By David, long-term Tokyo resident & food-loving traveler
A virtual museum visit is a fun activity while you stay at home. While you cannot actually touch anything, you can eat and drink during a virtual tour and don’t have to keep your voice down.
You can visit the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo without leaving your home here https://www.kahaku.go.jp/VR/
The museum has two main parts, the Japan Gallery and the Global Gallery. In the Japan Gallery you can learn about Japan’s animal and plant life. The Global Gallery is about the beginning of the universe and life and earth, science, and technology. You can see plants and animals from around the world, including fossils and extinct species. Choose which part you would like to visit on the top page, then go straight inside. There are more than 10,000 items on exhibit. To navigate between different floors, click on the icons in the lower lefthand corner. Using the icons on the lower righthand corner, you can also view in virtual reality.
Even in an online visit, it is easy to get lost. For a quick introduction to what you can see, check “Information for Visitors” > “General Information” on the museum’s website. Floor plans indicating what can be found where are also available as PDF. Or watch the “Introduction Video” and let a small dinosaur show you the way around.
The National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno Park (国立科学博物館)
If you have the opportunity, visit the museum in Tokyo. It is located in Ueno Park, a 5-minute walk from the JR Ueno Station Park Exit. When you go into the park, walk past the National Museum of Western Art and then turn right. Ahead, you will see the life-size statue of a blue whale that seems just about to dive down near the museum’s entrance. Please check the museum’s website for opening hours and access details (in March 2020 the museum was closed temporarily under Japan’s state of emergency to fight COVID-19).