The Ainu are the original inhabitants of Hokkaido, and they have a unique culture that they have preserved up to the present ... More
Hokkaido Ainu Center
The Ainu are the original inhabitants of Hokkaido, and they have a unique culture that they have preserved up to the present day. The Hokkaido Ainu Center houses an array of artifacts and implements, as well as clothes and accessories, that featured in the lives of the Ainu people. There are also photographs, some very old, and a multimedia presentation of Ainu ceremonies, music and dance. A visit to this center is well worth it; you will learn much about Japan's only indigenous race.
What makes it so special is not that it is a museum with artifacts over 1000 years old. It is not just the preservation but also the recreation of the lifestyle which was lost somewhere during the evolution of the civilization.
There are homes of all sizes recreated using the same layouts as original. There are same utensils, etc kept at the right places. Even the people/caretakers of the place wear the original clothes of that era. In one of the big houses, small skits are performed which reflect the life style of those days.
There are even dogs and bears domesticated. Mock fishes are also left for drying.
Then there is a frozen lake where there is an ice slide which takes more than 100 meters with just a 5 m slide.
This is a perfect retreat from the buzzing city life to quiet country side. Take the limited express train to Shiraoi from JR Sapporo station. About 57 minutes from Sapporo by limited express train.
I was in Sapporo in 1946-49, My father was in the 11 Airborne Div. at Camp Crawford I was 6 tears old in 1946. I can still remember the wonderfull bears that the Ainus carved in a small room at a department store in downtown Sapporo! This was a very good time in my young life, and a great place to have to lived. Sincerley James Gibson
This museum, is a fair distance outside the city, but it's an interesting stop especially if you're going that direction anyway to Lake Toya or near there to see the volcanos. The museum is full of information on the Ainu (first inhabitants of Hokkaido--sometimes referred to as indians). They also do some recreations with live shows of the average day of the Ainu people. Worth a look, but unless it's of strong interest to you, or you're going to be in the area, I'm not sure if I would say it's worth the trip from the city, if that's all you plan to do.
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