Apr. 16 2023

Ainu Experience in Hokkaido

With the reopening of the Ainu Museum happening next April, more and more people have become interested in Ainu history and culture. With the current museum closed, what are the other ways can you experience the culture and immerse yourself in the rich history of the indigenous people of Hokkaido? 


Going to museums often means wondering through collections or exhibitions, but that’s not always the case. At Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Museum, for example, visitors can also learn traditional dance. Additionally, traditional clothes can be rented (for free!), so visitors can learn to sing and dance in them. If you’re interested in learning a bit of the Ainu culture, definitely be sure to spend 40 minutes to participate in traditional Ainu song and dance at Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Museum! [embed][/embed] Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Museum Address: 11 Chome Hokumoncho, Asahikawa, Hokkaido Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm


Woodcarving might seem like a scary and daunting task to undertake on a holiday, but at Nibutani Kogeikan, the process is easy-peasy as instructors take their time to slowly guide you through the technical aspects, as well as teaching you the cultural significance of the patterns. [embed][/embed]


If picking up a pick and hammer for some woodcarving at the Nibutani Kogeikan isn’t your thing, then how about some needle work? Like the patterns that you’ll find on carved items, Ainu patterns can be also most often be found on embroidered items such as clothes. Pattern differ from region to region, and techniques differ too! No preparation is needed, and you won’t even need a working knowledge of sewing as the instructor will guide you through the 2-hour process step-by-step! [embed][/embed] Nibutani Kogeikan Address: 61-6 Nibutani Biratoricho Ainu Culture Information Center, Biratori-cho, Saru-gun, Hokkaido (Located near the Nibutani Ainu Culture Museum) Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm (except Dec 31-Jan5)


Food is often said to be the heart of culture, so, if you want to get to the heart of it, you’ve got to start digging in! At Umizora No Haru you can enjoy Hokkaido food and sake, but not only that! For 5,000 yen, you can book yourself a 120-min Ainu dinning course that includes ohau (stew) and chitatap (pounded or mashed salmon head). Although food in Hokkaido now is mostly not of Ainu origin, that’s not to say you won’t be able to experience it at all! Additionally, the restaurant was established in collaboration with the Ruyka Project by the Ainu Museum in Shiraoi Town and Hokkaido Association of Hokkaido Produced Sake (Pashuport), so you can be assured of its authenticity! To get a little taste of this, just remember to book one day ahead, and that you’re a group of two and above! [embed][/embed] Umizora No Haru Address: Hokkaido, Sapporo, Chuo Ward, Minami 3 Jonishi, 4 Chome−17−3 J・BOX Building 5 th Floor Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 5pm-11.30pm Contact: 050-3491-5713