While Covid-19 is still far from under control in Japan, things could have been far worse if not for the Japanese custom of wearing masks. The people here have been practicing for the pandemic for decades now, masking up whenever they felt a tickle in their throat not to infect those around them. So a museum-theme park dedicated to masks would have always made sense in Japan, but it makes perfect sense now. Why a facility that’s going to be located in Yokohama was named “Tokyo Mask Land” makes less sense but that’s not even the 1,000th strangest thing about 2020, so let’s just roll with it.
Get a $10,000 Mask Before Everyone Buys Them Up
From December 1 to December 30, Stars, Inc. will transform part of the third floor of Asobuild (the entertainment complex located right next to Yokohama Station that also houses the Poop Museum) into Tokyo Mask Land. Described as a theme park, it will be more of a museum mixed with an artistic installation centered around masks. Highlights of the exhibit will include the history of facemasks, including designs from days past, a mask photo booth, and a mask decoration station where experts will help you design a mask of your very own.
The most exciting part will probably be the gift shop, though. Featuring over 250 facemasks designs (which will only be available while the stock lasts) for the regular customer, Tokyo Mask Land will also be selling two luxury face coverings. One will be an original 3D Mask that will set you back ¥100,000 (close to $1,000), and the other a Gold Dust Mask, which will go for a mere ¥1,000,000 (close to $10,000).
Tokyo Mask Land has put out disclaimers warning that the 3D and Gold Dust mask will only be available as next-day deliveries, which will probably come as a bit of a disappointment to the scores of people who will undoubtedly swarm the gift shop looking for these very affordable souvenirs.
Entrance to the museum will be free and you can probably guess that Mask Land has a very strict mask-wearing policy.
A New Kids’ Science Museum is Coming to Minato Mirai
Murata Manufacturing is a Japanese manufacturer of electronic components, and they currently hold over 300 patents relating to ceramic capacitors. And if ANY part of that sentence sounded interesting to you or anyone in your family, then you might want to check out Murata’s upcoming science museum dedicated to helping foster a new generation of engineers.
Mulabo! (ムラーボ！), with the obligatory exclamation mark to help trick kids to learn, will open on December 16 (Wed), within walking distance of Yokohama and Sakuragicho stations. It will be divided into four zones: Discover Zone for hands-on experiences and science experiments, the café/library Think Zone, the Symbol Zone for the young visitors, and the self-explanatory History Zone. Entrance to Mulabo! will be free, although the Discover Zone will require prior reservation and some guest limits to curb the spread of the coronavirus may be imposed.
See the Olympic Relay Torch Up Close
The start of the Tokyo Olympic torch relay has officially been moved to March 25, 2021. It will kick off in Fukushima Prefecture, just in time for the sakura cherry blossom season, which is fitting as the design of the relay torch itself has been based on the sakura. If you’d like to see that in person, simply visit the New Building of the Kanagawa Prefectural Office, very close to Nihon-Odori Station, where the torch will be on display until January 15, 2021.
You will never get a better look at the torch than during this exhibition. The object of interest itself, measuring 71cm and weighing 1.2kg, will be housed in a case next to a clock counting down the days until the Olympic Games, and you’ll be able to stand almost close enough to touch it. The exhibit will be opened on weekdays between 8:30 am and 5:15 pm. As with most venues today, guests are asked to wear face coverings when visiting the facility.
Know of anything exciting coming up in Yokohama soon? Anything to add to the list? Send us tips at [email protected]