Located in Katsuyama-city, the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is the largest dinosaur museum in Japan and is recognized as one of the top three dinosaur museums in the world. Katsuyama-city is also famous as the site of the largest number of dinosaur fossil digs in Japan. The museum, which opened in 2000, has become a popular tourist destination in Fukui and draws over 900,000 people annually.
With literally thousands of exhibits on display in the museum there is something to interest everyone. Over 40 whole-body dinosaur skeletons; robotic “moving” dinosaurs; dioramas; and CG theaters form the backbone of the “Dinosaur World” exhibition on the first floor. At the center of all this excitement is the robotic moving Tyrannosaurus which is always surrounded by people taking pictures.
Audio-guides are available in: English, Chinese, and Korean in addition to Japanese. These audio-guides give you access to detailed information at 60 audio points around the exhibition. If you are feeling hungry, try the museum’s cafe-style dinosaur-themed restaurant, “Dino.” The menu features a wide selection of items, such as their “Dinosaur Hamburger” which comes with a dinosaur footprint shaped bun, or you can sample popular Japanese dishes such as “Sauce Katsu Don” which is a breaded pork cutlet, smothered in sauce, and resting on a bowl of rice. Or try Fukui’s ever popular “Oroshi Soba” (buckwheat noodles with grated Japanese radish) if you want to get a feel for what the locals eat.
Here’s the menu: http://www.skijam.jp/cafe-rest-dino/
Be sure to also enjoy the outdoor dinosaur museum where you can experience searching for fossils yourself by breaking up actual stones brought from local excavation sites. While in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the real dinosaur quarries. Tours leave from the museum (approximately a 20-minute bus ride); however, you need to apply for the two-hour tour in advance.
For more information and reservations, check the websites below.
Japanese page: https://www.dinosaur.pref.fukui.jp/visit/fieldstation
English page: https://www.dinosaur.pref.fukui.jp/en/FieldStation.html
51-11 Terao, Muroko, Katsuyama, Fukui
From Fukui station, please take Echizen Tetsudo’s Katsuyama Eiheiji line. Be sure your train’s final destination is Katsuyama. About 1 hour train ride, please get off the train at the last stop Katsuyama station then take a community bus or a taxi. Bus takes about 15 minutes and tax takes about 10 minutes.
Primary & Secondary school students 260 yen
High school & college students 410 yen
Adult 720 yen