Japan’s Dinosaur Paradise Fukui Boom as a Travel Destination

Fukui Prefecture surged as a Golden Week (the week combines multiple public holidays) travel destination due to the effect of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line extension.

On April 16, Kinki Nippon Tourist released a ranking of domestic travel destinations during Golden Week. The ranking is based on sales of travel products departing on April 26 and arriving on May 6 during the Golden Week holiday period (as of April 1) compared to the same period last year, compiled by prefecture.

According to the result, Fukui Prefecture showed an overwhelming 338% increase over the same period the previous year, with Tokyo in second place at 193% and Shiga Prefecture in third at 174%.

Fukui Prefecture is known as the treasure house of dinosaur fossils in Japan. About 80% of all dinosaur fossils discovered in Japan are produced in Fukui, including many complete fossils that are extremely rare. Moreover, Many dinosaurs have been exhibited in Japan for the first time. Six of the nine species of dinosaurs discovered in Japan were found in Fukui.

Approximately 700,000 people visit Fukui annually, making the prefecture a paradise for dinosaur enthusiasts. Upon arrival at Fukui Station, visitors are greeted by moving dinosaurs in front of the station. Fukui also has dinosaur-themed restaurants, hotels, and more!

The World-Class Dinosaur Museum

The Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is one of the largest dinosaur museums in the world and is famous for the many awards it has received. The museum’s distinctive silvery, egg-shaped dome is designed to appear as if it is half buried in the ground. The spacious museum without pillars contains over 1,000 exhibits, including 44 dinosaur skeletons and a wall of fossil footprints.

Photo: Dinosaur Museum

There is also a moving dinosaur diorama and a giant video screen, giving visitors a sense of the scale of prehistoric animals. There are also exhibits that focus on the history of life in general and the Earth itself. Visitors can get up close and personal with dinosaur animatronics (robots) that show powerful and realistic movements.

The Field Station Tour allows visitors to observe the process of finding dinosaur fossils up close. This tour is available all year round, and tour participants can take a shuttle bus from the museum to the site. During this two-hour guided tour, visitors can see the site of Japan’s most significant dinosaur discovery, where five new species of dinosaurs were found, as well as the authentic fossil collection excavated there.