Aviation Museum: Museum of Aeronautical Sciences (Shibayama, Japan)

Aviation Museum Review: Museum of Aeronautical Sciences at Narita (Shibayama, Japan)

On the day of my departure to Miami, I went to Narita airport from the morning to spend the day spotting there before getting onboard. After a quick morning session on the Terminal 1 observation deck, I decided to visit the Museum of Aeronautical Sciences that is located a 15-minute bus ride from the airport.

I arrived at the museum fifteen minutes after getting on the 9:35AM bus from Terminal 1. The bus, leaving from bus stand #30, runs very infrequently (timetable further down), and costs 210 yen (about 2USD). After a couple of stops, it arrives right in front of the museum entrance.

Museum of Aeronautical Science

The bus to the museum departs from Terminal 1’s stop #30.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

As can be seen in the timetable, the bus runs very infrequently.

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Outdoor Exhibits

When I arrived, the museum was still closed, and so I walked back towards the gate to see a shrine that is right next to the museum, as well as to take a look at a Fuji FA-200 (JA3848) which serves as a “gate guard.”

Museum of Aeronautical Science

A shrine next to the museum.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

Entrance to the museum premises.

Then I walked back inside the museum premises, past a nose section of a Boeing 747-200 (N862NW, ex-Northwest Airlines), and into the outdoor exhibit area which features a dozen or so aircraft ranging from helicopters and light aircraft all the way to the Japanese prop airliner, YS-11.

Museum of Aeronautical Science

The 747 nose-section.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

Vending machines are available in several areas of the museum.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

Learjet 25.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

Kamov Ka-26.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

Beechcraft 56.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

The largest aircraft in the museum is the YS-11.

While the majority of the aircraft can only be seen from the outside, it is possible to explore the interior of some of them, including the YS-11.

Museum of Aeronautical Science

Mitsubishi S-62 cockpit.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

NAMC YS-11 cabin.

Indoor Exhibits

When I was done with checking out the outdoor exhibits, I entered the museum building.

In the reception area, there is a gift shop. There are also some aircraft engines displayed. Finally, there is a ticket vending machine – the price of an adult ticket is 500 yen (about 4.5USD).

Museum of Aeronautical Science

Museum shop.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

Entrance ticket.

The first floor of the museum features a large circular room a large Boeing 747 model in the middle. Along the walls, various (mainly 747-related) aircraft part are displayed. To me, the two most interesting exhibits in this part, and in the whole museum as well, were a Pratt & Whitney JT-D engine from a 747 and three cross-sections of actual aircraft (YS-11, DC-8, 747).

Museum of Aeronautical Science

Overview of the main room.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

JT9D engine.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

747, DC-8, and YS-11 cross-sections.

There was also a separate room that was designed as cabin of an ANA aircraft.

Museum of Aeronautical Science

Entrance into the ANA aircraft mock-up.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

Seats.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

Galley.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

Cockpit.

Then, I went up a floor. The second floor offered nice view of the exhibit on the first floor. There were also aircraft models and some other smaller exhibits along the wall.

Museum of Aeronautical Science

View of the first floor from the second floor.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

One of the display cases with smaller exhibits.

In a separate room, there is a mock-up of Narita airport in the middle. Along the walls of the room, there were some aircraft photos displayed. Finally, there were also descriptions about how an aircraft and an airport works, targeted at children.

Museum of Aeronautical Science

Narita airport mock-up.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

A closer look at the mock-up.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

A graphic explaining GPU and APU.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

Photo exhibition.

Aircraft Spotting from the Museum

While the above makes up the majority of the exhibits, the museum has three more floors.

The third floor features an outdoor observation platform which gives good views of runway 34L action. The fourth floor houses a restaurant, which offers great views of the airport as well.

Museum of Aeronautical Science

Third floor outdoor observation platform.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

Restaurant.

Finally, the fifth floor is the main observation hall, and offers similar views to the third and fourth floor. On the fifth floor, there are also some aircraft models and ATC equipment displayed.

Museum of Aeronautical Science

Fifth floor observation hall.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

Some of the models displayed on the fifth floor.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

An overview of the outdoor exhibits and the third floor observation platform.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

A view of Narita airport’s runway 34L from the fifth floor.
Museum of Aeronautical Science

A view of part of the airport’s apron from the museum.

Heading to Hikoki-no-Oka Park

After going through the museum, I walked to Hikoki-no-Oka Park which offers good photo opportunities of aircraft landing on runway 34L. It takes about ten minutes on foot to get to the park, but more about that in a separate post.

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