, which can be accessed for a small additional fee.
The Niigata Science Museum is easily accessed by private vehicle. From the Ban-Etsu Expressway, take the Niigata-Chuo exit and the museum is approximately a five minute drive from there. Free parking is available across the street from the museum itself.
Alternatively, if you're taking public transport, there are buses available from Niigata Station to get you to the museum. Take either bus S51 (Meike Line bound for Meike Atago), S52 (Ishiyama Line bound for Niigata City General Hospital), or bus W73 (Ohno-Shirone Line bound for Kata Higashi). On any of those bus lines, alight at the Yakyujo Kagaku-kan Mae bus stop and the museum will be about three minutes away on foot.
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