Orbi Science Museum

“We are heading out to Orbi on Tuesday, fancy joining us?” A friend invited. 

“Sure” I replied not knowing what I was signing up for. 

It turns out that Orbi is a collaboration between Sega and BBC Earth. It is a multisensory venue (museum just feels so wrong) where there are a variety of exhibits about animals. 

I wouldn’t say that the children learnt lots, but it was a wonderful way to escape the Tokyo heat and the children had a super time and would happily go back!

Entering Orbi, you walk into a large hall. There is a huge screen with animals on it, and when you put your hands up, your bracelet activates the screen in front of you. (Like a Wii), where you can interact and learn about the various animals. 

The children then moved into the main hall, where they had great fun giving themselves animal skins, creating fish and seeing how they’d look if the had a set of horns on. I’m not sure how the machines work, but they were good fun!

There are various exhibition halls leading off the main hall including some 4D movies. J didn’t enjoy the gorilla one as he found it rather scary, so he and I sat out of the elephant one.
If you’ve never been into a 4D movie, the basic breakdown is as follows: the movie is filmed in 3D, so you are given a set of 3D glasses so the characters are right in front of you, which in itself is quite a surreal experience. The fourth dimension is the sense of touch- so there will be wind blowing in flying scenes, a light spray of water when a gorilla sneezes (YUCK!) or a wire flicking your leg as the gorilla runs passed you grabbing a branch. The sound, of course, is also surround sound which adds to the whole experience. 

So while the others went into the Elephant 4D movie, J and I went and played with the photo creator. Here you choose your pose and then pose with a green screen behind you. Once the photo is taken the computer superimposes you onto various characters. This room provided huge amounts of entertainment for the children.

Other exhibits included an aerial view a route from Canada to South America- I presume the route a bird would take as it migrates for the winter, a meerkat movie, under the sea and the most unforgettable- the cold room, as my three call it. Mount Kenya apparently has a variety of temperatures as you ascend it, so the first room you enter is 10 deg C, which is what you would experience as you would ascend the peak. As you near the summit the temperature drops to zero (room 2), where there is a chance of gale force winds creating a feels like factor of -20deg C. (Room 3). It was quite an experience! 

Once we had visited all the exhibits on the main floor, we headed up to the second floor for the animal studio.

Every half hour, they open the doors to the studio, where you can hold, stroke or admire various animals and birds. My children were a little disappointed as they weren’t able to hold some of the animals. We couldn’t fathom the reason, other than the fact that it seemed that the guides seemed nervous of the animals. (We were given a demonstration of the rabbit being grumpy- by the guide sticking his fingers in front of the rabbit and saying- see he’ll bite. Admittedly I didn’t take much heed to his advice… I’ve handled plenty of rabbits in my life, our stick your finger in front of any animal, it is going to move closer to you and sniff it, and a rodent will most likely nibble as part of its investigation. ). We did get to handle some of the animals and the children had a ball in that room. 

Orbi is a wonderful place and the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Exit is through the shop so there is plenty of opportunities to bring home a souvenir of the trip- be it a soft toy, trinket, or photographs from the various activities that you’ve participate in. 

We caught the train to Orbi, alighting at Minatomirai station which is only a 3 minute walk from the building. It is located on the fifth floor of the MARK IS building, which apparently has parking where you get your parking ticket price back when you pay for your entrance ticket. 
Have you been to Orbi? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

About Cheryl

I am a child of God, a wife and a mother of 4 children. Some days are good. Some days are frustrating. Some days are just plain insane. In between the mayhem, I loved to go for walks with our mutt, potter in the garden and enjoy the beauty that surrounded us. That all changed in August 2012 when we waved goodbye to our mutt and garden, our eldest at Uni in Gloucester and moved to Tokyo for 4 months. And yes- we are still here...
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