Saturday, May 18, 2013


JAXA, the Japanese version of NASA, finally opened up its museum/gallery/shop/information center in Tenmonkan. I just happened to drop by during the open house. The space is on the second floor of the building near Maruzen bookstore. It's pretty small, and the 40 visitors there made it fairly packed. One of the TVs is a 3D screen, showing satellite fly-bys. The other screen showed informational space exploration videos. The ceiling over the stairwell is painted with phosphorescent stars illuminated by a black light.

The shop has pins, patches, pictures, posters, information on Tenmonkan's origin as an Edo-era star observatory, and freeze-dried "space food". The center is free to visitors. I'm hoping that they'll start carrying information regarding upcoming rocket launches from the Tanegashima pad, which is a few hours south of Kagoshima by ferry.

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