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World’s Oldest Fossils in Minamisanriku

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > World’s Oldest Fossils in Minamisanriku


Dig for fossils and learn about the unique history of Utatsu

Minamisanriku Town



Visit the Utatsu district in Minamisanriku to see ammonites, plant fossils, the only Tiracocephala in Japan, and the oldest Ichthyosauria in the world. Your adventure begins with a thorough introduction to the prehistoric origins of Minamisanriku. A local guide will accompany you through the Minasanriku Hakkutsu Museum where visitors learn about the earliest forms of life in the Tohoku region and how to find fossils. Then it is your turn: you will have the opportunity to pick up a shovel and dig for fossils and a one-of-a-kind souvenir from your trip to Minamisanriku.

The activity will begin with a group briefing and then participants will take a 3-minute taxi ride to the excavation site. All equipment used for the excavation will be provided for by the facility, but be sure to bring a bottle of water and your sense of adventure.



People of all ages, even those who are unfamiliar with fossils will enjoy discovering buried treasures and learning about the early history of the Japanese islands from local guides. Bring the whole family along and see what can dig up!


Name: Utarsusaurus hataii Order: Ichthyosauria



How to get there


Get on the JR Tohoku Line train at Sendai Station.
Transfer to JR Kesennuma Line train at Kogota Station and/or Maeyachi Station.
Get off at JR Kesennuma Line Yanaizu Station (approximately 2 hours from Sendai).
Take the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) bus by JR (Japan Railway) that will take you into downtown Minamisanriku.


Utatsu, Minamisanriku-cho, Motoyoshi-gun, Miyagi-ken



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