Akan Ainu Kotan, Hokkaido
Akan Ainu Kotan is in Akan hot springs town on the eastern part of Hokkaido, on the shores of Lake Akan, famous for the Marimo. In addition to the Ainu theater, the Ainu living center which reproduces the Ainu house, the folk craft store, the restaurant etc. line up and welcomes travelers warmly. “Ainu Kotan” is a settlement where Ainu people live. Among Ainu Kotan in Hokkaido, it is here Akan Ainu Kotan which has the biggest number of houses in Hokkaido in which those with 36 and about 120 persons live.
The Ainu race honoring nature and coexisting with nature. The Ainu dance born from the life there are various things expressing animals and nature, hunting, play and joy. Representing joy and sadness in the body, such as singing and dancing, was indispensable to the Ainu. “Traditional Ainu dance” which has been handed down since long ago has been designated as an important intangible ethnic cultural asset of the country. In addition, it is a traditional Ainu racial culture registered also as a UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Ainu dance is not only a fun way to enjoy themselves but also expressions of respect and appreciation for ancestors and gods.
The Ainu theater “Ikor” is a facility serving as a base for information dissemination as well as inheriting the history and culture of the Ainu. (“Ikor” means “treasure” in Ainu language.) In “Ikor”, “Traditional Ainu dance”, “Puppet show played by Akan Ainu,” “Festival of Iomante” are performed. On the stage of the venue, there is a waterway floating on the Ainu people ‘s unique canoe, and furthermore the flame flare up, you can feel the presence of the festival. “Ikor” is used as a place to interact with local residents and tourists from home and abroad.
If you come to Akan Ainu Kotan, you should drop in for shopping and Ainu cuisine. In the shopping district, there are about 30 shops with folk craft shops and restaurants. Traditional wood carvings and embroidery, each with its own unique folk goods. At the restaurant, you can taste Ainu cuisine.
Here, viewing “Traditional Ainu dance” and a festival of the Ainu “Festival of Iomante” is a recommended event, but that is not the only event. There is also an experiential plan that you can enjoy tasting the culture of Ainu without difficulty being held at all times. There are abundant experience plans, such as “Ainu Traditional Musical Instrument Mukkuri Production”, “Ainu Embroidery Original Coaster Creation Experience”, and Ainu tradition of wood carving experience. Why do not you try participating when you visit the eastern part of Hokkaido?
|Name:||Akan Ainu Kotan|
|Address:||Akanchoakankonsen 4-7-19 Kushiro, Hokkaido 085-0467 Japan|
|Access:||JR Senmo-honsen Line “Kushiro-eki Station” (90 minutes by car)|
|Tel:||(+81) 154-67-2727 (Akan Ainu Industrial Arts Cooperative Association)|
There is also a fee-based facility.
Please refer the official web page.