Ainu Culture Walking Guided Tour
through Central Sapporo
Min. 15, Max. 25
- Follow the traces of Ainu life along the Sakushukotoni River
- Experience modern expressions of Ainu culture
- Build and play your own mukkuri, a traditional Ainu musical instrument
- Enjoy traditional Ainu cuisine cooked using local ingredients
Sapporo City, Hokkaido / Around Sapporo Station / Hokkaido University Campus
Guide : Kikue Harada
Hokkaido was formerly called Ezochi, and the indigenous Ainu people lived by means of hunting and fishing. We can get a sense that the Ainu had great respect for nature and desired to live harmoniously from their belief that gods called Kamui could be found throughout the surrounding environment.
Sapporo is the starting point of your trip to Hokkaido. By walking with a guide with Ainu ancestry and deepening your understanding of the Ainu culture that is still alive in the city center, you will be able to better enjoy your adventure travel across other areas of Hokkaido.
Departure time 09:00 am / Estimated return time 4:00 pm
There are many place names derived from the Ainu language all across Hokkaido, and the name “Sapporo” is thought to be derived from the Ainu sat-poro, which means “large and dry”, or sari- polo-pet, which means “its reed bed, large, river”.
This walking tour traces the past and present of Ainu culture with Ms. Kikue Harada, a guide who is also active as an Ainu singer. We will meet at Sapporo Station in the city center at 9:00 am, and explore the area around the station and Hokkaido University, which has remnants of sites near rivers and springs where the Ainu once lived.
At the opening of the tour, we will appreciate the works of contemporary Ainu artists exhibited at Sapporo Station with explanations and commentary from Ms. Harada. The Ainu have a rich and varied culture, including their own language, distinctive decorative patterns, songs and dances, and many other cultural treasures. In recent years, the Ainu have created new cultural expressions with modern sensibilities, still in keeping with their traditions.
The Ainu used to live a comfortable life around the Sakushukotoni River, which flowed through what is now the campus of Hokkaido University. Hokkaido University is a comprehensive university which started out in 1876 as the Sapporo Agricultural College. It is believed that there was an indigenous village here more than 1,000 years ago, based on discoveries of salmon traps, earthenware and stone tools, seeds of cultivated plants, and other artifacts that have been made on the premises. We will walk along the Hokkaido University Central Lawn, viewing its many shikerebe (Amur cork) trees, which are used as herbs in Ainu cuisine, and then move on to the Hokkaido University Museum.
Lunch will be served with special traditional Ainu cuisine in the café of the Hokkaido University Museum.（Special menu for DOA in ATWS2021）
Tour Operator / Contact
Ezosika Travel Co., Ltd.
Minami 1-jo Nishi 17-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
- Official web site
We are a Sapporo-based company that provides tour operations and tourism consulting. It was founded in 2020 to play a part in sustainable tourism in Hokkaido in the midst of the turmoil caused by COVID-19. In the post-COVID era, the tourism industry must make drastic changes, and it is necessary to flexibly respond to changing situations at unprecedented speeds. Like the sika deer, which is endemic to Hokkaido, we meet the expectations of our customers with strength and broadness of perspective.
Specifically, we provide clients with highly unique experiences, primarily in Hokkaido. We offer various outdoor activities tailored to fit client needs, such as guided backcountry skiing. For adventure travel, we provide comprehensive coordination. In collaboration with local research institutes and artists, we are also planning tours that convey the deep spirituality of Ainu culture. Furthermore, in order to convey the charm of Hokkaido from various angles, we sell folk crafts, “made in HOKKAIDO”.