A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

KEK Communication Plaza

KEK Communication Plaza is a science-related tourist attraction at the High Energy Accelerato Research Organization (also known as KEK, which comes from the initials of the organization’s name in Japanese — 高エネルギー加速器研究機構: kou enerugi kasokuki kenkyuu kikou). At the Plaza, you can learn how the accelerator works, discover subatomic particles, observe cosmic rays from space, see the cubic structure of proteins with your own eyes, and measure the amount of radiation in everyday objects, amongst other fun science-y things. You can also watch videos in the theatre corner. Some images of the Plaza can be seen on the KEK website.

The Plaza is open from 9:30am to 4:30pm every day, including Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays. There is no admission fee.

KEK is located in the Oho area of Tsukuba. Take Nishi Odori or Higashi Odori all the way to the northern end of Tsukuba where the two streets meet. (East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet… except in Tsukuba.) That intersection is called Nishi Odori Iriguchi. If you take Nishi Odori, turn left at that intersection (there is a McDonalds on the right). If you take Higashi Odori, keep going straight through the intersection past the McDonalds, which is on your left. KEK is just up that street a bit on your left. Address: Oho 1-1.

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