Full-scale models of aircraft and fun simulators offer a glimpse of history, while viewing decks let you watch the landings and departures of today’s planes.
With a range of models, simulators and real aircraft, the Museum of Aeronautical Sciences is a hands-on museum celebrating aviation. The site has a viewing platform that overlooks a runway of the adjacent Narita International Airport, giving you a closer look at takeoffs and landings. For a comprehensive understanding of the exhibits in English, view a translation of the displays online.
Enter the museum for a close-up look at the full-scale replicas of historic aircraft. Marvel at the engine of a Boeing 747 and try to understand the landing equipment. Let your kids practice piloting a plane from simulators or sit within replica cockpits of a Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis and a Mitsubishi Zero fighter plane. Adorning the yard in front of the building are several planes and helicopters that you can climb inside.
Ascend to the fourth floor of the museum for its aptly named Balloon restaurant, which provides excellent views of the Narita International Airport runway. Watch planes departing and arriving from your table, as you enjoy a tasty meal with your family. On the third floor, the museum has an outdoor observation deck that provides a glorious vantage point for the takeoffs from the airport runway.
Inspect the many items for sale in the museum shop, which stocks models, stationery and other aircraft-related memorabilia.
The Museum of Aeronautical Sciences is near the Narita International Airport in the northern part of the Chiba prefecture. Take a bus southeast from central Narita to reach a stop beside the museum in about 30 minutes. You can also drive and drop off your car in the large free parking lot.
Note that the museum opens Tuesday through Sunday from morning until late afternoon. There is a fee for entry, with discounts for children and students.
Stay in the area of the Museum of Aeronautical Sciences for other attractions such as the Narita International Airport and Community Historical Museum, the Koku Shrine and the Hokkyo Temple.