Perhaps the ultimate destination for lovers of science and technology, Tokyo is the hub for all things ‘geek’. From inside museums to out on the streets, it is impossible to ignore the city’s obsession with technology and gadgets. We take a tour of eight of the best hi-tech attractions in Japan’s fantastically futuristic capital.
1. Explore the Akihabara district
This area of the city has always been famous for its vast array of electronic shops, but more recently has become better known for its many anime and Manga retailers. This makes it the ideal place to visit if you wish to unleash your inner nerd. Stock up on duty-free tech goods, then unwind in one of the multi-story gaming arcades.
2. Toshiba Science Museum
Located in the nearby city of Kawasaki, the Toshiba science museum explains how their technology is changing and shaping the way we live through entertaining workshops and interactive exhibits. It also looks into the future of technology through fun exhibits such as the ‘nano rider’ – a simulation of a car that can avoid accidents by detecting pedestrians and the ‘smart building experience’ where you control a building through touch screen panels.
3. The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Located on the man-made island of Odaiba (initially built for the defence of the city), the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation offers its visitors hands-on exhibitions on a variety of subjects including technology, environmental studies and space exploration. It also show-cases Asimo – Honda’s ‘robotic humanoid’ – that does daily shows at 11am and 2pm.
4. High-tech dining
We’ve all heard of the conveyor belt-style service from Japanese sushi restaurants, but in Tokyo it doesn’t end there; at chains such as Sushiro you can also order exactly what you want via a tablet screen and have it sent directly to your table via conveyor-belt. And if you fancy something even more unusual you could visit Niagara Curry, a railway-themed restaurant where your order is delivered to you via a model train.
5. Kanda Myojin Shrine
Need some help on a divine level with your technological problems? Head to Kanda Myojin Shrine, the place that the masses flock to, to have their electronic devices or their businesses blessed.
6. Sony Explorascience Museum
Linking the newest technologies to basic scientific principles, this is a perfect place for more tech-savvy parents to take their kids. The Sony Museum hosts a variety of fun and interactive exhibits such as the very, very cool 3D aquarium.
In Tokyo, even the commute is exciting. The Yurikamome line has no drivers and is entirely operated by computer, or you can jump on one of Japan’s world-famous, high-speed bullet trains.
8. The Panasonic Showroom
The Panasonic showroom also has plenty to offer its visitors. It showcases the latest technology and also has a science museum. Gamers can visit the ‘Nintendo Game Front’ and play with their latest software while environmentalists can explore the exhibits that promote a sustainable future.