Since 1993 there have been half a dozen Jurassic Park/World films (as well as a very short movie in 2019) but until recently I had only ever seen the original. With the recent release of ‘Jurassic Word Dominion‘ it was time to change all that and so I blitzed my way through them over a few days.
Such dinosaur fever got me thinking about all the places in Japan I knew about related to these extinct creatures, and so here is a list of places worthy of a visit for those interested in experiencing dinosaur-mania.
1. Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum & Katsuyama Dino Park, Fukui Prefecture.
The home of dinosaurs in Japan with a dedicated museum and dino park with life-size models and themed rides. The modern paleontology museum features reconstructed dinosaur bones, fossils and outdoor excavations.
2. Kodomo-no-Mori Park, Tokyo.
This children’s park in Shinagawa has a collection of eight colourful dinosaur statues. More details here.
3. National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo.
Among the 25,000 exhibits at one of Japan’s biggest science museums are some Gigantic dinosaur replicas.
4. Dinosaur Space, Shizuoka Prefecture.
Near the summit of Komuroyama Park in Izu is this very cool and spacious dinosaur land with some beautiful sea views too. There are over a dozen dinosaur statues. More details here.
5. Henn na Hotel Maihama Tokyo Bay, Chiba Prefecture.
The original hotel is in Nagasaki but this one opened in Maihama a few years ago. There are no visisble humans at the hotel and so animatronic dinosaurs are on reception to help you check in.
6. Universal Studios Japan (USJ), Osaka.
The best way to experience the thrills of the movie franchise is to ride on the Jurassic Park ride at this hugely popular theme park. A boat tour is threatened by a containment breach and plunge down a 26 metre drop to escape certain death at the jaws of a raging T-Rex!
7. Hotel Artia Dinosaur, Kanagawa Prefecture.
A somewhat dodgy love hotel noticable on the highway as you pass by due to the large T-Rex on the rooftop which also has a bath. There are some dinosaur themed rooms featuring reptile style bucking broncos to ride on.
8. Dino Adventure Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture.
A theme park with animatronic models set among forest trails and a quirky playground with slides running down dinosaurs’ tails.
9. Shoganji Temple, Tokyo.
Temples and shrines usually have stone lions, foxes or lion-dogs outside them. There are a few other rarer examples but none are as unique as the sight of a styracosaurus keeping guard. More details here.
10. Various Dinosaur playgrounds, Tokyo.
Bonus: Dinosaur Bridge, Tokyo.
Tokyo Gateway Bridge is a 2,618 metre long bridge that is supposedly better seen at night when it’s lit up. Why it has the nickname of Dinosaur Bridge I really don’t know! Maybe it’s just down to its size! More details here.
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