Facility Information

National Ainu Park

An open-air center where you can experience the culture of the indigenous Ainu people

The National Ainu Park is an interactive open-air center where you can experience Ainu culture, which is intrinsically linked to the natural environment. You can watch traditional dances and take part in hands-on activities including performing arts, cooking and crafts. The park is also a space to relax and enjoy the splendor of nature while experiencing Ainu culture.

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National Ainu Park
Facility Overview

Some activities may be temporarily discontinued or subject to alteration depending on the weather and season or as part of our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Cultural Exchange Hall

Watch mukkuri(a kind of mouth harp) music and traditional Ainu dance − designated as Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties in Japan – together with other traditional Ainu performing arts recognized by UNESCO as elements of intangible cultural heritage.

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In addition to a range of activities for school groups, this facility hosts workshops where visitors can try cooking and playing musical instruments. You can also experience the world from the point of view of kamuy(spirit deities) through panoramic images on domed screens in the adjacent annex.

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Crafts Studio

Learn about Ainu crafts and witness demonstrations of techniques that have been handed down through the generations. Wood carving and embroidery workshops are also available, offering an accessible way to learn about the significance of different patterns in Ainu culture.

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Kotan(Traditional Ainu Village)

This area features a group of reconstructed cise (Ainu houses), where you can experience a traditional Ainu living space. Explore the inside of the buildings and listen to talks about the lives and culture of the Ainu people who lived in cise.

Path to the Ainu Spirit

Adorned with images of trees and animals, this corridor feels like a trail through the forest, representing the importance that Ainu culture places on coexisting with nature and offering a hint of the beautiful scenery you’ll see when you turn the corner and enter Upopoy.

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Gateway Square

Located at the end of the Gateway Square, this open-air space is a place to enjoy eating, drinking, and shopping.

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Entrance Center

In addition to the ticket office, the information desk and a rest area, the Entrance Center has a shop with a range of Ainu crafts and other items that make perfect souvenirs. Enjoy Ainu cuisine at a restaurant with panoramic views, or choose from the extensive menu at the food court.

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Cikisani Square

This square welcomes visitors with displays of traditional clothing and dancing. Enjoy performing arts such as traditional Ainu dance, recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage, and mukkuri (a kind of mouth harp) performances against the beautiful backdrop of Lake Poroto.

Plants in the park

More than 40 species of trees with connections to Ainu culture can be seen in the park alongside various wildflowers. Throughout history, the Ainu have collected plants for a a wide range of uses, including as tools for the home and everyday tasks, as ceremonial objects, and as food or medicine. Through these plants, you can experience how the Ainu live together with nature while enjoying the seasonal lakeside scenery.

Broadleaf Cattail

Broadleaf Cattail is a perennial plant that grows around water. It is harvested from summer to fall, dried and used to weave mats for everyday and ceremonial use.

Sargent’s Cherry

The bark of Sargent’s cherry has a beautiful shine. It is used as reinforcement during repairs and in sheaths for makiri (small knives).

Japanese Fantail Willow

The trunk of Japanese fantail willow is cut and shaved into inaw (ritual sticks with tufted wood shavings) to express thanks to the kamuy (spirit-deities).

Manchurian Elm

Manchurian elm is one source of fibers used to make clothing. Bark is peeled from the tree, torn into fine strips and made into yarn for weaving.

Japanese Elm

Wood from Japanese elm is used as fuel and for starting fires. It has a strong association with fire in folklore and oral literature.

Japanese Chestnut

In the past, the fruits from the Japanese chestnut trees were either boiled and eaten or dried and preserved. It is also said that the leaves and burrs could be boiled and taken as cough medicine.