9 Toyako Town, Hokkaido
Designated as a Historic Site on May 13, 1988
Stage IIIa (ca. 1,800 BCE) (Historic Site [Irie Site and Takasago Burial Site]: ca. 3,500 BCE – 800 BCE)
This site is located in Toyako Town in southwestern Hokkaido, on a terrace overlooking Uchiura Bay at an elevation of approximately 20 meters. It is on Uchiura Bay, which abounds in aquatic resources. Deciduous broadleaved forests spread in the hinterland.
The settlement consists of a residential area and a burial area, with shell mounds at the periphery of the terrace and on the slopes of the terrace. The mounds have yielded shells (from short-necked clams, bay mussels, etc.), fish bones (from herring, marbled rockfish, Japanese sea bass, tuna, etc.), mammal bones (from Hokkaido sika deer, dolphins, etc.), and bone and antler objects (fishhooks, harpoons, etc.). These archaeological finds indicate that fishing and hunting were actively practiced.
In the burial area, the bones of an adult male affected by muscular atrophy have been found. They reveal that she managed to live long with paralyzed limbs, probably with the help of others.
This component part, dating from the first half of the maturation stage of sedentism, is a typical example of settlements that were distributed in areas surrounding communal ritual places and cemeteries. It is an important archaeological site that attests to a livelihood and spiritual lifestyle of a coastal area.
- Irie, Toyako, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido
From the Irie Takasago Museum:
- Approx. 5 min. on foot
From the Takasago Burial Site:
- Approx. 10 min. on foot
- The shell layer exhibition facility is open to the public from 9:00 to 17:00.
- Irie Takasago Museum
- Takasago-cho 44, Toyako, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 049-5605
- 0142-76-5802 / +81-142-76-5802
Irie Takasago Museum, Social Education Department, Toyako Town Board of Education [in Japanese]
- 9:00 – 17:00
Mondays (or Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday)
December 1 – March 31
- Adults: 150 yen; Students up to high school: 100 yen
Group of 15+
- Adults: 100 yen; Students up to high school: 50 yen
From Toyako Station (JR Muroran Main Line):
- Approx. 15 min. on foot
From Abuta-Toyako IC (Hokkaido Expressway):
- Approx. 10 min. by car
Social Education Department, Toyako Town Board of Education
Sakae-cho 58, Toyako, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 049-5692
TEL： 0142-74-3010 / +81-142-74-3010 ／ FAX：0142-76-3216 / +81-142-76-3216
Social Education Department, Toyako Town Board of Education [in Japanese]
[pamphlet in English and Japanese, November 2021]