By Hannah Morse
TeNQ Space Museum, located within Tokyo Dome City, offers a range of experiences from educational to interactive and also visually arresting spectacles. With a total of nine distinct space-themed areas, there is plenty to explore.
Opening TeNQ Cinematics
Step into the museum and be amazed by an introductory space show, telling a story of how science has progressed thus far with space exploration being the next stage. Beamed onto a multi-dimensional wall of large square tiles, the Starting Room’s 3D projection-mapping movie is resplendent and eye-catching.
Around the corner, get ready to be floored as you huddle around Theater Sora, an 11-meter wide screen beneath the floor that almost resembles a spaceship’s observation deck. Gain a new perspective on space from above thanks to the ultra sharp 4K resolution movie that explores the solar system and beyond, which also includes actual video of Earth as shot from the ISS (International Space Station).
Science: feel connected through research
Here you’ll get to see a space research laboratory in action, thanks to the museum’s partnership with a local university. This Research Center is an official annex of The University Museum, University of Tokyo, which houses a division of the Department of Space Exploration, Education and Discovery (SEED). Inquisitive onlookers can observe the scientists at work, as real, cutting-edge research is being conducted. Their discoveries and insights, such as reviewing data from the Hayabusa2 probe on the Ryugu asteroid, are even used to update the information displays, further connecting visitors to the significance of their research work.
Explore a replica of the Mars surface, based on accurate photographic data, or analyse hi-res photo data of the planet’s surface itself by assisting the Mars Research Project. Compare the landscape’s characteristics over time and evaluate the likelihood of identifying a ‘dark spot’ or other sign of geological activity – just getting involved and trying to contribute to the research is likely to help fire your passion for space and is part of TeNQ’s aim to make space more accessible.
Imagination: playground for all
For the more fun-seeking visitors, there are numerous hands-on activities like creating your own planet design, or navigating gyro-sensor robots across an obstacle course in time for a rocket launch. For the really curious, you can even sniff a whiff of space as imagined by TeNQ museum!
Other exhibits range from Self-Diagnosis Stations that determine what kind of alien you are, to a CGI video on how the moon came about, and mind-probing questions that make you ponder on the relationship between space and life on earth. A fun photo prop gallery closes the experience to provide you the perfect Instagram shot before you leave.
In a nutshell
The TeNQ Museum combines learning and inspiration in equal measures, aiming to arouse curiosity and sow seeds of passion among its visitors to learn more about space. As an entertainment facility, it tries to encourage people to think about and experience space from a new perspective.
For those worried about the language barrier, apart from the movies which are recorded in Japanese (though you will still be able to enjoy them), the exhibits are in both English and Japanese. Do note that children under 4 years old are not allowed to enter (except on Family Days) due to the rich sensory cues located throughout the museum.
Indulge in your inner astronaut at TeNQ Space Museum!
Two minute walk from JR Suidobashi station (Chu line, Chuo-Sobu line, Mita line).
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