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to a historical site with ties to the Yayoi period.

Experience One of the Oldest Historical Periods of Japan

The Yayoi period (approx. 1,000-800 BCE-300 CE) is one of the oldest recorded historical periods in Japanese history. It is associated with some of the modern advances of human lifestyles in Japan, such as the development of rice farming and tool making.

The Era of Japan’s Origin

Exhibition of life and pottery from the Yayoi period (Osaka Prefectural Museum of Yayoi Culture).

It is thought that rice cultivation was introduced to Japan from mainland China and the Korean peninsula in prehistoric Japan, near the end of the Jomon period (approx.14,000 BCE-1,000 BCE), which gave rise to small villages. However, it began in earnest in the Yayoi period. This revolution led to food security, which created less need for hunting and gathering. Rice paddies became commonplace, and small villages eventually developed into communities over larger settlement areas.


With the advent of rice cultivation, dwellings were built next to rice fields. Dwellings at this time were small, semi-underground homes called tateana, where a hole was dug into the ground and a frame was made with pillars, which were covered by a roof. There are traces from this time of stoves and fireplaces, and as time passed, the dwellings became larger. Rice production in the Yayoi period also led to differences in wealth and power, and gave rise to an upper class. People of this emerging upper class may have lived in elevated homes, demonstrative of their stature.


Harvest rice was kept in storehouses elevated on stilts. These were effective in keeping out both moisture and pests such as mice. Along with rice cultivation, metalworking techniques also developed. Bronze and iron objects such as mirrors and vessels were made, and used during festivals.


*Please note that there are various theories about the Jomon and Yayoi periods.

Ikegami-Sone Historic Park & Ikegami Sone Ruins

This outdoor area contains a recreation of what life was like 2,000 years ago.

The Ikegami Sone Ruins stretch some 1.5 kilometers north-south and .6 kilometers east-west, focused around both Izumi City’s Ikegami area and Izumiotsu City’s Sone area. It spans over 600,000 square meters, and is considered one of the best preserved examples of moated settlements from the Yayoi period.


About 115,000 square meters of the site—centered on the moated settlement—were designated a      national historic site in 1976. Since 1995, the Ikegami Sone Ruins have been meticulously restored and preserved, in order to give visitors an understanding of what life was like during the settlement’s height of prosperity during the middle of the Yayoi period.


There is evidence of a huge building in the center of the village, approximately the size of 80 traditional tatami mats, or about 130 square meters. The roof was supported by 26 cypress pillars. In addition, a large well with a diameter of two meters made from hollowing out a camphor tree was found when the area was excavated. Based on the analysis of the wood found on the site, it is understood that the village dates back to 52 BCE.

Osaka Prefectural Museum of Yayoi Culture

Japan’s only museum themed after the Yayoi period.

Visitors wanting to learn more about the way of life for people during the Yayoi period should head over to the Museum of Yayoi Culture, just a short walk from the Ikegami Sone Ruins. The museum has interactive exhibitions fun for all ages. In addition to Japanese, there are audio guides available in English, Chinese, and Korean, free of charge. Guided tours with the curators of the museum are also available, but an interpreter and advance reservation is required.


Upon entering, visitors are transported through the “Time Tunnel,” back to the Yayoi period. Exhibits include some of the preserved artifacts excavated from the settlement, and dioramas of the rice paddies and houses created based on archeological evidence. The museum provides visitors with the unique opportunity to learn about this fascinating period of Japanese history up close and personal.

Ikegami Sone Yayoi Learning Center

Enjoy a 60-minute experience crafting traditional magatama necklaces.

Located just north of the Ikegami Sone Ruins is a learning center where visitors can learn various things about the Yayoi period. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is closed on Mondays. It is free to enter, though they offer hands-on experiences so that visitors can learn more about the Yayoi period for a fee. Experiences include creating magatama, which are small, curved talismans from the period, and creating earthenware products. Fragments of textiles and evidence of clothing were also found at the excavation site. Visitors can also try on clothes modeled after the unearthed textiles, and take photographs to commemorate the occasion. Advance reservations for these experiences are not required.

The exhibition wall displays the story of Ikegami Sone, and can be enjoyed with all five senses.

The Guidance Room is another area that allows visitors to experience the story of Ikegami Sone. This exhibition includes the large pillars excavated from the Ikegami Sone Ruins, as well as the hallowed out well, and other excavated items. It all culminates into a sensory experience that isn’t just seeing, but also touching, listening, making, and imagining. There are also multilingual informational pamphlets about the ruins and the museum, and audio guides in English, Chinese and Korean.


*The content introduced in this article (such as business days, business hours, and services) may change due to the influence of COVID-19, and any subsequent government announcements. Please check the official website for the latest information.


For Senshu tourist information inquiries, please contact the Senshu Japan Concierge Team.

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