12.2.06

Miraikan (Tokyo, Japan)

PS. 這篇文章是還在明日報時期寫的, 這幾天整理照片又看到三年前參觀博物館的照片, 順手把文章貼上來.This article was written some years ago. I just remember to post it here now when I saw some photos taken during the visits recently.


難得重遊東京,當然不可錯過近年來發展迅速的御台場地區。恰巧先前在因緣際會下,曾經針對日本近年來新開幕的科學類博物館做過調查,對別名「明日館」的日本科學未來館留下了深刻的印象,如此大好機會當然不能放過,趁著一個星期在東京的閒暇時日,好好地逛逛。
It's been quite a while since my last visit to Tokyo. Surely the fast growing Odaiba area became one of the must-go this time. Just right before the trip I was engaged in a research project about newly built science museums in Japan and I was deeply impressed by Miraikan. Of course I had to go for a visit, since I had almost a week in Tokyo.

光看這座博物館之所以創館的原因與使命,就可以理解到日本人為何能夠在科技上有此長足的發展與競爭力。於2001年正式對外開放的明日館,是著眼於「促進發展,以科學技術立國」的概念,試圖創辦出一座透過最先端的科學技術展示、展示方法開發、研究交流等,提供科技資訊的設備。
Looking at the reasons of establishment and its mission statement, it can be understood why Japanese people have such an advanced development and high competibility in technology. Miraikan first opened its door to the public in 2001. It was born as a center for deepening an understanding of science and technology, and to fulfill Japan's aim of becoming a scientifically and technologically creative nation. It's an attempt to provide latest information about technology through demostrations, exhibitions, and exchanges of research results.

日本未來館由日本的日建設計與久米設計共同設計,地上8層地下2層的建築物,總面積8881平方公尺,樓地板面積40789平方公尺。展覽大樓外觀橢圓形,大樓外壁採用玻璃牆,這樣的造型和外觀裝飾充分體現了科學的開放性和透明性。建築內有一個展覽中心,一個科學圖書館,一個研究與發展區,一個球形影院(123個座位,銀幕嵌在半球內,播放逼真的影像)和一個創意廳(能當作錄影棚的多功能廳);此外還有實驗室、會議室、大廳以及播音室,球形劇場和階梯會場。
It's co-designed by Nikken Sekkei Ltd and Kumi Sekkei. The building comes with 8 floors above ground and two floors below ground, with a total area of 8,881 square meters and total floor area of 40,789 square meters. The oval shape building is surrounded by glass wall. The structure and its appearance represents the openness and transparency of science. Inside the building there's an exhibition center, a library, an R&D area, a 123-seat dome theater, a multifunction room and other facilities such as laboratories, conference rooms, main hall, broadcasting room and so on.

日本科學未來館的設計概念,是要創造出觀眾之間、以及他們與科學科技互動的空間,在設計與技術層面上採用了許多創新的手法,以期能使博物館成為觀眾經驗尖端科技的最適場所。館內所有展示以「二十一世紀的夢想」為共同主題。為了幫助觀眾思考有關世界未來的視野,館方以四大展示主題來探討科學與科技,其中包括:地球環境與尖端科技、生命科學與人類、技術革新與未來、情報科學技術與社會。
The design concept is to create a space for the interactivity between the public and science as well as technology. So many innovative ways of design and techniques are applied so as to make the museum a suitable place for experiencing latest technology. All exhibitions come under a common key subject: the dream of the 21st century. In order to help the visitors think about visions regarding to the future of the world, the museum tries to explore science and technology from four main themes: the earth environment and frontiers, life science, innovation and the future, and information science and technology for society.

整座博物館,都會感受到日本人重視「服務」的程度。從一踏進大門,就有館員引導購票與參觀方向以外,整個館以義工為主的營運手法,訓練有素的義工會主動積極地與參觀者互動,再再令人對館方實踐自身使命的承諾刮目相看。
In the museum, one can really feel the way they emphasize "service" in every aspect. Since one enters the museum, there're people giving instructions for ticket purchasing and orientation. The museum is mainly run by volunteers, who actively lead visitors for their visits and engage in interactions with the visitors. It's very impressive how they try to put their mission into practice.

在東京停留的一個星期之中,我拜訪這座博物館達三次之多,主要的原因,倒不是因為博物館的規模龐大,而是因為展示之精緻,讓人想要把每一個廳都好好地參觀品嘗。
I went to the museum for three times during my one-week stay in Tokyo. The reason? It's not really because of the size of the museum, but for the depth of the content of exhibition that inspired me to visit all of them carefully.


館內最讓人印象深刻的焦點,是位於館內前部從一樓到五樓巨大天井中央所懸掛的GEOCOSMOS球形顯示器。這個世界上最大的球形螢幕其直徑6.5公尺,重15噸,比例為地球的200萬分之一。從三樓到五樓沿天井繞球體設有一條螺旋通道,是我最喜歡的地方之一,讓我可以由不同方向、不同角度來觀看球形螢幕。GEOCOSMOS上貼有3715片LED模組,LED總數是951040個。這樣的設計是為了讓這些LED片真實地呈現由NASA所提供的即時地球資訊,也就是說看到GEOCOSMOS的外觀,就可清楚地瞭解目前地球的狀況,比如地球的夜晚部分與白晝部分、雲層的範圍變動等,這些資料的顯示方式是輪流表示從今天開始至一個月內的情景。非常生動豐富地展示地球之美。
The main attraction of the museum is the GEOCOSMOS which is hanged in the five-floor atrium. It's the biggest sphere monitor in the world, with a diameter of 6.5 meters and weight of 15 tons. It's 1/200 scale of the Earth. There's a spiral walkway from the 3rd floor to the 5th floor around the monitor, and it's one of my favorate places in the museum. It gives me the chance to look at the sphere from different angles and different directions. The sphere is composed of 3,715 panels with LED set, with a total of 951,040 LEDs. The design is to realistically showthe real-time information of the Earth provided by NASA. Looking at the sphere one can clearly sees the conditions of the Earth, such as day and night zone, changing clouds. The images presented include information collected in the past thirty days and lively show the beauty of the Earth.

這座博物館內的另一個大明星,無非是由本田公司(Honda)所開發的機器人ASIMO是目前全球唯一具備人類雙足行走能力的類人型機器人,據說到目前為止,ASIMO的開發已經進入第三代。博物館三樓的展示廳內有一個小舞台,每天定時有展演活動,也就是在這裡,我第一次看到了ASIMO,以及SONY公司的普奇狗AIBO。現場看到的驚奇,比起在電視上看到報導更讓人印象深刻,動作的流暢讓人瞠目咋舌,倘若沒有親眼看到,我大概是不會相信的。發展到現在,這些機器人似乎都已經具備了人工智慧,能夠依據聲音手勢等指令來動作,同時也有基本的記憶、辨識、甚至於學習能力。光是看到這個,就已經讓我覺得不虛此行了。
The other "big star" of the museum is the robot Asimo developed by Honda. For now Asimo is the only robot that can assimulate human walking. It is said that the development of Asimo is entering the 3rd generation already. On the 3rd floor of the museum, there's a small stage where demonstrations are held periodically. And it's where I saw Asimo and robot dog Aibo from Sony for the first time. Surely it is more impressive and surprising seeing them with my own eyes. Movements are surprisingly smooth and it's hardly believable if not seeing it myself. The latest robots all come with artificial intelligence and can follow instructions according to sounds, voices and hand gestures. They are also equipped with basic abilities for memory, identification and even learning. Just by seeing them, the efforts for the trip and time spent were paid back.

日本人在禮品項目開發上的投注,向來值得他國效尤。小小的賣店,擠滿了來館參觀的小學生,各式精美的商品讓人愛不釋手,尤其是針對ASIMO所設計的一系列商品,在賣店中真的是人手數項,紅到不行。然而,館方並沒有在教材上面有所著墨,這倒是有點可惜了。
The ways Japanese museums develop their museum shop inventories are also worthy of attention. The shop is small and full of students who come here with school trips. Beautiful items are so attractive that it's so difficult to choose from. The Asimo series is especially popular and many visitors leave the shop with at least two to three Asimo items with them. It's a pity that the museum didn't spend much efforts in teaching materials and equipment though.

有機會到東京玩耍,造訪御台場,除了逛街購物以外,別忘了,這個區域還有像是明日館、船之科學館等六座博物館等著拜訪喔!
The Tokyo Odaiba area is not only a great place for shopping. Apart from numerous shopping malls, there're also six museums such as Miraikan, Funenokagakukan (Museum of Maritime Science) awaiting for visits.

Museum official web site: http://www.miraikan.jst.go.jp/

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Thelma,
This sounds like an amazing place! When did you go? I think I've heard about the robots some time ago. I'm impressed with what scientists can do today, but also a bit scared.
The sphere is fantastic. I had a look on Miraikans homepage (http://www.miraikan.jst.go.jp/index_e.html)and was impressed.
Karin

Thelma said...

Ciao Karin,

since I'm trying to move all the museum articles to this site, I also move your comment here.

I visited the museum in 2002. It's anyway a relatively new museum that I got to know its existence during a project. It's very impressive coz you see all these "new things" on show and are really amazed. Strongly recommended if you have the chance to visit Tokyo. :-)

Arijit said...

Hey,

I've seen the museum on my last trip to Tokyo. It was one of the three things I've seen in the great city (other two being the Temple at Asakusa & Tokyo Tower). It was a great experience. The only thing that put me off was the absence of English interpreters during shows (including Asimo) and English language menu in the virtual reality zone.