A Journey Through Time: Exploring the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum

Nestled in the tranquil outskirts of Katsuyama City, the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum (FPDM) stands as a haven for dinosaur enthusiasts, history buffs, and inquisitive minds. Rated as one of the best dinosaur museums in the world, it offers an unforgettable journey into Earth’s prehistoric past.

Getting There

The museum is easily accessible from major cities via train. From Fukui Station, you can take the Echizen Railway to Katsuyama. The museum offers a free shuttle bus from Katsuyama Station that runs approximately every hour.

The Architecture

The museum itself is a sight to behold. The building, designed by Kisho Kurokawa, resembles a dinosaur’s spine, snaking into the distance. It blends harmoniously with the surrounding landscape, and once inside, the high, open ceilings give the impression of stepping back into a time when these colossal creatures roamed the Earth.


The FPDM houses an impressive collection of over 40 dinosaur skeletons. The exhibit journey starts with the Paleozoic Era, moving through the Mesozoic Era – the Age of the Dinosaurs, and ending with the Cenozoic Era.

The stars of the museum are the dinosaur skeletons, many of which were discovered in the Fukui Prefecture. The Fukuiraptor, Fukuisaurus, and Fukuititan are all indigenous to the area and have their special place in the museum.

The exhibition space is divided into several zones. The ‘Dinosaur World’ showcases the fossils, including a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Camarasaurus. The ‘Dinosaur Excavation Site’ offers an insight into the process of excavating and restoring dinosaur fossils.

The ‘Earth Sciences’ section introduces visitors to the Earth’s history, the evolution of living things, and the changes in the environment over time. In the ‘Fossil Preparation Lab’, visitors can observe researchers as they painstakingly clean and catalog fossils.

Interactive Experiences

The museum also has numerous interactive experiences. The Dino Lab allows visitors to touch real fossils and see a dinosaur excavation model up close. The theater offers an immersive 13-minute film, “Dinosaurs in Fukui”, showing the life and habitats of the dinosaurs that once lived in the area.

For younger visitors, the ‘Dino Street’ area offers hands-on, interactive exhibits. Children can dig for fossils in the sand and learn about dinosaur footprints. The ‘Children’s Study Room’ provides various learning materials about dinosaurs and the Earth’s history.


A museum shop offers a range of dinosaur-themed merchandise, from books and educational toys to clothing. The museum’s restaurant, ‘Dino Diner’, allows visitors to enjoy a meal amidst the spectacular view of the surrounding mountains.


FPDM also hosts various events throughout the year. The Dinosaur Festival, usually held in July, celebrates the anniversary of the museum’s opening. It features special exhibitions, workshops, and fun activities for the whole family.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a curious traveler, or looking for a unique family outing, the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum offers a journey of discovery that transcends time. The combination of the museum’s impressive architecture, fascinating exhibits, and interactive experiences truly bring the awe-inspiring world of dinosaurs to life. Plan your visit today and step into the prehistoric world of these magnificent creatures.

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