In the 1900s, fossil hunters began unearthing the evidence of Mifune’s ancient dinosaur residents and as the bones poured in, the Mifune Dinosaur Museum was born.
The museum occupies a sizable building in the middle of Mifune Town, easily identified by the large Tyrannosaurus Rex life-size statue outside. Remnants of one of the world’s largest carnivores are just one of the many finds you can see in the museum’s exhibits. Both plaster cast and original dinosaur fossils are on display, including the original skull of an herbivore known as a hadrosaurid that dates back 85 million years and is one of Japan’s oldest fossils. In the museum’s permanent exhibition space, you’ll also find full scale models displayed next to pieced-together fossils, giving you an excellent look at what these creatures looked like in life.
Half of the museum is given over to special exhibit space and is currently occupied by a collection of fossils from recent digs in the deserts of Mongolia. Aside from one glass case, all of the bones in the display are originals and the age of them is astounding.Also, the museum displays a number of simulation artificial dinosaur fossil for science popularization.
Upstairs, visitors are invited to watch museum staff and archeologists chipping away at plaster casts of recently acquired fossils … and then of course, there is the obligatory gift shop with T-Rex playing cards and stegosaurus keychains.
For those traveling with children, a short walk away is the Mifune Dinosaur Park. Here, kids can explore the dinosaur-themed playground (slides and climbing challenges make up the bulk of the dinosaur’s “body”) There is plenty of green space for a game of soccer or a picnic. Free parking for both the museum and the park is located between the two spots,it is very convenient.
Mifune Dinosaur Museum opens daily from 9:00 to 17:00 except every Monday and holiday season of year end. Please refer to the website of Mifune Museum at http://www.mifunemuseum.jp.