Famed for the Ainu culture, the coastal town of Shiraoi (白老) is home to Japan’s northernmost national museum, know as the Upopoy facing the pleasant lake Poroto-ko. In the late Edo period, Shiraoi was a defense base of Eastern Ezo and installed the manor house by the Sendai clan.


Upopoy National Ainu Museum


10min walk from Shiraoi Station

Translating as ‘singing in a large group’ in Ainu, the Upopoy comprises the National Ainu Museum and the cultural Ainu Park on the shore of Poroto-ko. The National Ainu Museum has permanent and special exhibitions about Ainu culture, history, artifacts, language and lifestyle. The National Ainu Park contains the reproduced kotan (traditional Ainu village), workshop and craft studio. You can see the traditional Ainu performances (songs, dances and musicals) at the Cultural Exchange Hall.



10min walk from Shiraoi Station

About 800m northeast of JR Shiraoi Station facing the Upopoy, the peaceful Poroto-ko (large lake in Ainu) is a base of outdoor activities in the town center. A 6km-long circumference cycle path of the lake can be rounded by bike or foot. Poroto-ko Information Center is a base of exploring the lake.

Former Sendai Clan Shiraoi Manor House


20min walk from Shiraoi Station

This historical site boasts the largest manor house ruin in Hokkaido. Surrounded by the mountains and rivers, you can understand why the Sendai clan would have built their defense base here in 1856. Stroll through the 6.6-hectare lush grounds, and see the restored moat and earthen wall. The Sendai Clan Shiraoi Manor House Museum (Jinya Shiryokan; Tue-Sun) displays historical artifacts, documents and armors.



Hoshino Resort KAI Poroto ♨︎

星野リゾート 界 ポロト

10min walk from Shiraoi Station

Located near the Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park facing the lake, the KAI Poroto is designed to respect Ainu culture and touch its spirituality and tradition. All rooms have an excellent view of Poroto-ko. There is also an atmospheric onsen.

Pirika Rera Hotel ♨︎


15min walk from Shiraoi Station

This luxury onsen hotel offers meals using local beef and tarako (pollock roe). You can enjoy hot springs in the room. The price includes all-you-can-drink shochu and whisky. A free shuttle is available from Shiraoi Station (contact by the day before).

haku hostel

ハク ホステル

3min walk from Shiraoi Station

This renovated hostel offers dormitories and tatami-mat rooms, with shared facilities and a bar. There are also bike rentals and left-luggage service. It is a 3-minute walk from Shiraoi Station south gate.


Getting There


Get off the train at Shiraoi Station. There are lockers inside the train station.

The limited express trains run to Shiraoi from Sapporo (1hr) and Hakodate (3hr). Local trains run from Tomakomai (20min), Noboribetsu (18min) and Muroran (1hr).


Donan Bus connects Shiraoi-Kotan-mae (白老コタン前) near the Upopoy with Tomakomai Station (40min) and Noboribetsu-onsen (45min).

There are also highway buses to the Upopoy from Sapporo (1hr 40min) and Noboribetsu-onsen (30min) except when the museum is closed. Compulsory reservation at least two hours before departure.

Getting Around


The Gurupon Bus (ぐるぽんバス) loops in the town center from JR Shiraoi Station north gate except Monday, stopping at the Upopoy and Jinya-shiryokan; a one-day pass costs ¥200.


Bike rentals (Apr-Oct) are available at Poroto Mintar tourist information center (see below).


Poroto Mintar
Near the north gate of JR Shiraoi Station on the way to the Upopoy, this tourist information center has useful brochures and can help arrange tours around the town. There is an excellent souvenir shop and a cafe. Bike rentals and left-luggage are also available.

Shiraoi Station

白老 | 시라오이

Address:2 Suehiro-cho, Shiraoi-cho, Hokkaido

Distance:92km from Sapporo