Date City, Hokkaido

Kitakogane Site

Designated as a historic site on December 25, 1987

Time division - Early
Restored shell midden

Restored shell midden

This is a settlement site with shell middens dating to the Early Jomon period (approx. 5,000–3,500 BCE). It is located on a tongue-shaped plateau facing Funka Bay at the southernmost point of Date City, Hokkaido.

The entire site is well preserved, and shells including common orient clams, oysters and scallops as well as the bones of fish such as tuna, flounder and other kinds of fish, and those of sea animals such as seals and whales have been excavated from the shell middens, indicating a coastline lifestyle dependent on fishing. The location of the five shell middens also indicates changes in the coastline over time, presenting a good example of the relationship between changes in the natural environment and people’s living territories. In addition, 14 graves with buried human bones and the remains of rituals involving animals, such as the arranged cranial bones of deer have also been discovered, demonstrating that shell middens also served as “places of worship.”

The excavated human bones have been well preserved, and serve as standard material for research of archaeological human remains. They are used for research to clarify the foundation of people in Hokkaido and are compared with the Jomon people in the mainland Honshu.

A large number of pebble tools (grinding stones and milling basins) have been excavated near a spring. Most of them were broken when found, indicating that the place was used as a ceremonial ground to dispose of stone tools. This is a very important site to study environmental changes and human adaptation to the changes, rituals at shell middens and watering places, and the grave system of the time.

Library *Click to enlarge.


Basic Information

Display the Kitakogane Shell Midden
on an enlarged map.

Site Location

Kitakogane-cho, Date, Hokkaido

Facility Exhibiting Excavated Articles

Kitakogane Shell Mound Historic Park
(including Kitakogane Shell Mound Information Center)
Kitakogane-cho 75, Date, Hokkaido, 059-0272
0142-24-2122 / +81-14-224-2122
Date City Institute of Funkawan Culture
December 1–March 31
■~5 min. by Donan Bus for Date Ekimae and Toyako Onsen from JR Kogane Station to the Kitakogane Kaizuka Koen-mae bus stop, then 5 min. on foot
■~20 min. by Donan Bus for Muroran Port from JR Date Mombetsu Station to the Kitakogane Kaizuka Koen-mae bus stop, then 5 min. on foot


Date City Institute of Funkawan Culture

Tateyama-cho 21-5, Date, Hokkaido, 052-0031
0142-21-5050 / +81-14-221-5050
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