Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum (FPDM) 福井県立恐竜博物館
It's possible to see them both in a day by using the Echizen Railway or by hire car.
The Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is said to be one of the three largest dinosaur museums in the world and is an active international center of research on dinosaurs with a team of Japanese and foreign specialists in residence.
More dinosaurs have been found in the Katsuyama area of Fukui, where the museum is located, than anywhere else in Japan. Excavations begun in 1989 have yielded such fossils as the Fukuiraptor, the Fukuisaurus and Fukuititan. Dinosaurs are everywhere in town, on the traffic island outside Katsuyama Station and even painted on the sides of buildings.
The Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum was designed by Kisho Kurokawa, who also designed the National Art Center in Tokyo, and was finished in 2000.
The modern Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is contained within a dome and consists of the entrance on the third floor and progression by escalators to the second, first and basement floors.
The third floor entrance hall contains the museum's restaurant, shop, special exhibit hall, a movie theater and the Dino Library.
The second floor History of Life explains the birth of life on Earth up to the emergence of humans and also how dinosaurs evolved into birds.
The first floor has themes of Dinosaur World and Earth Sciences. There are seven mounted dinosaur skeletons using the original specimens, not casts as well as over 40 skeletons constructed from casts. Other displays include computer generated animations of dinosaurs, moving model dinosaurs and a diorama of dinosaurs in Sichuan, China.
The Earth Sciences section includes scores of fossils as well as rock and mineral samples. Explanations are in both Japanese and English.
The basement floor has a 15m-long specimen of a Camarasaurus at the end of Dino Street.
Access - getting to Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum (information in English, Chinese & Japanese)
Tel: 0779 88 0001
Hours: 9am-5pm; closed 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month except during the summer school holidays when the museum is open daily.
To get to the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum by public transport take an Echizen Railway train from Eichizen Railway Fukui Station at the east exit of Fukui Station to the last stop at Katsuyama. From there it is a 15-20 minute ride on a community bus to the museum. The 8.56am, 10.26am, 11.56am, 2.26pm and 3.56pm trains all connect directly without a wait with a community bus.
Admission is 720 yen or buy a pass for 1,900 yen at Eichizen Railway Fukui Station which includes entrance to the museum and return train and community bus fares.
Coming by car on the Hokuriku Expressway exit at Maruoka IC or Fukui North IC.
Get off at Eiheiji-guchi Station on your way back from Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum if you wish to take a bus to Eiheiji.
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