Photo copyright: ⓒCourtesy of The Foundation for Ainu Culture
Since time immemorial, the indigenous Ainu people have inhabited the northern region of the Japanese archipelago, particularly Hokkaido. Their ancient culture includes a unique language, religious beliefs centered on deep respect for nature, traditional dances, and spell-binding rituals. The Ainu are also skilled craftspeople, with exceptional skills in wood carving and embroidery.
Akanko Ainu Kotan, an inhabited settlement located in Akan-Mashu National Park, is one of the most authentic places in Japan to experience Ainu culture. In this lakeside village you’ll discover traditional Ainu theater, music, cuisine, oral history and more.
To learn about the history and wide-ranging cultural practices of the Ainu, there’s no better place to visit than Upopoy (National Ainu Museum and Park). The facility includes hands-on workshops, performance spaces, interactive exhibitions and much more.
The Arashiyama Hiking and Ainu Culture Tour offers you a chance to discover the natural wonders that have influenced Ainu culture for millennia. Scour the slopes of Mount Arashiyama, and afterwards learn more about the Ainu’s story at the local museum.
The Ainu have always lived harmoniously with the natural world. Today, we could learn a great deal from their culture about how to live sustainably, alongside and not against nature.
Upopoy (National Ainu Museum and Park)
2-3 Wakakusa-cho, Shiraoi-machi, Shiraoi-gun, Hokkaido
Akanko Ainu Kotan
4-7-19 Akankoonsen, Akan-cho, Kushiro-shi, Hokkaido
West 4, North 46, Higashikawa, Hokkaido
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