Although Cosmo Isle Hakui is usually referred to as “the UFO Museum,” that nickname is misleading. About 75% of the museum’s contents are about US and USSR space craft and space missions from the 1960s to the Mars Rover–which I rather liked, seeing as I find space exploration much more interesting than UFO sightings. Reading and watching the videos about moon missions and seeing space ice cream in the gift shop gave me some hardcore なつかしさ (nostalgia) for my childhood in the 1990s. Of course, there’s the overlap between space missions and alien life: several features on SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestial Intelligence)and the various things we’ve launched into space with messages from Earth. The UFO portion of the museum is limited to photographed UFOs and information about when and where they were seen. There’s a replica of the Roswell “alien dissection” and a number of English and Japanese magazines about paranormal activity. (And a life-sized ET in the “library.”)
The written information and videos about the space missions are bilingual in Japanese and English. However, if you go to see the UFOs, all the UFO information is only in Japanese.
Overall, this is a fun museum for anyone interested in the history of space race. Although most of the space craft in the museum are models, the museum does have the actual Vostok 1, the Russian spacecraft that took the first person into orbit in 1961.
Take the elevator.
Also, the gift shop not only has the space ice cream (the flavor of my childhood!) but also space takoyaki and space pudding, for all your international astronaut needs.
Leah Zoller is a first-year CIR in Anamizu and sent her father Space Takoyaki for Christmas.
8:30 – 17:00
Closed Tuesdays (open everyday between 20 July and 31 August)
If Tuesday is a public holiday, the museum will be closed the Wednesday after the holiday.
Tickets for sale on the first floor at the gift shop.
350 yen for adults for the museum, 500 yen for the museum and the Cosmos Theatre. (Shows include the short films 宇宙望遠鏡 “Space Telescope”; おとめ座物語 “The Tale of Persephone”; 月の仲間たち “The Moon’s Companions”; and アリオンとイルカ “Orion and the Dolphin”)
25 Menda Tsuruta-machi, Hakui-shi, Ishikawa-ken 952-0027
By car: Take the Chirihama 千里浜 exit on the Noto Yuuryou 能登有料. Free parking.
Public transit: Get off at Hakui Station 羽咋駅 and walk for 8 minutes.