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Kijihiki Highland/きじひき高原

Hokuto city is located east of Hakodate and it will hold new Shinkansen bullet train station in 2015. One of its touristic attractions is Kijihiki highland which commands panoramas of Mt. Hakodate, Mt. Komagatake, Ono plain, Hakodate bay, etc.

The pictures below are taken from the observatory. Each can be enlarged by clicking them.
きじひきからみた函館山
This shows Mt. Hakodate in the middle.

きじひきからみた駒ヶ岳
Mt. Komagatake and Lake Onuma can be seen in this picture.

きじひき観音像
At the observatory, you can find statues of Bodhisattvas, buddhist statues which were donated by local pioneers.



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Hakodate in the old days

The other day, I visited Hakodate City Museum in Hakodate park. There, I was really interested in an enlarged old photograph of Hakodate.
昔の函館写真
You can see Benten Fort in the photo below. A pentagonal fort used to be in the Hakodate harbor.
弁天台場と駒ヶ岳
You can see Mt. Komagatake, too.

In the next photo, you can find so many masts of sailing boats.
函館港

Has the coast line of the Omori beach changed?
大森浜

The photo below was takes at the intersection of Yachimanzaka Slope.
八幡坂前の昔の写真

A curator there taught me that you couldn't find anyone in these photos because of the shutter speed.

Hakodate City Museum of Northern peoples/北方民族資料館

アイヌ衣装
If you are interested in Ainu people, this museum is must see. You can see beautiful clothes and utensils they used there. The Ainu are indigenous people living by hunting and fishing and had developed their unique culture until the immigration of Japanese. Through the things displayed at this museum, you can learn a lot about not only the Ainu but other northern people who lived north of Hokkaido.

Before, shooting photos was only allowed limited area, but recently you are allowed to take pictures in any exhibition rooms. But please refrain from flashing.

The costumes below are my favorites. They were used by a northern people called Wilta.
ウイルタの衣装1

ウイルタの衣装2

ウイルタのバッグ


Address: 21-7 Suehiro-cho, Hakodate
Access: 1 minute-walk from Suehiro-cho streetcar stop
Open : 9:00~19:00(April-October), 9:00~17:00(November-March)
Close: December 31 through January 3
Closed days for fiscal year 2008: Please refer to the following site.
http://www.zaidan-hakodate.com/hoppominzoku/kyuukannbi2.html
Admission: 300yen for adult 150yen for student
Combination Tickdet offers a little discount.
No parking space, but there is a pay car park across the street. 200yen par hour.
Web site: http://www.zaidan-hakodate.com/hoppominzoku/min.htm

The building was built in 1926 as the Hakodate Branch of the Nippon Bank. Now it functions as a museum which displays various important things related to the Ainu, one of the Northern peoples who have been lived in Hokkaido.

Ainu Design Paper Cutting Out Experience/アイヌ文様切り紙体験

The other day, I visited Museum of Northern peoples and learned some designs of Ainu people and other northern people.

If you ask at the reception, a person in charge instruct you how to cut out a beautiful design from a piece of paper.
アイヌ文様体験

This activity takes about 15 minutes and if you have time, how about joining this workshop?
アイヌとウイルタ文様型紙

You will be requested to choose a design you like and then, put the paper pattern on a piece of paper and cut out the design.

The design you cut out can be used pasting on boxes or other things.
切り紙利用法

I've made a pillow using one of these designs and Hawaiian Quilt's technique;)
アイヌ文様クッション

アイヌ文様クッション完成

Mukkuri Making/ムックリ作り

A friend of mine and I experienced Mukkuri making at Museum of Northern Peoples.

Mukkuri is a simple musical instrument made of bamboo and similar to a Jew's harp. Mukkuri has been used by Hokkaido's indigenous people, Ainu.
Mukkuri11

It takes about 90 minutes to make a mukkuri and to learn how to play it. I'd like to show our mukkuri making experience here. You can enlarge all pictures here by clicking them.

When we arrived at a room, all the things were ready.
Mukkuri making1

mukkuri3

On the white board, it says how to make a mukkuri and the procedure is only three steps.
mukkuri2

The first step is to slice the red colored valve to 1 mm thick. It was the hardest step.
mukkuri5

The second step is to cut the side of a mukkuri.
mukkuri9

The sides must be smoothed because they are touched to your lips.
mukkuri10

The last step is to thread strings and all the things are done!
mukkuri11

Mukkuri making needs one hour and half and you are requested to pay 500yen additionally to the admission of the museum, 300yen. Reservation is also needed. If you don't have time but are interested in mukkuri, you can buy them at the museum shop. Or you can try another workshop of cutting out various designs used by nothern peoples. Here below is one of them;)
ウイルタ文様
This is a design used by Uilta, the other northen people.

If you are interested in making mukkuri with an English speaking guide, feel free to have a contact with me, to aquitito_gmail. com ;D. Please change underline to @ when you send a message.





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