Dinosaurs take over Japan!

Spotted on the street in Katsuyama, Fukui Prefecture.

Spotted on the street in Katsuyama, Fukui Prefecture.

Is it just me, or does it seem like dinosaurs are everywhere this summer? True, I got sensitized by touring in May with a friend who runs the volunteer-powered fossil cleaning lab at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History; in her two weeks here we had an intensive dose of dinosaur, including a sneak preview of the totally redone dinosaur exhibit at the National Museum of Nature and Science (NMNS) in Tokyo, as well as an extensive tour of the very impressive Fukui Prefecture Dinosaur Museum. Still, there do seem to be a lot of dino-doings going on.

A new view of T. rex at the National Museum of Science and Nature in Ueno.

A new view of T. rex at the National Museum of Science and Nature in Ueno.

As I reported in my summer dinosaur round-up in The Japan Times on July 17, the NMNS has just reopened its main dinosaur exhibit after an extensive renovation. And just in time for summer vacation. A top attractions is the all-new Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton — in a novel and easier-to-see “sit” position. If you’ve got small kids, or grandkids, check out the new “Compass” space on the third floor of the Global Gallery. (The main dinosaur exhibit is in the B1 level of the same building.)

Playroom? Or museum exhibit? Both, at the National Museum of Nature and Science.

Playroom? Or museum exhibit? Both, at the National Museum of Nature and Science.

Summer is a good time to visit the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum in Katsuyama, if you can deal with the crowds. In August, visitors can observe new digs in progress at the nearby excavation sites.

Excavation sites are right by the museum; you take a quick bus ride to get there.

Excavation sites are right by the museum; you take a quick bus ride to get there.

Don’t miss the “dinosaur crossing” road signs along the way. If I remember correctly, there are six different signs.

“Watch out for dinosaurs, who may appear suddenly in the road.”

You can also try your own hand at fossil hunting, under the direct guidance of the museum’s paleontologists.  That’s not an opportunity you get every day.

Fukui_fossilhunting

Recently, the subways have been full of posters advertising the Mega Dinosaur 2015 exhibit at Makuhari in Chiba.

Through Aug. 30, the privately-sponsored Mega Dinosaur Exhibition at Makuhari Messe.

Through Aug. 30, the privately-sponsored Mega Dinosaur Exhibition at Makuhari Messe.

In Yokohama, there’s DinoWorld 2015. And the Yamanashi Prefectural Museum in Fuefuki, Yamanashi is doing a special exhibition on fossils and dinosaurs.

Through Aug. 31, at the Yamanashi Prefectural Museum.

Through Aug. 31 at the Yamanashi Prefectural Museum. The English tag line reads, “Did dinosaurs exist in Yamanashi?”

Even hotels are not safe from the invasion, as I learned in this report in The Japan Times. The very pricey Righa Royal Hotel has themed itself up with a “Dinosaur Festa” through Sept. 30.

Kids' dinosaur plate, for 1,600 yen. And a dino-rama of tiny figures in the lobby.

Kids’ dinosaur plate for 1,600 yen. And a dino-rama of tiny figures in the lobby.

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2 Responses to Dinosaurs take over Japan!

  1. Thomas Gittel says:

    That reminds me on the good old days, when the first “Jurrasic Park” movie was promoted. There were dinosaurs virtually everywhere. Is it just coincidence that the latest movie of that series is hitting the cinemas…

  2. Alice says:

    Good point! I hadn’t even factored in movies!

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