The Shiraoi Ainu Museum (アイヌ民族博物館) offers an interesting glimpse into the Ainu people, the original inhabitants of Hokkaido and nearby Russian areas. The Ainu people had, and still do have, a very different culture, religion and traditions to the rest of Japan, as well as a unique language. The site has a recreation of an Ainu village, traditional music performances and a good museum with lots of artifacts and information.
Budget travel tips
- The trains are not so good to and from Shiraoi station, so check times at Hyperdia before.
- Shiraoi Ainu Museum is near Noboribetsu Onsen, so worth a visit before or after depending on how much time you have.
Cost: Adults 800 yen, Children 350-600 yen
Open: 8:45am – 5:00pm
Closed: Dec 29th – Jan 5th
How to get there
From Shiraoi station, take a left and take the green foot bridge over the track. Walk down to the main road and take a right. Take a left just after the lake (you will start to see signs to the museum).
From other areas, it’s best to take the train as well.