Introducing Area Attractions: Upopoy – The National Ainu Museum and Park

Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park, set to open on 29 May 2020*, is the new national center for the revival and development of indigenous Ainu culture — an invaluable culture in Japan that is close to extinction.

The name Upopoy derives from the Ainu word for ‘singing in a large group.’ Located on the foreshore of Lake Potoro in Shiraoi, it will be the new home for learning about and revitalizing Ainu culture.

The first national museum dedicated to the Ainu people, its exhibits provide an extensive introduction to Ainu history and culture, expressed from an Ainu perspective. The museum and the associated National Ainu Park will welcome visitors to not only explore and learn about Ainu culture, but also experience it for themselves.

Various workshops and events will give visitors the opportunity to see and try Ainu dance, foods, crafts, and a special children’s program featuring traditional Ainu games. It will also be an opportunity to explore Ainu life in a natural setting and gain a deeper understanding of the Ainu relationship with nature while enjoying views of the nearby forest and terraced fields.

The photos above show some the activities visitors can enjoy at Upopoy. Clockwise from top left a chise or traditional Ainu home; traditional Ainu dance performance; carving a mukkuri, an Ainu mouth harp; firing an Ainu bow and arrow.
Upopoy is a great day trip from Takimotokan, just a 30-minute drive from our front door, or 12 minutes on the Super Hokuto/Suzuran Limited Express / 24 minutes on the local Muroran Line train from Noboribetsu Station. It is a great outing for enjoying the scenery around Noboribetsu Onsen, with interesting experiences to share as you relax in The Grand Bath and enjoy a delicious dinner in the Heart of Hokkaido.
Reserve your room now and come explore Hokkaido’s rich culture with us!

Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park
Opening Friday, 29 May 2020

Photos provided by The Foundation for Ainu Culture

* Due to COVID-19, the opening of Upopoy has been rescheduled from the original date of 24 April to 29 May 2020. Please see the Upopoy website for the latest information.