Written by Mitsuko Takahashi
See Japan's Latest Technology at TEPIA Advanced Technology Gallery
TEPIA - The Association for Technological Excellence Promoting Innovative Advances, runs the TEPIA Advanced Technology Gallery, a facility where visitors can see the latest technological developments in Japan. The Manga Generator, which makes you into a m
Jingu Gaien is the area where the New National Stadium, the main site of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, is being constructed. This area is not only the favorite place of sports lovers, but is also loved by technology enthusiasts and students.
Located in Jingu Gaien is TEPIA - The Association for Technological Excellence Promoting Innovative Advances, a facility that exhibits Japan’s newest technological developments.
TEPIA selects and invites Japanese technology companies to display their latest and most interesting inventions at their gallery and to inspire visitors. Every year, the theme and content of the exhibition changes. Their current exhibits are focused on “Overcome the limits – of time space, of nature and of the body.”
In the hope we have made you curious, let's see what kind of facility is TEPIA!
What is TEPIA? A Tour of the Facility
The admission to TEPIA's Gallery is free. Visitors can take part in a guided tour (reservation is needed for English language tours), or they can rent English audio guides.
In addition, there are helpful and knowledgeable English speaking attendants always willing to guide you through the facility and answer your questions.
A Surprise at the Entrance
At the entrance, you will stand in front of a screen that will guess your gender and age by analyzing your facial features. This screen uses a technology developed by Omron Corporation.
In the same area another screen turns into a magic mirror that tells you “who is the most beautiful person in the world”!
Robot-X, created by ALSOC, a home security company, patrols around the gallery. It moves around autonomously and returns to the battery charge station by itself. When you press the touch panel, it will read out information about the facility for you. It can also recognize the face of registered persons and can communicate with them.
The First Section - The Technology Pathway
The first section of the gallery is the Technology Pathway. They introduce biomimetic technologies - devices inspired by living creatures. You will be amazed to learn that technologies we are already familiar with were in fact developed according to models from nature such as spiders, bees, kingfishers and other.
The Themed Section - Technology Showcase
In the technology showcase section the current main theme is “overcoming the difficulties”. Here you can not only learn, but also experience some of the new technologies by yourself.
For example, this device was created by Seiko, a leading Japanese producers of clocks and watches. Seiko has developed a time synchronization technology that meets the need for time accuracy in the digital device world. By playing with this device, you will find out what a 1 millionth of a second means.
Ring Zero is a wearable device that operates home electric appliances using Blue Tooth technology. With this ring, in the future we will not need switches and buttons anymore.
OriHime is a futuristic robotic device that sees views in lieu of someone who is not able to move or go outside. The developer himself used to be ill as a child, being unable to go out. The OriHime robot is located on the second floor and, thanks to it, visitors can see what’s going on the second floor.
The Technology Studio
This section introduces visitors to various technologies that will change our lives in the near future. The world’s most advanced technologies developed by Japanese small and medium enterprises are displayed in this area.
This machinery robot developed by Denso, an auto-parts manufacturer, is so skillful and so precise that it can insert a pencil lead into a tiny sharp pencil hole.
The Manga Generator is a device that uses motion picture technology to read the movements of a person by a camera linkage and instantly creates a manga whose hero is yourself!
You just have to pose in front of the camera, and your image will be projected on the wall as part of a story.
The instructions come in English, so visitors from all over the world can enjoy this device.
This is the writer herself, as a manga character. It's really fun to act in a manga story!
At the end of the experiment, you will receive your original manga in print. The editor will also rate your acting skills.
Another fascinating device is this earthquake counter-measure technology provided by THK. You will be able to experience a simulation of a magnitude 6 degree earthquake with and without the technology. You will see how it would ensure one's safety during big earthquakes even if it happens.
Internet Of Things (IOT)
Fujitsu’s real time pulse monitor is a device that measures your pulse rate when you sit in front of a mirror. This is a technology for measuring one's pulse rate using the image of the person's face taken with a smartphone or a tablet with a built-in camera. It detects slight changes in the brightness of your face, which the human eye cannot detect, and tracks the pulse.
While on, this device can measure your pulse at any time, detecting the slightest changes. In the future, not only pulse but also blood pressure and heart beat could be detected; and this technology could be embedded in homes in order to give an alert to family members or doctors when one's health is encountering problems.
Drones and Home Security
SECOM, a home security company, integrates drone technology into home security systems. The drone will detect suspicious activity around the house and fly to the position in order to capture an image of the suspicious activity.
Bonus! A Cute Little Robot to Talk To
At the end of your visit to the TEPIA gallery, talk to Kibiro, a cute robot with artificial intelligence. He understands what you say and will reply if you speak Japanese.
These are just a few examples of the amazing objects on display at TEPIA. While in Tokyo, visit this amazing facility and explore these and many other wondrous devices created using the latest Japanese technology.
Explore More - TEPIA Library and Theater
The library is located on the second floor. Here you can select and watch videos related to the latest technological developments in Japan. For example, I would warmly recommend this video titled Yaskawa Bushido Project, which compares the precision of the industrial robot with that of a sword master.
TEPIA Restaurant - Ideal for Lunch and Dinner
After walking around the gallery, if you feel hungry and tired, you can rest and recharge at the “TEPIA” restaurant situated on the second floor. As it is run by Hotel New Otani, the menu is hotel quality. There are two private rooms available upon advance reservation.
This is how the menu looks. I especially recommend the TEPIA lunch set (1000 yen), the Chirasi-sushi set (2800 yen), the pasta lunch (1000 yen), the omelet-rice (1500 yen) and their lunch desert (300 yen). Whatever you choose, it will be a very delicious and satisfactory meal!
TEPIA is a one of a kind facility where you can learn about Japan's most advanced technologies. Moreover, Jingu Gaien is one of Tokyo’s most elegant districts, with posh restaurants, boutiques and popular sports facilities such baseball and rugby fields, a golf range and the future Olympic National Stadium. Why not visit TEPIA and spend the rest of your day there?
TEPIA Advanced Technology Gallery
Address: Tokyo, Minato, Kita-Aoyama 2-8-44
Hours: Weekdays 10:00-18:00, Weekend and national holidays 10:00-17:00.
Wifi : -
Credit Cards : -
Language support: English language explanations
Nearest Station: Gaiemmae Station
Access: 4-minute walk from Exit 3 of Gaiemmae station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza line; 11-minute walk from Kokuritsu-Kyogijo Station or 9-minute walk from Aoyama-itchome Station on the Toei Oedo Line; 14-minute walk from JR Sendagaya Station or Shinanomachi Station on the JR East Line.
English guided tour sign-up: http://www.tepia.jp/inspection/form
Website: TEPIA Advanced Technology Gallery
Phone Number: 03-5474-6143
Religious considerations: -
Restaurant TEPIA:ssOpen 11:30-14:00 (lunch) 14:00-17:00 (Tea time)
17:00-22:00 (Dinner) (Saturday, Sunday and national holidays until 21:00)
Reservations by phone at 03-5413-5182