Saga Prefectural Space and Science Museum

Feel like there’s nothing to do on a rainy afternoon in Saga? Have your science needs suffered upon arrival in Japan? Are you looking for hot destination to impress your date?

Well, two out of three isn’t bad. Look no further than the Space and Science Museum south of Takeo.

Basic information

Hours: Open between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. everyday except Mondays (unless Monday is a public holiday – then it’s open) .

Cost: 500 yen gets you in the front door, but if you really want to test your space-related Japanese language skills or are looking for a dark place to spend some time with your date, another 500 yen will buy you a ticket to the planetarium show.

Getting there: From the Takeo/Kitagata Highway interchange, hop onto Route 34, turn left at Ringer Hut (towards Kashima), go past Takeo Seiryo High School and continue to a “T” intersection. Turn left at the light and look for signs for the Space Museum. You will turn right and go up a hill.

Museum extras

There is also a romantic 7 p.m. Saturday night planetarium showing where you can sit back, relax and let the melodious Japanese language tumble across your cerebrum. And that’s not all. There’s also an 8 p.m. Music and Star Journey that’s probably even hotter.

Once inside the museum, nothing can get in your way except your imagination and all those adorable little Japanese kids. I’ve found that dressing as a scientist, complete with white laboratory jacket, my hair in disarray and a pocket protector is enough for the staff to give me a personal guided tour of the museum.

You can fool around with the mud skippers (Saga’s beloved mascot), pick up sea cucumbers, watch seaweed grow, take a moon walk, play the simulated spaceship game with friends, look through the eyes of animals, stand in a really cold room and watch an ice crystal form, be strapped into one of those gyro machines that spins you in five directions at once and makes you puke, and the list just goes on and on.

If you do go, be sure and have a cup of coffee. You choose the ceramic cup you fancy made by a famous Saga potter.

More information here.