The Dinosaur Kingdom in front of Fukui Station

Fukui Prefecture is home to Japan's most prominent dinosaur fossil discovery site, located in Katsuyama City, home of the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum. And right at JR Fukui Station, the gateway to the prefecture, you can meet life-sized dinosaurs that were excavated in Fukui.

10-Meter Dinosaur

Fukui Station's Dinosaur Plaza was completed along with the commercial building at the station's West Exit. Reproducing not just dinosaurs' size but also their movements, these big dinos are definitely worth a look!

The largest of the group is Fukuititan, which was discovered in Katsuyama in 2007. With an overall length of 10 meters (32.8 ft), this giant model slowly raises and lowers its neck in front of Fukui Station, forming an imposing monument to the prefecture.

Dino Battle

To the left above you can see a Fukuiraptor, a carnivorous dinosaur with a total length of 4.2 meters (13.8 ft). To the right is a Fukuisaurus, a dinosaur though to have a similar build to an Iguanodon with an overall length of 4.7 meters (15.4 ft). The two are placed in a combative stance, moving as if roaring at one another.

Footprints Give a Sense of Size

You can also find a set of dinosaur footprints reproduced at Dinosaur Plaza. The life-sized reproduction gives you a sense of the immensity of an actual dinosaur. You'll often spot kids shocked to see the size difference when they line up their feet with the dinosaur prints!

Dinosaur Kingdom Plaque

In case you'd like any more information, you'll find a helpful plaque on-site explaining just why Fukui is called the "Dinosaur Kingdom."

Dinosaur Mascot Photo Op

There's also a bench where you can take a photo with Rapto, one of the mascots from Fukui Prefecture's official dinosaur brand, Juratic. If you're lucky, you can sometimes meet a more mobile version of Rapto at events in town.

3-D Dinosaur Illustrations

The walls of Fukui Station are embellished with 3-D dinosaur trick-art illustrations, which seem to burst right out of the walls!

Fukui's Dinosaur Kingdom

If you want a sense of what it's all like, be sure to take a look at these terrible lizards in action above!