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Hakodate City Northern Ethnic Museum

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4.2 (547)

Japan, 〒040-0053 Hokkaido, Hakodate, Suehirochō, 21−7 函館北方民族資料館

This museum exhibits materials for northern area people, such as the Ainu, living along the Sea of Okhotsk. You can try the Ainu’s traditional papercutting, or make and play their traditional musical instruments. Furthermore, this building was built as the Hakodate Branch of the Bank of Japan around 1926. You can see its traces in the entrance hall and other halls in the building.

hourglassDuration: 01h00min

phone+81 138-22-4128
indoor
indoor
paid
paid
daytime
daytime
museums
museums

clockOpening hours

Mondays: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Tuesdays: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Wednesdays: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Thursdays: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Fridays: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Saturdays: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Sundays: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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4.2
547 review(s)
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Nath Juneille a week ago

Amazing and well worth the entry fee. There’s a pretty good collection of artefacts and information about Ainu culture. The descriptions come in multiple languages—English is one of them. The exhibits extend up to the third floor. There is a toilet, and lift for those who come with kids or the elderly. The building itself also has a historical value, which you can feel and see when you visit. I especially like the Director’s notes, it is really a display of enthusiasm and interest of someone who really loves their job. This is the first time I’ve read museum descriptions that have a “personality” while keeping the educational tone, and it’s really refreshing. The notes also reference Golden Kamuy, not surprising considering it puts Ainu culture at the forefront of its plot. There’s a few native birds (Shimaenaga) in Golden Kamuy character costumes, very cute. Definitely a must-go when you’re in Hakodate!

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ZinBok YN 3 weeks ago

Museum of native folks in northern regions, including eastern Siveria, Kamchatka, Sakhalin, islands of Kuril, Bering. You could find (really) beautiful handwork clothings and items. There are many unclear history in this area which gives people room for lots of imagination, that attracted me. The building itself is an old Bank of Japan brunch - you can find various fine works. Though I think this place should be refurnished a bit and make the place more attractive - I hope this place will be rediscovered by many tourists. Just wondering why they are not collaborating with the famous comic which features the northern culture.

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KC Ng 11 months ago

A very interesting museum about the Northern Peope’s culture and way of living. They displayed some very impressive artefacts which showed Hokkaido was such a harsh place to live in before the modern times. There’s also some interesting facts about the historical bank building which housed the museum.

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Amber a year ago

Very cold in January🥶 Apparently, "Ezo" is the original Ainu name for Hokkaido. You can learn a lot about Hokkaido's history and the native Ainu people here. Each plaque has an English translation of the museum director's comments. They seem like a very playful and enthusiastic person😂 You can get Ainu merchandise too, but I recommend the Ainu souvenir shop Kamuiikoro カムイイコロ nearby if it's open.

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R. a year ago

This was a much bigger and more thorough museum than I had expected. It went into lots of aspects about the lives of northern peoples, from clothing to language to daily life. I was glad to see that the museum acknowledged that the encounters between these peoples and the Japanese was often explicitly colonial in nature, and that some of the Japanese sources that are left behind and that are relied on to tell us about the people thus have to be handled carefully. There was information in English pretty much everywhere even if some of the translations were sometimes a bit off. There were 2 videos as well, both very informative, although one of them didn't have English subtitles. The captions, which are written by the director, are some of the funniest and cutest I've ever read in a museum. It was a bit weird to have the director cracking jokes in the captions but I found it quite endearing too! Overall, really great museum :) There is an entrance fee but you can couple it with some of the other attractions in the area and save money. I got a student discount too which made my visit to 3 places about 300 yen, and I reckon that's a bargain.