If you’re a lunar-curious soul and have always been fascinated by the moon and the idea of being in outer space, this ‘astronaut experience’ taking place at Tottori Sand Dunes at night could be the perfect opportunity for you to step into the boots of your inner space-walker.

The event fuses together the strange and seemingly out-of-place landscape of Tottori Sand Dunes with lunar experiences through ​​VR and AR goggles.

Kzaral | CC by 2.0

A rather unexpected sight, the Tottori Sand Dunes are Japan’s largest deposit of sand, reaching 50 meters in height and stretching 16 kilometres along the shore of the sea of Japan. Though most people come to visit this natural attraction during daylight hours, for those who venture here after dark, the already other-worldly landscape seems to take on the appearance of what looks like the scenery one would expect on the moon.

Taking advantage of this natural environment characteristic, creative space simulation company amulapo have created an unique event where participants can become a lunar explorer and take on moon missions at Tottori Sand Dunes through the immersive power of Virtual and Augmented Reality.

Using the latest AR goggles, participants will experience the perspective of an astronaut, from the first successful landing of Apollo 11 in 1969 to the futuristic concept world of a moon city, which – in accordance with the simulation’s theoretical story – will be built on the moon sometime in the near future.
The visuals which can be experienced through the goggles include both real life footage from past lunar expeditions, to adventures and concepts created digitally by artists and scientists at amulapo.

The leading story of the simulation will follow a team of astronauts (made up by the event participants) as they set out to complete the main mission of ‘Experiment A’.
This experiment requires the ‘astronauts’ to dive into the history of humans on the moon, investigate and source the materials that are needed for building the Lunar City, and visit the development area of said Lunar City.
As the astronauts progress through the story and interact with the simulation environment related lunar content will appear through the AR goggles.

The simulation experience is being held on the 13th, 20th and 27th of November. As of the present moment, there is no indication that the event will extend past the 27th, but if it becomes popular, it is possible that amulapo will add further dates to the event.

The event is open to individuals or to groups of up to four people at a time. There are no special abilities expected of participants of the event, but those taking part in the simulation should prepare appropriate clothing (a down jacket, warm, comfortable trousers and snow shoes) for exploring the sand dunes after dark during winter.

Applications for the simulation are open for those over the age of 18, with tickets currently being sold at the opening price of 9,800 yen. Reservations can be made online here, and further information regarding the event can be found on the official website.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.