National Museum of Nature and Science

My first day in Tokyo was on my own. So after breakfast and catching up on sleep I finally talked myself into leaving the hotel and doing some of the stuff my friend had written out and scheduled for me.

The plan

  • Tokyo Station
    • Shopping
    • Imperial Palace
  • Ueno Park
    • zoo
    • museum
  • Akihabara
    • shopping
    • wandering around
    • meet my friend when she got out of work

Before I left I decided to double check and see if everything was open, and sadly the palace was closed. So I scrapped my plans to go to Tokyo station and instead went straight to Ueno armed with a cloth umbrella to protect me from the sun (courtesy of my friend) and one of her big plastic umbrellas in case it rained.

Ueno Park was a lot bigger than I had expected. I thought I’d go straight to the zoo and then just wander around. But as I exited the train and opened up the parasol I started to wilt in the heat so I turned around and bought a ticket for the nearest museum.

You can buy tickets for some of the museums and special exhibits in the train station, or in several little booths in the park. But they suggested I wait until I got to the museum. I made it as far as the National Museum of Nature and Science before going inside. The front entrance was refreshingly air conditioned. Which was terrible horrible false advertising. I went in, bought a ticket through a vending machine (620 yen) and made my way into the museum. The rest of which was very spottily air conditioned and what was air conditioned was on the lowest setting.

The National Museum of Nature and Science is broken up into two parts. The Japan Gallery which is where  the entrance leads and the Global Gallery.

The Japan Gallery building has been around since 1930 and is walk through the history and the environment of Japan.

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Even though it was a holiday some of the exhibits were still pretty packed. There were touch screens where I could switch the language to English and read about the exhibits.

After going every possible way I could within the building and still melting in the heat I gave up and left. I couldn’t find the Global Gallery no matter how hard I tried. I followed signs that sent me no where and it was pretty disappointing since from the pictures in the brochure for the Global Gallery looked to have had some amazing skeletal structures from dinosaurs to giant whales.

As museum experiences go, this was probably the worst one I’d ever experienced. I’m not sure if it’s because of how difficult it was to try and find the rest of the exhibits, how hot it was and crowded, or how once I was wandering around just how small the exhibits seemed.

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