Less than 5 minutes on foot from Space World Station is Kitakyushu Museum of Natural and Human History. It is one of the largest natural history museums in western Japan, with a main theme being the evolution of our earth and its life forms. It is conveniently located close to my hotel Hotel Crown Palais Kitakyushu.
The museum is three stories high with the first two floors being the nature zone and the third floor being the history zone. Once you enter, you are greeted by the large skeletal reconstructions of various dinosaurs. In the front is the mighty T-Rex looking down on you. Right by its side is a long-necked dinosaur almost four times the size of the T-Rex. There are other skeletal reconstructions lined up in chronological order of existence. Those are located nearest to the entrance, and mammals, such as the mammoth found in the movie Ice Age, are in the back.
One of the highlight attractions of the museum is the time-travel room. You first go through a dark tunnel and reach an exhibition where computer-generated ancient fishes swim in a lake. Once you go a little further, you reach a large room that replicates the world and environment of the dinosaur age. Here you can enjoy a short show where the robot replica dinosaurs and animals actually move.
The reason I love this museum is the abundant animal models. From taxidermy to plastic replicas, you can find over 500 species of mammals, birds, fish, and insects. Most of the animal models are life-size, allowing you to compare yourself with them. There are also a large number of insects. Though I hate bugs, I found many of these to be beautiful and alluring. Some were so small I wondered how they were even able to be found.
On the third floor is the history zone that displays historical Japanese artifacts. You can find old-style Japanese houses from the Showa period 60 years ago. It shows how Japanese living spaces have changed, and you can learn about things such as tatami floors which still remain in many Japanese homes.
The entrance fee at the Kitakyushu Museum of Natural and Human History is a very reasonable 500 yen for adults, 300 yen for university and high school students, 200 yen for middle school and elementary school students, and free for anyone younger.
If you’re looking for an interesting, reasonably-priced, and fun place to visit in Kitakyushu, this museum is definitely a good choice.