What is Hokkaido's Pirkanoka?

This year marks the 150th anniversary of “Ezochi”; the region now known as Hokkaido. Our latest Ki Gallery exhibition, PIRKANOKA-EZO, by Akira Tanisugi, celebrates some of the most scenic regions in Hokkaido, known as “pirkanoka”.

"Pirkanoka" is the Ainu (Hokkaido indigenous language) word meaning 'beautiful shapes'. It is also the word given to locations in Hokkaido which are officially recognised as natural scenic landscapes with rich Ainu culture. These locations are protected by the government and are considered important cultural property. 

To the people living in Niseko, Mt Yotei is unarguably the most enchanting landmark around. Whilst enjoying spring skiing and the view of Mt Yotei, discover more of Hokkaido's beauty by visiting our exhibition. Here are some of the beautiful shapes in Hokkaido, featured in the photography exhibition at Ki Niseko. 



Katsuyama, a designated scenic spot since 2009.

Katsuyama, otherwise known as Kutunnpuri is located in Nayoro City. For the indigenous people, it was once an important spot for prayers and served as a landmark for hunting. 

Golden Mountain

Golden Mountain Pineta Ior Shipe

Golden Mountain, a designated scenic spot since 2009.

The Golden Mountain (Pineta Ior Shipe) is located in Ishikari city. It is the birthplace of the young hero in the Ainu folktale, Poyaunpe. In the legend, a young boy fought against the God of sea to save villagers from destruction. In present day, the mountain is said to continue to act as a guardian for Ainu people. 



Ganboiwa, a designated scenic spot since 2011.

The almost vertical cliff was once a battlefield and was considered a scared place where festivals for the gods were held.

These are only a few of the beautiful shapes dotted around Hokkaido. To see more of these come visit our Ki Gallery featuring a photography exhibition by Akira Tanisugi. The exhibition is from 22 February until 6 May, 2018.

Interested in more events in May? Come to our Golden Week Festival.