Museums that allow you to enjoy the history and culture of the Hokuriku・Chubu area
In Japan, there are not only famous art galleries and museums where you can take photos that look fabulous on social media, but there are also lots of facilities where you can experience the history and culture of Japan. Fitting these facilities visits into your travel plans alongside with the standard tourist attraction will of course make your trip more educating and memorable. We will also introduce the facilities that have become the shooting locations for movies and dramas!
※All information and prices listed are accurate as of October 2020.
（1）Museum Meiji-Mura（Inuyama, Aichi）
（2）Kaga Traditional Craft Village - Yunokuni no Mori（Komatsu, Ishikawa）
（3）Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum（Katsuyama, Fukui）
（4）Motorcar Museum of Japan（Komatsu, Ishikawa）
（1）Travel back to the Meiji Era! Museum Meiji-Mura (Aichi)
"Museum Meiji Mura" is an open-air museum built on an enormous site of 1,000,000㎡ in Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture. Buildings that were built around the Meiji era (1868-1912) have been relocated, preserved, and exhibited, and 67 historical buildings, including 11 important cultural properties, have been opened to the public, and these buildings are often used as locations for TV dramas and movies. At the Meiji Living Yorozu Experience Corner, "living tools" can be experienced, such as the lights of the portable candles used from Meiji era to Showa era, rickshaw riding, and to see the display of the dinners of that time. What a unique experience! (※Suspended temporarily as of October 2020 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus)
The "Stamp Rally", where you can collect original stamps from 16 buildings in Meiji-Mura, is also popular among children. A steam locomotive (SL) runs within the premises and you can actually ride it. You can also take the "Kyoto Tram", a tram that has the longest history in Japan.（※Additional charges are required for both steam locomotives and Kyoto trams. Please note that the steam locomotive and tram don’t run on certain days of the month.）
Moreover, there is a space for children to play on the first floor of St. John's Church. There are also nursing rooms in the facility, so families with infants can enjoy the museum at ease.
Address: Uchiyama 1, Inuyama-shi, Aichi prefecture
Access: Get on the train at Meitetsu Nagoya Station, get off at Meitetsu Inuyama Station, then transfer to the bus outside of the east exit of the station, and you will arrive at the museum in about 20 minutes. Or, it takes about 80 minutes via short-distance highway bus bound for Meiji-Mura from Nagoya Meitetsu Bus Centre.
（2）Experience Traditional Craft
Kaga Traditional Craft Village - Yunokuni no Mori (Ishikawa)
Situated in Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture, the theme park "Kaga Traditional Craft Village Yunokuni no Mori" is a facility where more than 50 types of traditional craft experiences can be enjoyed.
There are 11 buildings on the vast site of 420,000㎡, 5 of which have thatched roofs of over 100 years old. The “Ougon no Ma (Golden Room)” in the “Kinpaku no Kan (Gold Leaf House)” is covered with pure gold leaf on the ceilings and walls, and even the tatami mats are decorated with gold thread, where you can enjoy the best of the traditional crafts of Kanazawa. In addition, There are many creations and experiences that kids can enjoy, such as "Dorayaki Petit Experience” (10 pieces of Dorayaki (bean paste pancake), starting from 1,100 yen) where you stuff your favourite bean paste into a Dorayaki, and "Drawing Experience" (drawing & music box set starting at 1,920yen) where you draw your favourite picture and create a cube-shaped music box. *Experiences can be signed up on the day.
From early March to late November, the "Umbrella Sky Road" with a colourful umbrellas above it appears. It is popular as a photo spot. In addition, there is a big golden Maneki Neko (beckoning cat) in a music box, so don’t forget to take a photo with your family!
There are also places available to get strollers (rental) and nursing rooms, so families with infants can feel at ease. There is also a "Children Plaza" with lots of playground equipment such as slides, swings and seesaws available!
Address: Na-3-3 Awazu Onsen, Komatsu City, Ishikawa
Access: About 16 minutes by taxi from JR Kaga Onsen Station
（3）Feel the power of the Dinosaurs
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, is one of the largest dinosaur museums in Japan. The shiny, silver egg-shaped dome consists of three exhibition rooms, and has 44 dinosaur skeletons, a thousand over specimens, and a huge restored model on display.
The must-see exhibit is the Tyrannosaurus robot. Standing on two legs in the centre of the permanent exhibition room, adults and children are thrilled to see the huge body towering at over 7 metres moving violently as if it is threatening you! There is also a zone where you can touch real fossils (※this experience is temporarily suspended as of October 2020 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus), and in the outdoor dinosaur museum, fossil excavation can be experienced (60-minute course). Advance reservations are required (temporarily unavailable). English, Chinese, and Korean versions of the audio guide terminals are available for both adults and children, so be sure to make use of them (※Not available as of October 2020 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus infection).
Address: 51-11 Terao, Muroko-cho, Katsuyama-shi, Fukui Prefecture.
Access: From JR Fukui Station, take the Echizen Railway Katsuyama Eiheiji Line bound for Katsuyama for about an hour and get off at Katsuyama Station. It takes 15 minutes after transferring to the community bus, or about 10 minutes by taxi
※Currently, they have introduced a "reservation system", and the facility only allows admission with reservation.
（4）One of Japan's largest automobile-themed museums with unique exhibits
Motorcar Museum of Japan
The Motorcar Museum of Japan, one of Japan's largest automobile-themed museums, is located in Kaga Onsen village.
It is attractive as it exhibits about 500 famous cars collected from all around the world in the order of genre rather than manufacturer. In addition, "Toilets of the World" displays a total of 40 unique toilets from 15 countries around the world. There are also unique exhibits such as the "Mazda Capella" with its entire body covered with 1000 pieces of gold leaf, a traditional craft from the Ishikawa Prefecture. It is popular among kids as it’s possible to actually ride on a fire engine or police car (※As of October 2020, you cannot experience the ride in order to prevent spreading of the novel coronavirus). There is a "Miniature Cars of the World" corner where rare classic mini-cars from all around the world are displayed in the showcase on one of the walls. You can also buy car-related souvenirs such as products from the Tomica series. There’s even the Doraemon type solar car "Soraemon" and battery car "Q-car", so don’t forget to take photos with these unique cars!
Address: 40 Ikkanyama, Futatsunashi-machi, Komatsu City, Ishikawa
Access: Take the tour bus (CANBUS) from JR Kaga Onsen Station
Refer to the following for more information on the facilities mentioned in this article.
Must-go places in winter! A treasury of spectacular views in the Ishikawa・Gifu・Toyama area
Kaga Traditional Craft Village - Yunokuni no Mori:
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum:
Motorcar Museum of Japan: