Time Travel Back to the Jurassic Period at One of the World’s Largest Dinosaur Museums
Jun 23, 2020
Some of You Might Wonder: “Why Should I Go to Fukui?” Let Me Answer That for You!
Let’s start with a little quiz!
When thinking of Fukui, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
Some of you probably thought of dinosaurs!
Fukui has one of the world’s largest dinosaur museums and it is right here that a vast majority of dinosaur fossils found in Japan have been discovered.
A Giant Dinosaur Egg in the Middle of the Forest?!
When looking for the perfect spot to begin our exploration, the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum of Katsuyama City seemed like the most appropriate location.
Shaped like a gigantic dinosaur egg, the museum is sure to impress you from the moment you get a glimpse of it in the middle of the forest surrounding the area.
Materials from the prefecture such as Echizen roof tiles were used in the construction of the building designed by the world-famous Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa.
It Also Feels Like a Scene Straight out of *That* Dinosaur (Park!) Movie
The museum features over forty full skeleton and fossil specimens, as well as hundreds of other fascinating samples and life-sized dioramas.
I couldn’t wait to visit it from the moment I set foot in Fukui. Now that I am finally here, it feels just as if I’ve travelled back to the Jurassic period!
The Building Itself Is Also Worth the Travel! (And So Is the Souvenir Shop Believe Me)
Stretching over 4500 square meters, the vast museum ―the largest of its kind in Japan― is also home to five new species discovered in Fukui, such as the Fukuisaurus, on display in the Dinosaur World corner.
A Little Something for Jewelry (And Natural History) Fans!
As a museum of natural history, the museum also features the “Earth Sciences” and “History of Life” corners. This display of sparkling birthstones certainly catches the eye!
A Great Example of Universal Design: A Memorable Experience Made Accessible
The efforts put into making sure everyone can partake in the fun are impressive.
The audio guides visitors can rent are also available in foreign languages, allowing people whose first language may not be Japanese to get the most out of their experience.
Additionally, smaller versions of some dinosaur skeletons are placed in front of the life-sized specimens along with a short explanatory note written in braille to allow people with low vision to gain an understanding of the exhibited items.
At the touch of a button, sound alternately comes out of the dinosaurs’ head and tail to give visitors an idea of the length of the species before them.
Can You Imagine Digging up a New Dinosaur Fossil Yourself? Now That’s Something to Brag About for the Rest of Your Life!
The museum is a great destination for both children and adults, and the hands-on “fossil excavation” experience it offers is sure to please everyone.
The fossils visitors dig out on the site might even be featured in the exhibition!
“Gotta Catch ‘Em All”, Am I Right?
Speaking of fun activities, you can also get an exclusive dinosaur stamp like I did! The stamp changes every month so children must be looking forward to discovering what dinosaurs will be available in future.
If you look closely at the picture, you’ll notice the excitement and the eagerness of the children have left their mark on the bending stamping stations!
Hours and Fees at Fukui Dinosaur Museum
51-11 Terao, Muroko-cho, Katsuyama City, Fukui Prefecture
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last admission 4:30p.m.)
New year holidays and the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month (open daily from late July to late August)