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Yamanashi Prefecture Archaeological Museum


The Yamanashi Prefecture Archeological Museum hosts artifacts from Japan’s paleolithic age from about 30,000 years ago to all the way to modern-day! Two other special points about this museum are their plentiful collection of Jomon artifacts as well as the large park on grounds paired with the Kofun era tomb structures.


Upon entering the museum you are greeted by a few displays on the Paleolithic Japan which directly proceeds Jomon. Through climate analysis we know that the earth was extremely cold back then, however, as time passed the climate warmed allowing for fruits, nuts, and berries. This helped shift the diet of the Jomon, particular in this Yamanashi region away from a wandering hunter group that migrated with their prey, to those who could reside in one area and eat from the surrounding trees.

jomon 2021-01

With the decreasing necessity for roaming and hunting it is said that Jomon people had more time to dedicate towards leisure and crafts. And as the earth warmed, and they could collect more and more fruits, nuts and berries the emerging need for storage and cooking vessels increased and the popularity of Doki vases and their unique designs increased! Or so they say.

The Yamanashi Prefecture Archaeological Museum also has a large collection of pieces from the Yayoi period which immediately followed Jomon. Its suggested that the Yayoi people (mainly from modern day Southern China and the Korean peninsula) began migrating to the Japanese archipelago from as early as 1000-800 B.C.E. It is said that they then mixed, mingled with and in some cases killed off many of the Jomon who resided on the island at the time. As this happened the representative art of Japan slowly shifted from giant pots with dramatic designs, to more muted patterned pots specifically for the harvesting of rice. More information on this change as well as excavated artifacts from this time as well are on display so don’t forget to check them out!


But of course, what this museum has to offer doesn’t end there and taking a walk around the campus of the museum you can even climb the mounds of the giant ancient tombs of Kofun period kings who lived in this area from the 3rd to the 7th century.


Getting there: 923 Shimosonecho, Kofu, Yamanashi 400-1508

                      1 minute on foot from the "Yamanashi-kenritsu-hakubutsukan” bus stop.


Published on

  • February 15, 2021


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