About Naramachi Dung Beetle Gallery

Dung Beetles are insects that have been living together with deer in Nara Park since even before the Daibutsu was built.

When Nara was declared capital in 710, there were already deer in Mount Kasuga and Mount Mikasa. Dung beetles must have lived there too.

The Daibutsu was built at Todaiji Temple and soon after the capital was moved to Kyoto. During the Genpei War between the Taira and Minamoto clans, the Daibutsu was destroyed in a fire. In the early Meiji period, Nara was absorbed by Sakai Prefecture. In 1988 the Silk Road Expo was held at Nara Park and in the near future the Linear Chuo Shinkansen line will be running through the city. There is no doubt Nara has changed radically. However, dung beetles have continuously inhabited Nara through its ups and downs for over 1300 years.

I wanted to introduce everyone to these insects called dung beetles, which have been living together with deer in Nara Park since even before the Daibutsu was built. For this reason, I created the Naramachi Dung Beetle Gallery so that people could appreciate how valuable the work they have been carrying out for centuries is. For me there could be no bigger pleasure than you thinking these small insects have as much charm as butterflies, rhinoceros beetles or stag beetles after observing the beautiful colors and curious shapes of the various dung beetles inhabiting our world.

A bug lover since I was child, this is a dream I have had for around 30 years while working as a company employee. With the Naramachi Dung Beetle Museum that dream has come true. I am finally opening the museum thanks to the support of a lot of people. It would make me extremely happy if children could appreciate the dung beetles which have been behind the scenes of Nara's beautiful nature for over 1300 years. 

Nara Park, the location of the Dung Beetle Museum

Together with Kinkasan (Migayi Prefecture) and Miyajima (Hiroshima Prefecture), Nara Park is one of the 3 Meccas for dung beetle lovers in Japan.

Ancient Nara boasted extremely important shrines and temples such as Kasuga Taisha, Kofukuji Temple, and Todaiji Temple, located on very vast grounds. Despite historical upheavals, humans and nature have maintained a delicate balance in this area. Thanks to that, the environment we see today has not changed much. While Nara is a major urban center with a population of 360,000 people, next to the city Nara Park remains a tremendously valuable natural environment for which we can be proud in front of the world.

Approximately 160 species of dung beetles are present in Japan, out of which over 60 have been confirmed in Nara Prefecture. Because of the many species that live in it, together with Kinkasan (Migayi Prefecture) and Miyajima (Hiroshima Prefecture), Nara Park is considered one of the 3 Meccas for dung beetle lovers in Japan. As everyone knows, this is a place where many animals (including deer) live, but compared with the 15 species of Kinkasan and the 14 species of Miyajima, the number of dung beetle species here is staggering. This is why Nara Park is Japan's Mecca for dung beetle lovers.

Dung Beetle Museum's Director Profile

Keiichi Nakamura, the Prince of Dung Beetles

I have liked living things ever since I was a child and I set up an insect club in junior high school. The research I did at that time received the Japan Student Science Award (Yomiuri Shimbun) for Nara Prefecture. 

July 2016
After working at a financial institution for 26 years, I took an early retirement and went back to my hometown Nara.

July 2017
I held the Dung Beetles of Nara and the World exhibition in the gallery at the front entrance of Nara City Hall.

July 2018
I opened the Naramachi Dung Beetle Gallery in Minamikido-cho, Nara City, fulfilling my longtime dream.

  • Obtained Nature Experience Activity Leader (NEAL) qualification from the non-profit organization Council for Outdoor & Nature Experiences
  • Obtained the Nature Observation Advisor Certification from non-profit organization Sizen Daigaku


Naramachi Dung Beetle Gallery (open only Saturday and Sunday afternoons)

Naramachi Dung Beetle Gallery is located in the southwest area of Naramachi neighborhood, which still has many old merchant's houses, right next to Naramachi Sound Museum and Naramachi Mechanical Toy Museum. One out of two visitors came into the Museum saying: “I didn’t know there was a place like this....” During business hours there is a sign facing the main street, but it is very discreet, so you might miss it. You are on the right track if you find Nanto Mizumoto’s altar equipment store. From there, follow the south wall to a 1.5m wide unpaved alley and walk about 15 meters. There you will see the entrance to the world of dung beetles.

■ Opening Hours
Saturdays: 13:00-18:00   Sundays: 13:00-18:00

■ Entrance Fee
Adults: 300 yen   Children: 100 yen

■ How to Get to the Museum

  • 9 minutes south of Konishi Sakura Street from Kinki Nippon Tetsudou Nara Station.
  • 15 meters from the east entrance of the alley next to Nanto Mizumoto
  • 10 minutes east of Sanjo Street from the JR Nara Station, 5 minutes south of Café de Crié, 15 meters from the east entrance of the alley next to Nanto Mizumoto
  • 40 meters west of Naramachi Voice Museum
  • 25 meters northeast of Naramachi Voice Museum's parking lot
  • 80 meters south of Naramachi Mechanical Toy Museum



土曜日:13:00~18:00 日曜日:13:00~18:00

大人:300円 子供(小学生以下):100円


  • 近鉄奈良駅から小西さくら通りを南へ9分
    水本生長堂の横の路地を東入ル 15m
  • JR奈良駅から三条通りを東へ10分、カフェ・ド・クリエを南へ5分 水本生長堂の横の路地を東入ル 15m
  • ならまち音声館の西 40m
  • ならまち音声館駐車場の北東 25m
  • 奈良町からくりおもちゃ館の南 80m