Attraction 3-1 Higashiyashio Shinagawa, Tokyo 135-0092 Published on: 13-11-2015
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Why Museum of Maritime Science is special ?
It`s a huge place, the main building was designed to make it look like a 60, 000 ton ocean liner, however it is currently closed. The exhibits surrounding the main building are still open however. There are diving bells, miniature submarines, one of the main guns of a battleship (the Mutsu, which sank in 1943), another big cannon from a Russian cruiser, a deep-sea diving suit and even a complete catamaran. There is also the mini-exhibit building that houses static displays and a large number of beautifully detailed models. The centerpiece of the museum though, would have to be the, “Soya”.
Soya, was the first Japanese ship to take part in an Antarctic research expedition. It`s a pretty big ship, being about 83.7 meters of about 2700 tons so you could spend a lot of time going over it. Built in Nagaskai in 1938 as an ice-strengthened cargo ship for the U.S.S.R., it was originally named, “Volochaevets”. Due to the breakdown in relations between the two countries in the lead up to World War 2, the ship was never handed over and instead entered service with the Tatsunan Kisen company being renamed, “Chiryo Maru”. It wasn`t long after that though it was requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy and entered the war as an auxiliary ammunition and survey vessel. After the war, it became Japan`s first research vessel that was to bound for the Antarctic. The story concerning that first Japanese Antarctic voyage is far too long to be written about in detail here, but it is quite incredible to say the least especially for the dogs involved). The dogs` story was made into a movie, “South Pole Story”, starring Ken Takakura and it was also made into a TV drama in 2011 with Takuya Kimura. And now Soya it is at its final home, the Museum of Maritime Science, permanently moored to the dock.
The Soya is a lot of fun to walk over and through. Once you get on board, you can see the incredibly cramped conditions in which the men lived for that long voyage to the Antarctic and back again. There is the medical officer`s dispensary, the galley, the living quarters for men and dogs, bridge and helicopter flight deck. The engine room can even be viewed through a hole cut through the floor of the crew`s mess. You can even get a general idea of what the crew wore on the journey and at the South Pole. It`s quite incredible to think what people were able to accomplish all those years ago without the benefits of modern technology.
Next to the ship is a boardwalk has quite a few benches on it, so you could always buy lunch somewhere in Odaiba and enjoy it outside in the sun on the waterfront, watching the ships go by and enjoying the views of the bay. Due to its close proximity to other great sightseeing spots and places to shop in the area, the Museum is a great destination to put on your see list.
What to explore at Museum of Maritime Science?
This six-story building plus basement, shaped like a full-sized ocean liner, is completely devoted to ships. The Museum has mainly five areas, and provides the public with information about ocean development (exploring the seas), the history and the mechanisms of ships, ship steering, fishing boats and ports, marine transport, marine leisure activities, and Japanese ships. Visitors can simulate steering a ship using a radio-controlled ship and can also enjoy watching a film, "The Ocean, Ships and People", on a 2-story screen set in the basement of the Marine Theater. Its library collects maritime-related books and its observation room commands panoramic views of Tokyo Bay.
How to get to Museum of Maritime Science?
Yurikamome Tokyo Waterfront New Transit: Funenokagakukan(Museum of Maritime Sceience)Station‐ 17 minutes from Shimbashi Station/14 minutes from Toyosu Station.
● Rinkai Line: Tokyo Teleport Station-About 12 minutes' walk to the Museum
● Toei Bus for Tokyo Big Sight - about 20 minutes from JR Hamamatsucho Station
● Toei Bus for Tokyo Teleport Station via Subway Yurakucho Line Toyosu Station-about30 minutes from Subway Tozai Line Monzennakacho Station
● Cruising on Marine Transit Ferry - about 25 minutes from Hinode Pier or Shinagawa Suizokukan Pier
● By Car: Ariake or rinkai fukutoshin Ramp of Shuto Expressway Wangan Line, Daiba Ramp of 11-go Line, Daiba of Rinkou Road(lower route of Rainbow Bridge)
- Japanese maritime history
- Replicas of ancient Japanese ships
- Displays on marine exploration
- Beautifully detailed models
- Exloring the first Japanese ship
3-1 Higashiyashio Shinagawa, Tokyo 135-0092
Tips for you
This place is great for your morning or afternoon. Even though it is not good at its size but if you are really interested in Japanese marine history or the ships, you can’t miss it out! Since the museum need some help in economy (I think), the main building is still closed and its free to enter. But there’re some other exhibition that you could take few hours to discover them all.