Pokémon Fossil Museum

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Dogasu's Backpack | Features | Pokémon Fossil Museum

The Pokémon Fossil Museum (ポ ケモン化石博物館) is the name given to an art exhibition traveling around Japan from 2021 until at least 2023. The exhibit invites visitors to compare and contrast Pokémon and their fossils with the dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures on which they're modeled.

The official website (in English!) for the exhibit can be found here.

I was able to go to the exhibit while it was in Tokyo in May 2022 and so I'd like to share my experiences.

The Concept

I think the quickest way to understand what "Pokémon Fossil Museum" is, exactly, is to provide a translation of one of the welcome messages posted at the entrance to the exhibit:

Welcome to the Pokémon Fossil Museum! In the Pocket Monsters series there are these mysterious creatures known as "Pokémon," and among them are some that can be revived from excavated fossils and become your friends. What if we were to try comparing those Pokémon with the ancient creatures we discovered from fossils (in other words, prehistoric life) in our own world...? There are bound to be some similarities between the two!

The exhibit you're about to see showcases those Pokémon that have been revived from fossils in the Pokémon world alongside fossils and other prehistoric life from our own world, side by side. You'll meet four professors studying the prehistoric life in our world, starting with Dr. Aiba. Together, you all will look at both Pokémon fossils and real world fossils and search for the similarities and the differences between the two.

It's the world of Pokémon and Paleontology! Let's go!!

The "four professors" mentioned above are four new professor characters created just for Pokémon Fossil Museum whose artwork can be seen on many of the placards scattered throughout.

The exhibit, which is being held in science museums throughout Japan, displays both real world fossils and dinosaur bones alongside statues and other recreations of the Pokémon that are based on them. See a recreation of a Kabuto fossil right next to a real world fossil of a horseshoe crab! Or a Torideps statue beside a stegosaurus skull! And so on and so on.

The venues

At the moment the "Pokémon Fossil Museum" is scheduled to go through five cities throughout Japan, though the wording on the official website makes it seem as if more cities will be added at a later date.

Hokkaido Prefecture
Mikasa City Museum (三笠市立博物館)
July 4th, 2021 ~ September 20th, 2021
Official website, which offers an interactive virtual tour of the museum that is absolutely worth clicking through.
Shimane Prefecture
The Shimane Nature Museum of Mt. Sanbe (島根県立三瓶自然館サヒメル)
October 9th, 2021 ~ January 30th, 2022
Official website
National Museum of Nature and Science (国立科 学博物館)
March 13th, 2022 ~ June 19th, 2022

Official website
Aichi Prefecture
Toyohashi Museum of Natural History (豊橋市自然史 博物館)
July 16th, 2022 ~ November 6th, 2022
Official website
Oita Prefecture
Oita Prefectural Art Museum (大分県立美術館)
December 10th, 2022 ~ January 24th, 2023 (tentative)
Official website

Tickets for the exhibit have to be bought in advance; you can't just go to the museum on a whim and expect to be able to get in. The exhibit in Tokyo started selling tickets about two weeks ahead of time but would sell out literally within minutes. I failed to get a ticket my first few tries until I learned that you basically have to be on the museum's website exactly when they start selling tickets (at 10:00 AM) to even have a chance.

Once I finally got my ticket for a visit on Thursday, May 5th 2022 I went and took the pictures seen below. Click on an image below to be taken to the full gallery.

Front entrance

Individual Pokémon exhibits
Miscellaneous wall art


Since this was the Tokyo version of the exhibit the layout and the actual items on display may differ from what you may see reported from other museums and/or promotional material.

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