Panasonic Center
Ariake: Showroom
Panasonic Center: Ariake
Ariake / Showroom
Open 10am-6pm (last entry 5pm). Closed Mondays.
Y500 admission to third-floor RiSuPia area; other areas free
Average visit time: 20-60 minutes

The RiSuPia portion of the Panasonic Center is one of the best science museums we've seen in Tokyo, with free admission for visitors under 18. (It's Y500 for adults.) Almost all the exhibits are set up as hands-on activities and interactive games, covering topics such as optics and color, magnetism, waves, pendulums and the like. It's a thoroughly engaging experience, and it's easy to spend a couple of hours here exploring everything at an unhurried pace.

At the entrance to RiSuPia's main exhibit space (up on the third floor) you're given a headset and a rather sophisticated control unit that interacts with the exhibits inside, providing fairly understandable explanations of the background science and its practical applications. We were a bit worried because the very first exhibit (on wave behavior) was structured as a quiz, making us feel like we were in school. However everything after that was much more relaxed, with simple, friendly explanations of how a zoetrope works or how clouds and snow are formed, available at the touch of a button.

Headset units come in both English or Japanese, and all the exhibits have explanations in both languages. There's a small theater area showing a 15-minute video entirely in Japanese, however this can be safely skipped as there's plenty else to see.

After you've gotten your fill of science in RiSuPia you can check out the latest in consumer goods downstairs - eco-conscious washing machines and other household appliances on the second floor, and audio-visual equipment and Wii and Nintendo games down on the first floor. The second-floor cafe offers light meals, espresso beverages and alcohol, with pleasant terrace seating for when the weather allows.

Ariake 3-5-1.
2 minutes from Kokusai-Tenjijo (Rinkai line); 3 minutes from Ariake station (Yurikamome line)
Tokyo Beyond Sushi - the guidebook
Tokyo Beyond Sushi
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