Tohaku Navi, an App for the Tokyo National Museum

detail image

For more enjoyable experience in the Museum

The Tohaku Navi joint research project is an initiative under the supervision of the Tokyo National Museum and deployed through the cooperation of OPEN INNOVATION LAB. which produces new experiences for cities of the future, and Koozyt which has proprietary technology including AR (Augmented Reality) and indoor positioning. Using the power of IT, the initiative aims to and is being used to provide an even richer realistic viewing experience.


Indoor Positioning Technology that Supports “Tohaku Navi”

When starting the “Honkan 2F Highlights of Japanese Art Course (45min)” in “Tohaku Navi,” the content automatically displays in succession according to the period of the exhibition. For example, information continues to display for the Jomon period in room 1 of the main building, and for the world of tea ceremony in room 4 of the main building. In order to provide appropriate information to visitors to the museum based on their position, we have created a hybrid from Koozyt’s “PlaceEngine” and OPEN INNOVATION LAB.’s “Place Sticker” for the indoor positioning technology.

“Tohaku Navi” Continues to Evolve

TheTokyo National Museum has a collection of over 110 thousand exhibits. Furthermore, the museum often changes its exhibits so it is difficult to make use of a guide system despite there being a great demand for guidance for each individual exhibit. This is where museum administrators can automatically generate voice guidance for new exhibits simply by preparing information in text format through the adoption of an automatic speech synthesis system used by call centers and car navigation systems. The speech system also supports English so is widely used by tourist from overseas. We plan to deploy the expertise gained from Tohaku Navi also to various regions and facilities where an increase in in-bound tourists is expected towards 2020 (for the Tokyo Olympics).


The Tokyo National Museum has a collection of famous exhibits from various periods, from the Jomon period until the modern age. When studying about cultural heritage that tells the story of Japan’s history, this project assists with the understanding of all visitors to the museum regardless of whether they are Japanese or from overseas. “Tohaku Navi” includes many other features that could not be introduced here. Please download it to your handheld terminal and try it out. (*You can use it even if you are not visiting the museum)

Download the app here.
About “Tohaku Navi” for the Tokyo National Museum

text:Natsumi Kawamoto