Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park of Ainu Culture and Heritage – First of its Kind in Japan

Press Room > 2019

Scheduled to be opened in April next year, the museum and park which are set against the natural surroundings of Lake Poroto in Hokkaido, will showcase the custom and tradition of the Ainu tribe that has been officially recognised by the Japanese government as an indigenous people of the country.

Upopoy which is the name given to the museum is an Ainu term that means singing in a large group.  The mission of the museum is to bring people together to understand and learn about Ainu culture and history.

When completed, the museum and park will house a hall with exhibitions on display aided by audio and visual presentation on the Ainu people.  Adjacent is a park on a site of about 10 hectres that includes an open-air museum where you can actually experience the traditional life of the Ainu people through the reproduction of a settlement on the shore of Lake Poroto.

You can easily spend a day at Upopoy viewing the exhibits and enjoying the scenery and outdoor sights.

Eventually the Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park in Shiraoi will becomea base for Ainu culture and tradition.  Currently information on the Ainu people can be found in several smaller museums and cultural centres across Hokkaido.

The Ainu people are to be found in Shiraoi, a town that is also a tourist destination with its sea, lakes, rivers, forests and hot springs.  The town is keen on preserving the culture of its inhabitants, the Ainu and the Upopoy National Museum and Park, which is fully funded by the Japanese government, will keep alive the heritage of the Ainu people.