About Tokyo Tech

Museum and Centennial Hall

In 1987 when construction of Centennial Hall was complete, neighborhood residents were amazed at the distinct final form that emerged from behind the wooden house of Ookayama Station. Children called it Gundam, the name of a humanoid weapon from a famous televised anime series. Twenty-five years have passed since the unveiling of Centennial Hall. Ookayama Station is now underground and another new building, the Tokyo Tech Front, stands across the street from both. Entering campus through the Main Gate, visitors are now greeted by another new and visually striking building, the triangular, glass Institute Library, which is affectionately known as the "cheesecake". The landscapes of both Ookayama and Tokyo Tech's Ookayama Campus have experienced radical change over time and yet the two have become comfortably intertwined. Today the Centennial Hall is not only a symbol of Tokyo Tech, but also of Ookayama.

The Museum is Housed in the Centennial Hall BuildingThe Museum is Housed in the Centennial Hall Building

First Floor Exhibition Hall and B1 Special Exhibition Rooms

Exhibition Hall, 1st FloorExhibition Hall, 1st Floor
Glass-Paneled Special Exhibition Room A, B1 FloorGlass-Paneled Special Exhibition Room A, B1 Floor

At first glance, Centennial Hall might look cold. However, a closer look reveals an organic exterior with movement in various directions: a curved half cylinder passes through the building on the upper floors; asymmetrical eaves frame the east and west entrances; and, a black tube, which doubles as a dumbwaiter, rises a discreet distance away from the building.
The visitor to Centennial Hall crosses the threshold into a bright and spacious room where people sip coffee at the cafe, study or relax. A hologram created by a Tokyo Tech graduate can be seen against a back wall. An intricate plaster model of the Main Building on campus is displayed in the center of the room next to racks of informational pamphlets. The open ceiling exposes a grid of silver air-conditioning ducts, catwalks and a special crane for installing exhibits. Centennial Hall's open 1st floor is an inviting space for both the Tokyo Tech and local communities.

Six rooms on the B1 and 2nd floors of Centennial Hall have been allocated to the Museum for permanent exhibitions, where highlights of Tokyo Tech's education and research are displayed. There are many works of art on the B1 floor, including ceramics and glassware. Some visitors are surprised to encounter ceramics in a world-renowned science, technology and engineering university museum. However, upon seeing and reading about Gottfried Wagener featured in the exhibit, the visitor quickly comes to appreciate the long history of the Institute, which promoted the advancement of technology and the training of technical leaders, the roots of which lie in ceramic engineering and textile-dyeing. Both of these industries require scientific knowledge and technical ingenuity. The works of art of three living national treasures and Tokyo Tech graduates, Shoji Hamada, Keisuke Serizawa and Tatsuzo Shimaoka, along with those of other renowned Japanese potters and Tokyo Tech graduates, such as Kanjiro Kawai, are on display.

The following works of art represent a selection of researchers, artists and items on display in the Special Exhibition Rooms A and B on the B1 floor:

Special Exhibition Room A
Ceramic research: Gottfried Wagener and Kosuke Hirano
Architecture: Yoshiro Taniguchi and Kiyoshi Seike
Chemistry and chemical engineering: Shu Kambara and Hideki Shirakawa
Ferrite development: Yogoro Kato and Takeshi Takei
Tokyo Tech vanguards in art and industrial design:
     Hazan Itaya, Kanjiro Kawai, Shoji Hamada, Keisuke Serizawa, Kozo Kagami and Tatsuzo Shimaoka

Special Exhibition Room B
Textile machines used for training students
Gears: Takashi Nakada
Robotics: Masahiro Mori and Shigeo Hirose
Holographic technology and art: Jumpei Tsujiuchi and Setsuko Ishii
World Technical Heritage: Stirling engine and Parsons turbine

Swallow's Eye View Guide of the B1 Floor
(Mouse Over Image to Enlarge)

Download PDF file (1.4MB)PDF

Four Exhibition Rooms on the 2nd Floor

Exhibition Rooms Fronting Open Ceiling, 2nd Floor Photo by Hiroshi UedaExhibition Rooms Fronting Open Ceiling,
2nd Floor
Photo by Hiroshi Ueda

There are four exhibition rooms on the 2nd floor fronting the open ceiling. These rooms were transformed from meeting rooms into exhibition space in 2010. Each room is named for its exhibits.

Centennial Hall and Kazuo Shinohara
Centennial Hall, designed by Kazuo Shinohara, was built as part of Tokyo Tech's 100th anniversary celebrations. Historical materials regarding the construction of the building are on exhibit. Other objects designed by Shinohara, including some of his drawings, models of both Centennial Hall and private homes, and furniture, form part of the collection housed on the 2nd floor.

Evolving Earth
This display consists of geological materials from the collections of Tokyo Tech's Museum of Evolving Earth. It features findings from research activities on the history of the Earth. Some of the world's oldest rocks, minerals and fossils are on display.

Electrical – Optical Communication
Since the late 1920s Tokyo Tech has been the front runner in the evolution of electronics and the development of photonics. A display of various types of vacuum tubes occupies one wall in this exhibition room. The high–stability quartz oscillator invented by Issaku Koga and the research findings of Yasuharu Suematsu and Kenichi Iga in optical communications are also exhibited.

Tokyo Vocational School – Tokyo Institute of Technology
Tokyo Tech was founded in 1881 as the Tokyo Vocational School. More than 130 years of the Institute's history are on display in this exhibition room.

Swallow's Eye View Guide of the 2nd Floor
(Mouse Over Image to Enlarge)

Download PDF file (2.5MB)PDF

The Third Floor and the Restaurant TSUNOBUE on the 4th Floor

Restaurant TSUNOBUE, 4th FloorRestaurant TSUNOBUE, 4th Floor

The bottom of the hallmark half cylinder passes through the building forming the ceiling of the 3rd floor, which is comprised of meeting rooms and a lobby. The Restaurant TSUNOBUE can be found inside the half cylinder on the 4th floor, which gently curves from east to west. Out the eastern window there is a breathtaking view of Tokyo, the Ookayama Station commercial district and the gardens of Senzoku Pond. The expanse of Ookayama Campus can be seen from the west window as well as a stunning view of Mt. Fuji on clear days.

Centennial Hall is located immediately behind the Main Gate on the Ookayama Campus. Together with the Museum, the building functions as a cultural and information hub open to the community. In addition to hosting many conferences, seminars and symposia it provides space for academic exchange between students, faculty, staff and researchers. The Museum is open to the public.

The 1st-Floor Cafe and the Restaurant TSUNOBUE will be Closed from April 1, 2013 for Building Renovations

Centennial Hall

Centennial Hall, Aerial View, 1987Centennial Hall, Aerial View, 1987

The construction of Centennial Hall was planned in 1981 as part of a series of projects to celebrate Tokyo Tech's 100th anniversary and opened on November 1, 1987. The original planning for the 100th anniversary celebration started 13 years earlier in 1974. Once the location and designer of the building, then-professor Kazuo Shinohara, were decided, a fundraising committee led by Mr. Toshio Doko, the then-president of the Tokyo Tech Alumni Association, was established to collect donations from graduates and the corporate community.

The prospectus for fundraising at that time stated that the objective of Centennial Hall was to become "a monument to Tokyo Tech's future development by preserving and showcasing scientific and technological achievements made at the Institute throughout its history." In accordance with this objective, the Centennial Hall project committee developed two concepts, human heritage and material heritage, which were to permeate Centennial Hall's activities. Today Tokyo Tech's heritage can be witnessed in both the structure itself and in its engagement with the community.


For more than twenty years, Centennial Hall has been actively expanding its functions and activities. In addition to the permanent exhibition space in the basement, the storehouse was transformed into an exhibition room and meeting rooms on the 2nd floor were remodeled into exhibition rooms in 2010. Special exhibitions with topical themes are held several times a year in the Exhibition Hall on the 1st floor. The Museum promotes exhibits, lectures and various events, all revolving around Tokyo Tech's technical ingenuity.

In 2011 Centennial Hall was designated as a university museum in accordance with the provisions of the Museum Act. That same year it was incorporated into the Museum, along with the Suzukakedai Exhibition Space located in the S2 Building on the Suzukakedai Campus, and reopened as the Museum and Centennial Hall. In October 2012, the Museum hosted Experience Mashiko-Yaki Pottery at Tokyo Institute of Technology, the first special exhibition since acquiring its new status and its thirteenth overall, to high reviews.

Experience Mashiko-Yaki Pottery at Tokyo Institute of Technology October 18 - 28, 2012Experience Mashiko-Yaki Pottery at Tokyo Institute of Technology
October 18 - 28, 2012

Museum and Centennial Hall: http://www.cent.titech.ac.jp/outer