Nawa Insect Museum, Gifu 名和昆虫博物館, 岐阜
Nawa Insect Museum History
Nawa Insect Museum was opened by the local Gifu Prefecture-born entomologist Yasushi Nawa (1857-1926), who discovered the Japanese luehdorfia japonica butterfly (Gifu butterfly) in 1883.
Nawa Insect Museum, founded by Nawa in 1919, is Japan's oldest insect museum and now has over 300,000 specimens from around 12,000 species.
Previously in 1896, Nawa had established the Nawa Insect Research Center to research the preservation of beneficial insects, the eradication of harmful species and the control of termites, an insect that is the cause of widespread problems among the many wooden buildings in Japan.
Since its founding, the Nawa Insect Museum has been run by a member of the Nawa family.
Nawa Insect Museum Exhibits
The Nawa Insect Museum is on two floors and has mainly exhibits shown in glass cases with the odd live insect interspersed.
The insects are arranged according to species and come from the mainly hot regions of the world: South America, Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East.
Some of the exhibits are truly amazing for their size, shape (often grotesque) and color.
These include beetles, butterflies, dragonflies, hornets, moths and termites plus two arachnids: a tarantula and a scorpion.
Standout exhibits include owl butterflies (Caligo) from Central and South America, whose wings look like an owl to deter predators, the beautiful blue morpho butterflies, also from that region, and the huge Giant Stag Beetle (Lucanus elaphus) from North America.
The second floor can be viewed while doing the Nawa Insect Museum Quiz (in Japanese and English).
Apart from the quiz, there is little English explanation at the museum but the sheer range and variety of the collection make the Nawa Insect Museum a very interesting museum to visit.
Nawa Insect Museum Access
Nawa Insect Museum
Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture 500-8003
Tel: 058 263 0038
Hours: 10am-5pm; closed Wednesday or the next day if Wednesday is a national holiday. During the winter months of December, January and February the museum is closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Admission to Nawa Insect Museum is 500 yen for adults and 400 yen for children above four years of age.
Nawa Insect Museum is located north east of JR Gifu Station. Take a bus from JR Gifu Station and alight at the Gifukoen Rekishihakubutsukan-mae stop. The bus fare is 210 yen for adults; 100 yen for children.
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