Shiraoi Ainu Museum


Please note the museum has closed for renovation

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 Sapporo or Hakodate, take the train to Shiraoi station.

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.


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Published by Matthew Baxter

Matthew Baxter is a British travel author who has lived in and visited Japan for over a decade. Having traveled across the country, without much money, he has built up an extensive knowledge of budget travel here, and has also worked for many leading tourism companies. He also writes professionally for several websites and publications, such as the GaijinPot, All About and the Japan National Tourist Association.