In the small rural city of Katsuyama — just an 80-minute trip from Fukui City — a horde of gigantic monsters are lurking. Luckily though, all these beasts are locked up safely inside one of the world’s top paleontology museums: an excellent day trip destination for anyone whose imagination is set ablaze by the wonders of prehistoric earth.
Most of the dinosaurs on display at this 4-story museum were found in the local area, as Fukui has proven to be a treasure trove of ancient bones. These bones have been expertly re-arranged into their original configurations by the research team based here, and they stand alongside various other displays including huge animatronic replicas! All of these exhibits are explained in both English and Japanese throughout.
But you won’t only be learning with your eyes; the museum also has an area for small fossils where you can hold pieces of history in your own two hands. If you’re interested in seeing how all of this prehistoric magic comes together, you can actually watch real researchers go about the business of cleaning and arranging finds from the nearby archeological caches.
With all that in addition to a movie theatre, outdoor areas, and special exhibitions which come and go throughout the year, this is one of the best family-friendly destinations in all of Japan.