Being home to the Japan’s first jet airliner factory as well as some of Boeing 787 program’s main partners among others, Aichi Prefecture is the centre of the aerospace industry in Japan. As such, it’s no surprise that there are a couple of aviation museums in the area.
During my April trip to Nagoya, the prefectural capital, I visited Aichi Museum of Flight located right next to Komaki airport.
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Getting There, Opening Hours & Entrance Fees
Aichi Museum of Flight is about a ten minute walk away from Nagoya Komaki airport terminal. As such, any bus that will drop you off at the airport will work just fine. In fact, many of the buses continue all the way to the museum in case you would prefer that.
If you are coming from Nagoya city centre, Aoi Kotsu bus is the option with the highest frequency. To get more details about the bus including schedules, check this site.
The museum is open from 10AM until 7PM every day except for Tuesdays and some other exceptions. You can check the museum’s official calendar (only in Japanese, but easy to understand since the days the museum is closed are colored purple) to see the exact dates the museum will be closed.
The admission prices are as follows:
- Adults: 1,000 yen (about 10 dollars)
- High-school and university students: 800 yen
- Elementary and middle-school students: 500 yen
- Younger than the above: free (you still need to ask for the free ticket at the ticket counter)
The tickets can be bought on the day of your visit at the museum’s ticket counter. However, in case you also want to tour the adjacent MRJ Museum, you will need to prebook a ticket for that one separately here.
100 Models and More on the Museum’s Second Floor
With the “formalities” out of the way, let’s jump to the actual visit to the museum. Just like the ticket counters, the first part of the museum’s exhibition was located on the second floor.
The first things that welcomed me into the museum were a replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s helicopter and a row of economy class seats.
Then, there was a fairly large area with an exhibition called “100 Famous Aircraft” which featured 1/25 scale models of a hundred different aircraft types ranging from small single-engine ones all the way to jetliners like the DC-10 and 787.
On one side of this are was a wall with information detailing the history of both global and Japanese aviation. And, on the other side, one could see the aircraft displayed in the main exhibition area below which I will talk about later in the article.
Finally, the second floor was home to a theatre where one could watch a short video introducing the topics covered in the museum, a “science laboratory” where kids could participate in workshops, and a cafe.
YS-11 and More on the Museum’s First Floor
Going down a floor, there was the museum’s main exhibition area.
First of all, the area included a corner with a variety of aircraft parts ranging from cockpit windows and controls through seats all the way to landing gears were displayed.
Separately, there was also a Mitsubishi MH2000 helicopter which was produced between the late 90s and early 2000s with some of its parts taken out and displayed, and an exhibition of airport equipment including a variety of lights used on and around runways.
Then, there were three partitioned-off “boxes” with thematic exhibits. Those included:
- Flying machine factory with a restored zero fighter
- Flying school with projection mapping explaining how aircraft work
- Flying box where movie about the areas surrounding the museum was screened
The first floor was also home to all of the actual aircraft on display ranging from Type 80 NC-Tech Flyer, an experimental ultralight biplane built by Nagoya City Technical High School students, all the way to NAMC YS-11 formerly operated by the Japan Air Self Defense Force.
The interiors of the two largest aircraft in the museum, the NAMC YS-11 and Mitsubishi MU-300, are also sometimes accessible to the public. On the day of my visit, it was the YS-11.
Besides the above, the first floor also included a small library with aviation-themed books and aircraft seats, a wall exhibition with the history of Nagoya Komaki airport, and a pair of aviation job experiences for kids.
The Museum’s Observation Deck and Shopping
Being located right next to Nagoya Komaki , there are windows facing parts of the airport. Not only that, but there is even an observation deck on the top floor of the museum which offers great views of the runway action and general aviation apron. And, it also offers distant views of the aircraft parked on the military apron across the runway.
The last thing I will mention is that just as most other museums, there is a museum shop located outside the exhibition area selling all kinds of aviation goods.
Separately, just a couple of minutes of walk on a covered walkway away, there is a shopping mall aptly named Airport Walk where one could get a lunch or do some non-aviation shopping.
Aichi Museum of Flight Summary
Overall, while the Aichi Museum of Flight is not the largest aviation museum in Japan, it is still well worth a visit. Especially so if you also book yourself on the tour of the MRJ Museum and production line (which I unfortunately did not do).