A visit to Sony ExploraScience

By on May 2, 2017

As a working dad in Tokyo, it’s not unusual that I want to spend all of my weekends with my two boys. I decided to take them to Sony ExploraScience at Aqua City in Odaiba.

We drove over and had lunch at one of the restaurants in the shopping mall of Aqua City before heading up to the 5th floor to the museum.

Having been to the original Exploratorium in San Francisco, we were really quite excited to visit another “hands-on” science museum. Getting through the maze of the mall to reach the 5th floor was a bit tricky, but there were customer service stands in the mall to guide us to the proper escalator. The first great thing was the ticket price: adults 500 yen and children 3 years and up, 300 yen. You buy your tickets out of the ticket machine and if you get confused, there are plenty of guides around to assist.

There are three parts to the museum. There are the “RED” zone, which is the Lights area, the “GREEN” zone, which is a wonderful place to view awesome 4K videos on 3D, and the “BLUE” or the ‘sound’ zone which is arguably the most interesting for both adults and children.  All three are separate areas and you must be sure to keep your ticket stub so that when you leave one area, you can present your ticket to access the other.

We visited the “red” area first, which at first glance seems rather small. It’s actually quite deceiving. Each exhibit needs to be touched and played with which ended up taking longer than one would expect in such a small area. The explanations are in both Japanese and English which was really nice. Believe it or not, some of the exhibits are from the Exploratorium in San Francisco!

Since most of the exhibits need to be read by an adult in order to be fully appreciated, you definitely need to be involved with your children in order for them to understand what they should be doing. My boys are still a little young, so they cared more about “what” they should be doing, as opposed to “why” it happens.

This place was great! Everything is, of course, “hands-on” and many of the exhibits my 7-year-old managed to accomplish without my help. My 5-year-old needed help with about half of the exhibits, but it was still lots of fun for him. The exhibit my 7-year-old enjoyed the most was the 3D building computer program. There were plenty of guides (who spoke very little English) who were very patient, and managed to show the basics to the kids, regardless of the language differences.

The place runs seasonal events and live shows which are fun, informative and cool.  The only downside for us was that the show was in Japanese. Nonetheless, the boys got a kick out of it.

After about two and a half hours, we were all ready for a snack. (No food, drinks OR cameras allowed inside, which was a bummer.) So we left Sony ExploraScience, and headed on down to the food court. We had a snack and met up with Mommy, who had spent a nice couple of hours wandering around the shopping mall.

I highly recommend this experience to anyone with kids over 4, but be ready to help them with all of the exhibits if they are not of reading age. Sony ExploraScience presents science in a very entertaining and engaging way like hearing sounds when the air vibrates, or the ‘motion capture’ technology that mimics one’s facial expressions, and the wonder of digital aquariums. Overall, it was an inexpensive, educational and fun afternoon, that we topped off with a stroll on the boardwalk for a perfect ending to our day!


Admission:  Adults ¥500   Children (3-15 years old)  ¥300

Sony ExploraScience
1-7-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Nearest station: Daiba by Yurikamome line from Shinbashi station. Parking available.

About Ted Tanaka