Fodor's Expert Review Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples
Hokkaido is the southermost point of the northern community of the Ainu. This museum's delightful exhibits link the polar indigenous people, such as the Ainu, Inuits, and Sami (or Lapps) in a way that shows surprising similarities over wide spaces. Displays compare and contrast the kitchen implements, clothing, and hunting tools of various cultures from northern Japan, the neighboring Russian island of Sakhalin, and the northern parts of America and Eurasia. English-language pamphlets are available. Of particular interest are videos depicting life in the frozen north, such as building igloos. The museum is 5 km (3 miles) from JR Abashiri Station on Tento-san. By bus from the station, take the KankoShisetsu Meguri to the Hoppo Minzoku Hakubutsukan Mae stop, which is right in front of the museum.