Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Memorial Hall

Museum in Asahikawa

Built in 1916 and thus just a few years past its 100th anniversary, this museum is less a collection of artefacts (though it has those too) and more the story of a local Ainu family desperate to keep the old ways alive; there are many fascinating, unstaged photographs from the early 20th century. Its founder was Kaneto Kawamura, an Ainu chief and master surveyor, who helped lay the tracks for many challenging rail projects in Japan; he used his savings to start the museum.

Take bus 24 from stop 14 in front of JR Asahikawa Station to the Ainu Kinenkan-mae stop (¥190, 15 minutes, hourly).