Unique Museums in Nagoya
Nagoya is an industrial city which sometimes may seem boring for tourists. But do you know that there are some museums in Japan that you can only find in Nagoya? Maybe these museums can be some of the spots that you must visit when you travel around Chubu area. Check it out!
1. Nagoya Science Museum
Although there are many science museums in Japan, the Nagoya Science Museum has the largest planetarium in the world! The museum can be easily seen from a distance because the building has a big ball shape in the middle which is pretty cool.
You can choose two options of entrance ticket, one is for museum only and the other one is for museum and planetarium. I recommend to buy the ticket for museum and planetarium because there is a scheduled time to enter the planetarium. So during your waiting time, you can enjoy and experience the science experimental attractions in the museum. Unfortunately, all the explanations are in Japanese but still, the museum is worth to see.
The planetarium dome is called Brother Earth. When you enter, you sit based on the seat number which is written in the ticket and you can see one big projector in the middle of the room. Try to look around then look up, and you will see the big half-sphere screen. The planetarium has different themes for each show, for example during my visit the theme was about stars that we can see in Nagoya sky. So if you have a particular preference, it is better to check the schedule and the theme first on the website. The narration during the show was all in Japanese but I think you can still enjoy the ambience and the images on the screen. Even though I did not get all the explanations, the show was still really impressive for me.
Nagoya Science Museum website: http://www.ncsm.city.nagoya.jp/en/
2. SCMAGLEV and Railway Park
SCMAGLEV (Superconducting Magnetically Levitated Vehicle) and Railway Park is owned by Japan Railways (JR) and is said to be the most complete railway museum in Japan. On the first floor, you can see the development of trains in Japan, from the old times to the most sophisticated ones. The displays are also accompanied by explanations of the history, the technology, as well as the design. On the second floor, there are simulators and dioramas of railways. Some of the simulators require you to pay but not all of them. I tried one simulator about SCMAGLEV on how does it feel to ride on the train that runs at 500km/hr. This SCMAGLEV is considered as the fastest train in the world. The diorama was really great and impressive too.
SCMAGLEV and Railway Park website : http://museum.jr-central.co.jp/en/
3. Tokugawa Art Museum
Tokugawa Art Museum preserves the collections of the Owari Branch of Tokugawa Clan. I visited this museum with my professor and my classmates as one of the study trips in Cultural Studies class. This museum is free for Nagoya University students. Our main target was Genji Monogatari Emaki which is considered as the most valuable collection in the museum. You can see the warriors’ uniforms, the Noh Theater, and many other things that are related to the Tokugawa clan’s life in the past days. The interior of the museum was also good, with the modern ambience and high technology to deliver information about the displays.
After visiting the museum, you can enjoy the beautiful Tokugawa Garden which is a typical Japanese Garden. You need to pay an extra fee to enter the garden.
Tokugawa Art Museum website: http://www.tokugawa-art-museum.jp/english/
4. Toyota Automobile Museum
If you are a car enthusiast, you should probably visit the Toyota Automobile Museum since Toyota is one of the leading car companies in the world. The museum was really nice. On the second floor, the European and American cars are displayed and the third floor is for Japanese cars especially Toyota cars. The cars that are displayed are from 60 years ago to the most recent years so you can actually have a glimpse of how cars technology evolved.
Toyota Automobile Museum website: http://www.toyota.co.jp/Museum/english/
5. Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts is the sister museum of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The museum preserves the masterpieces of art works around the world. Sometimes it has special exhibitions so if you have particular interests it is better to check the exhibition schedule first on the website.
Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts website: http://www.nagoya-boston.or.jp/english/index.html
6. Noritake Garden
When I came first to Noritake Garden, I thought that this garden was just an ordinary garden. But it turned out that Noritake Garden is a kind of museum of the Noritake ceramics industry. In this area, you can enjoy the garden which has a Western atmosphere with red brick buildings and also learn something about the Noritake industry. You can visit the gallery as well as the craft center and the Noritake Museum. There is a big shop that sells Noritake ceramic products and outside the shop, there is a cafe where you can enjoy a meal while looking at the garden.
Noritake Garden website: http://www.noritake.co.jp/eng/mori/