Wanna ride a bullet train? You can (virtually) in Houston this weekend

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Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Asia Society to open Texas' first interactive exhibit focused on Asia
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Asia Society's new exhibit Explore Asia is the only immersive experience in Texas of its kind.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A first-of-its-kind cultural experience is coming to Houston and you can check it out for free this weekend.

On Friday, Asia Society Texas will celebrate the grand opening of "Explore Asia," its new $4.6 million exhibition.

President Bonna Kol said it's the only interactive learning exhibit in Texas focused specifically on Asia, from its art and culture, to its connections with the Bayou City.

"Explore Asia has been a love child of our board," Kol said. "It's an invitation for our community, our families and for the youth to come and explore, and embark on their journey to Asia."

Through the Gateway to Asia, visitors are invited to learn more about China, India, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam with a variety of touchscreen exhibits.

Then, adults and children can board a virtual bullet train for an immersive ride across time and space.

Asia Society Texas' director of education Jennifer Kapral said students played a big role in designing the exhibit, which seeks to build bridges between Asian and American cultures.

"We feature things like, in Japan, baseball is a big highlight, right? So it's something familiar to people coming in, but it also brings in a lot of new learning," Kapral said.

Foodies can virtually explore different cuisines and menu choices across Asia, and even where to find them right here in Houston.

"The cross-cultural understanding is so important, coming and learning about all these different countries and horizons," Kapral said, "but it's also a great opportunity to celebrate Houston and our diversity, and everything we love about the city."

A lion dance will open each day of Explore Asia's grand opening, which is open Friday from 12 p.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visitors can enjoy free admission and access to a variety of food trucks. A $6 add-on ticket is also available to see a "Performances Across Asia" Drumming Experience.

Asia Society Texas Center is at 1370 Southmore Blvd. in Houston's Museum District.

For more details, visit the Asia Society Texas Center's website here.