The Kagaku Miraikan in Tokyo’s Odaiba district really is a museum that everyone should see. I went there a month or so ago, and it put me in a good mood for a week thinking about all the ways that technology is going to improve our lives in the next few years. Quantum computing, robots, and incredible medical advances are going to radically change our society, and this amazing museum gives you a tantalizing look at what’s coming.
The displays on robots, the Internet, new medical techniques, and much more are mostly all hands on and informative, and there are dozens of talks and demonstrations (unfortunately all in Japanese) that are just fascinating.
For example, I heard a mini-lecture on why Japan needs the supercomputer that the government tried to slash funding for last year. They explained that one very good reason is that it would take about 30 minutes for a tsunami off the Ogasawara Islands to reach Tokyo. With current computers, they can predict whether the tsunami would hit Tokyo in about two hours. With the controversial new supercomputer, it could be predicted in just two minutes.
Most of the exhibits are bilingual, and they have a website in English with details about how to get there and opening times at: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20091217a3.html