UPOPOY (National Ainu Museum and Park) opened on 12th July, 2020.
Upopoy is Japan's first national museum established
as a base for the reconstruction and development of Ainu culture.
Today, I would like to introduce this place
where you can experience the Ainu culture on the shores of Lake Poroto.
Upopoy is located in Shiraoi, about an hour's drive from Sapporo and about 40 minutes from New Chitose Airport.
There is a parking lot for 500 yen each time.
Path to the Ainu Spirit(いざないの回廊)
A place that appears immediately after passing through the parking lot
and the place for checking the body temperature!
The road continued like being in the deep forest of Hokkaido.
How about looking for the shadows of various animals that are hiding.
After passing through the Path to the Ainu Spirit, Gateway Square welcomes visitors.
Some shops sell simple snacks, desserts, and souvenirs.
There are restaurants, a souvenir shop, and ticket booths.
From the paid area, you can enjoy a museum where you can learn about the history and culture of the Ainu,
programs where you can experience various things,
and the beautiful nature with Lake Poroto.
You need 2 tickets to enjoy Upopoy 100%!
That is Upopoy admission ticket (charged) and museum admission ticket (free).
The museum has a limit of 200 people per hour, and reservations are required.
If you plan to go on weekends and holidays, I recommend making a reservation in advance before visiting.
National Ainu Museum
There is a theater, library, museum shop, etc. on the 1st floor,
as well as general information, a nursing room, and coin operated lockers.
There is a permanent exhibition room and a special exhibition room on the 2nd floor.
You can go to the 2nd floor after scanning the QR code of the museum admission ticket (free) on the 1st floor.
Please note that you will not be able to enter after 1 hour or more of the time indicated on the museum admission ticket.
The Panoramic Lobby on the 2nd floor can be seen the whole Poroto Lake.
Permanent Exhibition Room
Without using flash, I could take pictures freely.
All the exhibits are structured to speak from the perspective of the Ainu people is saying "us",
and are also written in the Ainu Kana in the explanation.
*The Ainu language is written in a modified version of the Japanese katakana syllabary.
The permanent exhibition explores six themes from an Ainu perspective: Language, Universe, Lives, History, Work, and Exchange.
Special Exhibition Room
It seems that various exhibitions will be held in the special exhibition room while changing the theme.
It was the content of analyzing Ainu technology with an X-ray CT device on the day I visited.
For more information, please go to Upopoy and check directly!
There are many craft programs.
At the workshop, along with explanations on Ainu handicrafts, craftsmen demonstrates the production of folk crafts,
and you will be able to observe the techniques that have been passed down for a long time.
You can also feel free to experience wood carving and embroidery workshops,
offering an accessible way to learn about the significance of different patterns in Ainu culture.
On this day, I was able to see the Ainu kimono being made.
Kotan（Traditional Ainu Village）
It is an area where you can experience the traditional living space of the Ainu by reproducing the Cise (houses) group.
You can participate in and tour the ritual. I couldn't try on the folk costumes and take pictures by Covid19.
During the tour, I was informed that I could participate
in Explanation of the Ainu Culture and Way of Life: Stories of the Kotan
for free at Porocise.
There are many other programs running all day, so please join it according to your schedule.
(Some programs are charged and reservations are required)
Wonderful view of Lake Poroto
At the "Plant Garden" in Upopoy, only Akitabuki announced spring in the beginning of April.
When you visit Upopoy in Shiraoi, please go with the car of World Net Rent-A-Car!
UPOPOY, National Ainu Museum & Park
Address：2-3 Wakakusa-cho, Shiraoi-cho, Shiraoi-gun, Hokkaido, 059-0902
Opening hours：Check here as it depends on the time of year
Closed：Monday（or a business day on or after Tuesday if national holiday）