On Sunday I visited the "Dinosaurs of Gondwana" exhibition at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo's Ueno district.
The exhibition has been going since March 14, and will finish on June 21. In spite of being in its fourth month already, it was absolutely packed with curious visitors to view the ancient bones, and partial-to-full reconstructions of them.
From dinosaurs the size of chickens to massive beasts with no parallel on present-day earth, the skeletons of these denizens of a disappeared world keenly stimulate the imagination and reignite in the viewer an appreciation of the magnificence of nature - and how it did very nicely - grandly, in fact - without us for millions and millions of years.
The exhibition was extensive, audio guides (Japanese language only) were there for hire, there were plenty of staff in attendance, and everything was displayed very effectively.
One thing the foreign visitor has to get used to in Japan is the snail's pace at which visitors to museums view things, no matter how many people are waiting behind them. But the same people who stand there interminably hogging an exhibit will wait with equal equanimity behind other people doing the same at the next exhibit - so it all comes out in the wash.
The shop at the end of the circuit through the Dinosaurs of Gondwana exhibition seems almost as big as the exhibition itself, and is jammed packed with stuff - mostly trash, as far as I could see - for the hundreds of kids there with their parents.
All in all, though, the Dinosaurs of Gondwana at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo's Ueno district is well worth the 1,500 yen for adults. Science meets history and what seems close to fantasy in the space of one very memorable hour.
After it was over I wandered through Ueno Park. Here is one of the sights.
For more details about the Dinosaurs in Gondwana exhibition, and what else is on right now in Tokyo, check What's on in Tokyo and Kyoto.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
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