Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum

▲The museum exterior. You can see it from a distance, so come for this. Photo by This is Fukui
▲The exterior of the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum. There are a lot of dinosaur objects. Photo by This is Fukui

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.

▲As soon as you buy a ticket and go inside, you will see an escalator that was designed by a world-renowned architect Mr. Kisho Kurokawa. Photo by This is Fukui
▲This moving Tyrannosaurus rex welcomes the visitors. Photo by This is Fukui
▲Although there are many replicas, the ones that have the support for bone parts are real fossils. Photo by This is Fukui
▲The color of the sky changes every few minutes. If you stop for a while, you can feel as if you were in the age of dinosaurs. Photo by This is Fukui
▲The exhibition of dinosaurs excavated in Fukui. Photo by This is Fukui

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/

▲The restaurant “Dino” interior. Photo by This is Fukui
▲The souvenir shop that has many this museum’s original goods. Photo by Fukui Prefectural Tourism Federation

 

▲The dinosaur stuffed toys. Photo by This is Fukui

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
https://www.dinosaur.pref.fukui.jp/visit/fieldstation

▲If you apply in advance, you can also experience the fossil excavation. Photo by Fukui Prefectural Tourism Federation
▲If you break a stone, a real fossil may come out?! Photo by Fukui Prefectural Tourism Federation
▲The statue of a dinosaur doctor near the museum entrance. Don’t forget to take a photo with it! Photo by This is Fukui

 

INFORMATION【Address】
51-11 Terao, Muroko, Katsuyama, Fukui

【Access】
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.

【Fee】
Primary & Secondary school students 260 yen
High school & college students 410 yen
Adult 720 yen

【Web site】
https://www.dinosaur.pref.fukui.jp/en/

 

NOTEThis article was written based on the information when it was published. Since there is a possibility that it differs from the content at the time of posting, be sure to check information by yourself in advance.

 

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