Miraikan and the Poop Exhibit!

Over the Summer, I had heard about a museum exhibit with a toilet-shaped slide that kids could slide down wearing little feces hats on their heads.  This sounded awesome!  I feel like it would be one of those “Only in Japan” type of places and I wanted to be a part of it.  I didn’t know if it was a Toilet Museum, an exhibit, or what.  So, I looked into it and realized that it was a temporary exhibit at Miraikan, a science museum in Odaiba.  Further, it was closing this past Sunday and we were going to be out of town for the weekend.  Oh no!  Must move fast!  I decided to play hooky from work Friday afternoon since my work was done and I only had a morning clinic scheduled. While I wasn’t being too sneaky about it (I told my corpsmen and the other ENT I was leaving), I definitely got busted on the higher level since there were a few update meetings that afternoon about the forecasted typhoon.  Ooops, don’t care!

Anyway, SMS and I left Yokosuka around 1230 and, apart from a brief stop in Kamiooka for film shopping and onigiri, we made it to Odaiba around 2:45.  I was excited to go to Odaiba since I’ve wanted to go for awhile.  It’s a manmade island with several large malls/entertainment buildings.  It sounded really cool and a fun place to visit but I never had a specific reason to go…until now!
Our heroes!

SMS and I headed over to Miraikan, National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.  The exhibit was called “Toilet!?- Human Waste and the Earth’s Future.”  The exhibit started with a anime projection onto a toilet where our hero, Toile-no-Suke, is upset that humans do not appreciate him and his fellow toilets enough.  So, he goes on strike.  It is up to us, human toilet users, to gain a greater understanding of human waste and toilet function in the world!


So, away we went.  First, we looked at displays of different animals and their feces.  I think it would really hurt to be a Great Panda since their poop is essentially highly-textured hay bullets.  Ouch!  Then, we went to the human poop area where the Bristol Poop Scale was displayed via plastic models and there was a superhero, Superrunchi.  Next, there was an area where a person could mold their own feces and leave it in a little model squatty-potty for the next person to see.  Awesome sharing, guys!

Finally, it was the moment I had been waiting for- the toilet slide with feces hats and everyone, not just kids, could go on it!  YAY!!!!  SMS and I put on our little plush hats that looked like yellow-brown soft serve ice cream, got our picture taken and then headed up the ladder to the slide. We slid down the slide into the toilet- straight down, no swirling slide.  Then, we were in a tunnel with projections on the wall of enlarged microorganisms that were helping to break us down to be safe for discharge into the sea.  Thanks guys!

The rest of the exhibit was a blur since I was still so excited about the toilet slide.  I confess, I was trying to figure out how to double back and go again!  The exhibit ended with Toile-no-Suke feeling appreciated and he, along with several other toilets, sang a song about how great toilets are.  It was a feel-good ending for all!

We looked around the rest of the museum.  I would recommend it for families visiting Tokyo.  The exhibits are in Japanese and English.  There are a lot of interactive exhibits and even a children’s play area. We went into a deep sea submersible, looked at rocket engines and looked at the giant LED globe suspended from the ceiling.

Afterwards, we headed over towards Diver City Mall.  We had dinner at the Odaiba Oktoberfest followed by some window shopping in the mall.  We also saw a Statue of Liberty in Japan!  We headed home, a little on the tired side but happy we made it to such a funny, unique museum exhibition.

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