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When dinosaurs and ski resorts meet

About Katsuyama
Photo: Takako Sakamoto / JT

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About Katsuyama

Katsuyama is a mountain city and the definition of Fukui Prefecture's "snow country" tag, as well as the location of one of the best dinosaur museums in the world.

The Fukui Prefecture Dinosaur Museum is the research hub of dinosaur fossils in Japan, and houses four floors of over forty completed skeletons. There, people of all ages can enjoy close-up views of excavations and listen to explanations regarding paleontology. The Katsuyama Dinopark nearby contains 24 full-scale dinosaur robots for visitors to have a thrilling Jurassic Park-esque experience.

For winter sports enthusiasts, the Ski Jam Katsuyama ski resort is open from mid-December to early April. Up to 12 skiing courses catered to beginners and advanced skiers are available and visitors can even take a break at a rest house, complete with a hot spring bath. Ski and snowboarding lessons are held at the resort and are popular among visitors.

The Katsuyama Castle in the city is one of the tallest in Japan and has over 700 years of history in its museum exhibits. Visitors can head to an observation deck on the 6th floor with spectacular views of Katsuyama, the Echizen Giant Buddha, and the Haku mountain range.

If you time your visit right, you may join in the Katsuyama Segicho Festival festivities. This 300-year-old festival held every February ushers in spring, and involves entertaining street performances. Along the banks of the beautiful Kuzuryu River, the largest river in Fukui Prefecture, visitors may view amazing cherry blossom trees in full bloom in spring, with carp streamers billowing in the wind.