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Discover Hokkaido’s Cultural Richness with Muslim-Friendly Facilities

Located in the Shiraoi District in Hokkaido (close to Lake Shikotsu and Noboribetsu), UPOPOY Ainu National Museum is a must-visit destination for those interested in the rich history and culture of the indigenous Ainu people.

As Japan’s first national museum dedicated to the Ainu, it offers an immersive experience of their unique heritage.

For Muslim travelers, the museum provides essential amenities like a prayer room and vegetarian food options, ensuring a comfortable and enriching visit.

Prayer Room at UPOPOY Ainu National Museum

Muslim visitors will be pleased to know that the UPOPOY Ainu National Museum has a dedicated prayer room available since May 14, as confirmed by visitor Wan Ab Aziz. The prayer room is located in the rest area cottage-style building within the museum grounds. Simply enter and proceed straight to the back to find the prayer facilities.

Rest area with prayer rooms

The prayer rooms are segregated for men and women, spacious, and well-maintained, providing a comfortable space for worship.

Women prayer room

Men prayer room

While there is no qiblah mark, a compass on the roof helps, and using a Qiblah direction app is recommended. Additionally, the wudu’ (ablution) area is convenient and well-equipped.

Vegetarian Food Options at UPOPOY

Although the museum does not offer halal food per our check to their website, the cafe RIMSE provides vegetarian options that Muslim visitors can enjoy. One of the highlights is the use of “peneimo,” a traditional Ainu food.

Peneimo is made from potatoes that have been preserved through repeated freezing and thawing, then dried, soaked to remove bitterness, and pounded before being baked. This dish was historically a staple for the Ainu people, especially during the spring when other vegetables were scarce.

You can find “vege” mark for vegetarian menu offerings.

Cafe RIMSE menu. Source: website

Experience the Ainu Culture

UPOPOY Ainu National Museum specializes in researching and showcasing the Ainu culture, aiming to revive and promote this indigenous heritage.

Visitors can explore various exhibits that display traditional Ainu crafts, music, dance, and daily life. The museum also hosts workshops and cultural events, offering a hands-on experience of Ainu traditions.

Plan Your Visit

For those planning a visit to Hokkaido, UPOPOY Ainu National Museum is a cultural gem that provides valuable insights into Japan’s indigenous history.

With Muslim-friendly facilities like a prayer room, it ensures a welcoming and inclusive environment for all visitors.

Whether you are a history enthusiast or a cultural explorer, UPOPOY offers a unique and enriching experience that shouldn’t be missed.