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Research Facilities

Computer Facility

The computer room has a parallel computer system that enables massive numerical simulations and data analyses, and its peripheral equipments.

Radioisotope Laboratory

Biological, chemical and physical studies using radioisotopes are safely undertaken in this secure and modern facility. Major instruments include liquid scintillation counter, gamma counter, radiodetector, centrifuges, incubators, molecular biolog y equipment, and a scientific dark room.

Aquarium Facility

An assortment of recirculating freshwater and seawater aquaria (from 250 liter to 3-ton capacity) are housed in the facility’s main room. Each aquarium is served by aeration, and by filter and temperature control units. The Aquarium Facility’s main room and the adjoining rooms can be flexibly adapted to various research purposes, such as dissection, breeding and transgenic experiments, deep-sea environment simulation, behavior analysis, and temperature- and light-controlled environmental experiments.

Electron Microscopy Facility

Major instruments in this facility include transmission and scanning electron microscopes, electron probe microanalyzers, and an X-ray fluorescence analyzer. Necessary supporting equipment, such as a ultramicrotome, etc., are also available here. The Facility supports microscopical studies from sample preparation through observation and data analysis.

Molecular Biology Laboratories

These facilities are used for molecular biological work, including recombinant DNA experiments, nucleotide sequence determination and gene expression analyses. Major instruments include two fume hoods, three capillary-based DNA sequencers, real-time quantitative PCR system, thermal cyclers, Biomeck pipetting robot, automated colony picker, image analyzer, ultrapure water system, ultracentrifuge, analytical and other centrifuges, and cryostat. A next-generation DNA sequencer is scheduled for installation.

Advanced Clean Analytical Facility

This facility supports sensitive and precise instrumental analyses for chemical and isotopic compositions of marine samples, consisting of a number of advanced analytical instruments, like a high resolution ion microprobe (NanoSIMS), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers, nutrient auto-analyzers, and isotoperatio mass spectrometers. Clean rooms are also built in the facility to determine trace metals and bioelements (carbon and nitrogen) in contamination-free environments. This facility is available for analyses of various samples including seawater, sediments, carbonates, rocks and biological materials.

Geophysical and Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

This laboratory has experimental facilities to study the effects of the Earth’s rotation and density stratification on large-scale atmospheric and oceanic motions, and environments for marine living organisms. The principal facility is a turntable that has a diameter of 1.5 meters and attains a stable rotation rate between 0 and 15 rpm.

Sample Preparation Laboratory for Earth Science

This sample preparatory facility is provided for cutting and polishing of rock/otolith samples, and for preparation of glass beads for X-ray fluorescence analysis. Rock cutters, table drills, rock polishers, a rock crusher and a bead sampler are available. The facility supports descriptive and physical property analyses, and sampling of dredge rock and sediment cores.

Clean Geochemistry Laboratory

This laboratory is designed for analyses of trace elements and isotopic compositions in carbonate, sediment and rock samples. There is a chemical preparation section in the room equipped with two fume hoods and a laminar flow cabinet. A double focusing magnetic sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer is installed that will be upgraded with a laser ablation system.

Laboratory for Cultivation of Microalgae and Bacteria

Microorganisms such as microalgae and bacteria are cultured and stored at various temperature ranges. Major instruments include shaking incubators, autoclaves, clean bench, and dry heat sterilizer. Two temperature-controlled rooms (4°C and 20°C) are available.

Low-Temperature Facilities

Experiments at low temperature are undertaken in the low temperature laboratory (+4°C). Samples and specimens can be maintained in cold storage at refrigerator (+4°C) or freezer (-30°C) temperatures.

Sample and Specimen Storage Facilities

Samples and specimens collected by oceanic research vessels and from other field research sites (e.g., sediment cores, rock specimens, seawater samples, dried and formalin-preserved specimens of marine organisms, etc.) are stored in this facility.

Liquid Nitrogen Supply Facility

A liquid nitrogen tank of 4.98 m3 capacity is located adjacent to the main institute building. Liquid nitrogen is supplied readily and safely by means of a computer- controlled automatic dispensing and usage monitoring system.

[Division of Climate System Research (Kashiwa Research Complex)]

[International Coastal Research Center (Otsuchi, Iwate)]

Other Facilities

Ocean Observation Warehouse

This facility mainly stores research gear and equipment for research cruises of the R/V Shinsei Maru and R/V Hakuho Maru. Large equipment such as container laboratories are kept on the outside of this facility. The warehouse is equipped with an overhead crane to facilitate loading of heavy equipment. A machine shop and laboratories are also attached to the building for the design, development, testing and repair of instruments for use at sea.


The library houses books and journals encompassing the scientific disciplines represented at the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, and provides information services for faculty, staff, and students. The library is part of the University of Tokyo Library System, and provides other universities and institutions with online resources.

Lecture Hall, Lecture Room, Seminar Room

These rooms are used for symposium, meeting and lectures by both domestic and foreign scientists.

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