The Solar Three Years of Achievements

  • Final Completion of Solar Ark: DEC 21, 2001
  • Grand Opening of Museum: APR 1, 2002
  • Renewal opening of the Field Lab (outdoor exhibition), etc. : MAR 20, 2005
  • Total Number of Visitors: 375,766 (APR 3, 2002 - JUN 30, 2009)Visitor Breakdown

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  • Good Design Award 2002 Architecture and Environment Design/Architecture Design
  • The 5th 'Renewing Your Hometown' 21st Century Fine Art Awards (Honorable Mention)
  • The 12th 'Facilities that Publicize Energy' Award (Exhibition Category)
  • The 12th Advertising Contest on the Environment, Grand Prix of Environment Advertising Award (Presented by State Minister for the Environment) (Newspaper Category)
  • The 2nd Environment and Facility Prize, Outstanding Performance Award (Environmental Design Category)
  • 'Energy Publicity Center Award for PR Activity', the 14th Director-General of the Natural Energy Agency Award, 2004

* Five museums, including the Science World facility, jointly received an award for conducting business activities linking science museums in Gifu.

The Solar Ark has been opened to the public for exhibitions.

The Solar Energy Museum is located inside the Solar Ark, making it a unique attraction in the world. It features exhibits that aim to stimulate interest in the science of solar power generation and global environmental issues, among children who represent our planet's future. Tours are provided to students from elementary school to university level, as well as to educators (teachers, board of education members, etc.) and government officials.

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The 3rd Tour of Inspection for the World Conference of Solar Photovoltaic Power Generation Visitors include a wide range of young people, from elementary school to college students Celebrating the 300,000th Visit (January 20th, 2008)

SANYO ThinkGAIA Foundation

The SANYO Environmental Fund was established upon construction of the Solar Ark. Funds equivalent to the domestic price of electricity produced by the Solar Ark are transferred annually to the SANYO ThinkGAIA Foundation to support environmental conservation activities.
N.B. Electricity generated by the Solar Ark is used in our factories.
A brief overview of our activities is given in 'Our Activity List'.

Science Workshops and Other Events

photoWe run several experiment workshops based on themes relevant to the Solar Energy Museum, such as light and electricity. In these seminars, you and your children can enjoy surprising and amusing experiences through science experiments. Charge-free workshops are held on a weekly basis, and are open to small groups of people. During long vacations and over Christmas we also offer additional workshops with special content. These workshops are renowned for bringing parents and children closer together.

Spring Vacation Environment and Energy Class (March 27 & 28)

photoCo-hosted with Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., these events are organized for families to nurture their interest in energy and environmental issues. The Gifu Prefectural Board of Education, the Japan Science Museum Association, and the Japanese Council of Science Museums sponsor these classes in order to publicize our activities, which have resulted in the participation of 4,300 people.

Gifu Global Environment Program

photoGifu Prefecture's School of the Global Environment delivers a learning program covering environmental issues. The program is held at the Ark Hall once a month throughout the year, on the second Saturday of the month. (These days are appointed 'Gifu Environmental Days'.) A number of parents and children join in, with the aim of fostering environmental awareness in young people - the future leaders of our society.
Lectures are conducted by representatives of local schools, businesses, and governmental offices - people with hands-on experience tackling environmental issues. They provide unique personal perspectives, thanks to their direct involvement in local issues.
While it has its origins in Gifu, the Solar Ark is an environmental project that has been spreading its message throughout Japan. 25 parent-and-child couples (50 participants in total) joined in 2002 and 37 couples (74 in total) in 2003 and 37 couples in 2004 and 37 couples (74 in total) in 2004 and 37 couples (74 in total) in 2005 and 29 couples in 2006. A further 37 parent-and-child couples registered for participation in 2007.

Youngsters' Science Festival


The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has collaborated with Japan's prefectural boards of education to hold this annual national festival of science experiments. The main purpose of the festival is to enhance young people's curiosity about science.
In this festival, participants build windmills and simple motors, both of which are thematically related to issues of energy conservation. Another awareness-raising activity involves making soap from waste oil.

Joint Project with Local Museums

photoThe Solar Ark is participating in a joint project with 4 other museums: Science World, Hida Kiyomi Shizenkan, The Gifu Academy of Forest Science and Culture, and The Gifu City Science Museum). This project is hosted by the JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency). Each museum has its own focus of expertise, and each offers science-education support to local schools by sending out experts or by inviting students to the museums.

For this project, the Solar Ark received the "Energy Publicity Center Award for PR Activity", the 14th Director-General of the Natural Energy Agency Award, 2004.

The Solar Ark as a Location for TV Commercials and Other Promotional Videos

A promotional film used in the Tokyo Motor Show was shot here, as was an advertisement for a hybrid car. At the request of various corporations, the Solar Ark has been provided as a backdrop for shooting videos that aim to promote an eco-friendly image.