National Parks of Japan Protecting our natural heritage for future generations

Myoko-TogakushiMyoko-Togakushi renzan National Park


Museum/Aquarium,etc. Nojiri-ko Museum

Nojiri-ko Museum
Seeking the hunters of the Naumann elephant (Palaeoloxodon naumanni) .

Many fossils have been excavated of the Naumann elephants (Palaeoloxodon naumanni ) and Yabe's Giant Deer, representative of Ice Age fauna 40,000 years ago. Stone and bone utensils made by Lake Nojiri humans, who are thought to have hunted the elephant and other animals, have also been found. For such reasons, Lake Nojiri is regarded as the remains of a hunting ground. The pollen and insect fossils that have been discovered in this area have helped provide a detailed picture of what Lake Nojiri was like in the Ice Age. You can envision the world of the Ice Age from these excavated fossils and relics.

Facility Outline

Open:9:00 – 17:00 (Open regular hours from March 20 – November 30)
9:00 – 16:00 (Open winter hours from December 1 – March 19)
Closed:During the New Year holiday and the last day of the month (except for March, April, July, and August)
Usage Fee:Requires a Fee
Foreign Languages Accommodated:(Pamphlet only) English, Chinese and Korean
Address:Nojiri 287-5, Shinano Town, Kamiminochi County, Nagano Prefecture
A fossilized molar from the Naumann elephant (Palaeoloxodon naumanni)
A fossilized molar from the Naumann elephant (Palaeoloxodon naumanni)
The 19th excavation (2012)
The 19th excavation (2012)
Message from the Facility
Excavation at Lake Nojiri began 54 years ago, and continues today. Among the notable fossils that have been found are the Naumann elephant (Palaeoloxodon naumanni) and Yabe's Giant Deer. Association members of the Nojiriko Tomo-no-Kai (“Friends of Lake Nojiri”) throughout Japan, gather once every two years to perform excavations, the results of which are included in the Nojiri-ko Museum. While small, the museum is right next to the excavation site and always displays the latest results of excavations. Interested parties are encouraged to join a local chapter of the “Friends of Lake Nojiri” and take part in excavating the Naumann elephant (Palaeoloxodon naumanni).

Director, Nojiri-ko Museum
Yoichi Kondo