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Friday, Jan. 7, 2011

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Star-gazing from the hills: Visitors walk through the Sky Planetarium at Mori Tower in the Roppongi Hills area of Tokyo.


See stars at Roppongi Hills

Staff writer

Feel like gazing at the stars but not in the mood for withstanding cold temperatures for hours outside? Head for Roppongi Hills instead.

Set up on the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower in the Roppongi Hills shopping/ housing complex is a temporary planetarium called "Sky Planetarium," which accurately shows the positions of thousands of stars. Unlike regular planetariums, where visitors take seats to gaze at star-projected ceilings, the organizers have turned the gallery into a three-dimensional universe, where visitors can walk through and get a feel of what it is like to traverse a universe full of stars.

The event is produced by famed planetarium engineer Takayuki Ohira, who, along with the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, developed a planetarium projector in 2004 that shows 5.6 million stars. Named "Megastar," that projector was subsequently recorded in the Guinness World Records for showing the most number of stars.

Sky Planetarium runs through Feb. 13. It's open 11 a.m. till 10 p.m. from Mondays through Thursdays, and till 11 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and days before public holidays. Admission is ¥1,800 for adults, ¥1,300 for high school and college students and ¥800 for those who are younger. For more information, contact (03) 6406-6652 or visit www.sky-planetarium.com.

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