Katsushika City Museum

This is Stephanie of IMS.

 

This past Saturday was my birthday, so my friend and I made an hour train ride all the way up to Katsushika, Tokyo. I don’t think it’s a destination most would consider or know about, but about a month ago during my morning commute, I happened to see a sign inside the train advertising something… space-y. I noticed it too late, and I had to get off at my stop, but luckily a week later I found it again! It was for a planetarium show called “Symphony of Universe”, and I googled it right then and there to make sure I wouldn’t forget it. I sent it to my friend, and piquing her interest as well, we decided to make the trip up north to this small city museum.

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Despite its size, the exhibits were really intriguing! We saw old school materials, haniwa, farming equipment, and a model of a 1955 house before heading up another floor to the space exhibits.

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Before the planetarium opened for its 4 o’ clock showing, we saw a Foucault pendulum (to my absolute delight), saw how the phases of the moon worked, and viewed a size comparison of the sun to the planets. In truth, growing up I would have loved to study astronomy or meteorology in university. Unfortunately, both fields are heavily reliant on physics and advanced math, and I cannot muster the slightest interest to work with either of them all day long. Interesting, but boring… is this what you call an oxymoron?

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The planetarium show was fantastic, and I learned a lot more than I originally anticipated. Instead of just text explanations against the backdrop of moving stars and classical music like Bach (which alone would put me to sleep), there was also a narrator who obviously enjoyed her job. I learned how to find the North Star, the fact that the northern star will change over thousands of years, and which planets are visible in the Southern Sky during summer.

 

Overall I had a wonderful time! It’s only a shame that the planetarium isn’t closer, but I’m sure there’s others nearby. I don’t often go to nearby museums, so perhaps I should make an effort to change that.

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