Toshiba Science Museum: A Time Travelers’ Journey to Toshiba’s Past, Present, and Future
Opened in 1961 and relocated in Kawasaki in 2014, Toshiba Science Museum is a museum which shows Toshiba’s advanced technology from the past to present. As we all know, Toshiba, as a well-renowned name for electrical appliances, it also affects the way we live today greatly through cutting-edge technology. Not only does Toshiba put its efforts into designing new technology to better our lives, it also makes its endeavor to educate the public about the importance of technology.
There are altogether three zones inside Toshiba Science Museum, namely History Zone, Science Zone and Future Zone. Some of their exhibitions will be introduced in the following paragraphs.
In History Zone, a wide range of electrical appliances and products designed by Toshiba in the older times are demonstrated including a supercomputer. Can you imagine using such a large computer in real life nowadays? Actually, this is Japan's first supercomputer designed by Toshiba in 1962. When compared to today’s computers, this one is even bigger than a human, and it is so large that it surely cannot be portable. However, this had already been a great scientific innovation in bygone days.
Another amazing and practical product invented in the Edo period should definitely be these two dolls! They are named as “Karakuri dolls” in Japanese (meaning “Mechanical dolls” in English). Japanese people in the past and nowadays are fond of drinking tea. That’s why these two dolls were invented. By glancing at their appearances, you cannot imagine that they are actually movable! The Japanese guide of Toshiba demonstrated how these two dolls work to us. When visitors put a cup on their plates, the dolls would keep moving forward. But when you want to drink some tea and take the cup from their plates, they would stop moving around so that people could enjoy drinking tea in a carefree way. Another wonderful thing is that they do not only know how to move forward, but they also know how to turn around! Unbelievable though it is, you have to admit that this Edo-Period invention is actually brilliant!
The scientific advancement nowadays benefits people a lot and in the Science Zone, experiments are demonstrated by the staff, as a way of showing how technology changes our lives.
For example, visitors can experience the mysteries of science. By touching the metallic ball, you can feel 500,000 volts of electricity. A detailed explanation will be provided by the staff as well, however, it is conducted in Japanese.
In the meantime, superconductivity technology is illustrated by the experiment of a linear motor car and medical MRI. With the use of nitrogen at -196℃, the linear motor car can move for at least one minute! After watching this experiment, I could only say: Science is amazing!
In the Future Zone, with the advancement of technology, people’s future lives can be predicted. Interactive games are demonstrated there. Not only do they gain popularity among children, college students and adults are also interested in these educational games.
In “Homes in the Future” area, visitors can learn about saving energy from every home and from every electrical appliance in a better way.
In “Information in the Future” area, a visual game is demonstrated, which is popular among children. This game about a car can avoid accidents by detecting pedestrian(s) running into the road all of a sudden. Through playing this game, visitors can learn about the mystery of miniaturization technology.
In the “Buildings in the Future” area, two interactive games are shown. Visitors can opt for: (1) controlling lighting in a building or (2) leading people to take the elevator. Visitors can learn how to use and save energy effectively and in a smarter way. For instance, in this game, visitors have to think about how to make use of energy by leading people to the elevator quickly. The number of people which successfully take the lift will be recorded.
It is a worth-going sightseeing spot. Not only does it cover the history and latest inventions of Toshiba, you can take home some crucial energy-saving methods. Enjoy your time in a scientific world!
Points to Note:
* Entry is free
* If you would like to request an English or Chinese guide tours or group bookings, please contact Toshiba Science Museum in advance.
- Opening Hours:
- Tuesday – Friday: 10:00-17:30
- Saturday – Sunday and National Holidays: 10:00-18:00
* Closed on Mondays (unless it is a National Holiday)
2F Lazona Kawasaki Toshiba Building, 72-34, Horikawa-Cho, Saiwai-Ku, Kawasaki, Japan 212-8585
- Access from station:
1-minute walk from JR Kawasaki Station West Exit