A Guide to Aomori – 8 Things to See in Japan in 3000 B.C.

Japan is a country with long history. The capital is Tokyo today. Going back the history, it was Kamakura (1192 – ), Kyoto (794 – ), Nara (710 – ). I have talked about Ise, which is an even older town.

But how about 5000 years ago?

I promise you that this is the oldest destination in Japan!

Sannai-Maruyama Site in Aomori Prefecture, Japan

Sannai Maruyama Site/Relics/Ruins is the remains of a large village in Aomori Prefecture, North Japan (Tohoku region), which used to be there in Jomon era – 5000 years ago.5000 years. Astonishingly old, isn’t it?

People had a civilization, culture and unique arts there. When I traveled there, I was able to see the real remains, replica buildings and real arts from the ancient times.

Entrance of Sannai-Maruyama Site

In this post, I’d like to share the treasures from Japan of 5000 years ago. I write necessary explanations about them, but I rather want you to FEEL them visually. If you plan a trip, practical travel information is at the bottom.

Enjoy time-traveling!

1: Dogus(Clay Figures)

Do you remember the Dogu displayed at Tokyo National Museum? Aomori is one of the hometowns of dogus, so we can see many of them!
This is the most famous one at Sannai-Maruyama Site.

Dogu found in Sannai Maruyama Site

The stripes are made by pushing rope onto the clay.

The designs are surprisingly well-made to be like a real human – Amazingly, there is a hollow from the mouth to the bottom.

Dogus in Sannai Maruyama Site Museum

Nobody knows the exact purposes of Dogus, but the influential idea is that they are goddess sculptures to pray for rich harvest.

Mysterious, aren’t they?
Dogus are very appealing to Japanese locals, too.

2: A Large Wooden Building

Can you believe that ancient people built a 4-floored building 5000 years ago?

The Huge Building Replica

I was just stunned to see how large this is. You’ll see it when you compare the building with someone in the photo.
We can see the real remains, too.

The Remains of the Six Pillars

3: Ancient Houses

This house was so large that today’s people couldn’t help making a replica. It’s 32 meters wide!

The Replica of Wide House in Sannai Maruyama Site

The inside is like this. It is very large and well-made, so it is possible that this building was for important conferences and festivals.

Inside the Wide House

How about families’ houses?

A Jomon Era House Replica


Family in Jomon Era – at the museum

Sannai Maruyama Site is located in a calm place in nature. It inspired me a lot. Sometimes we need time to imagine life in the distant past. Don’t you think so?

4: Storehouses

For Japanese people, storehouses like this is a common sense because they are on every textbook of Japanese history.

Ancient Japanese Storehouses – They are on every history textbook.

Ancient Japanese people used to store foods such as grains in storehouses that are above the ground.

5: Children’s Tombs

Stories of ancient people praying for the dead are always heartwarming.
There are in Sannai-Maruyama Site, too.

Remains of Children’s Tombs

People used to bury children in special pots that were different from those for daily lives.

A Pot used to bury a child

At the museum, we can see how it was like.

More than 800 children’s tombs and 500 adults’ ones have been found in Sannai-Maruyama Relics. Sometimes stones are buried with the dead. It seems that people were tender enough to grieve for their beloved ones.

6: Accessories for Festivals

Jomon Era Earrings & Hairpins

I can’t show you all the items at the museum – I was surprised that there were so many!

7: Hunting Tools

People in Jomon Era used to make tools from stones.
Many have been found in this site.

8: Ancient Pots

Ancient people had some dumping grounds in the village. It is where today’s people can find treasures. Yes, the pieces in the photo came from the world 5000 years ago.

Remains of Pieces of Ancient Pots

We can see the real pots at the museum. Some are especially amazing.

Big Pots in Jomon Era

People pushed rope onto the pots to engrave the patterns as they did to make dogus. That’s why this era is called “Jomon” – It means “rope patterns” in Japanese.

These pots are all real things, not replicas. There are many kinds of patterns and designs, and we can see them all here. Just interesting.

Pots found in Sannai Maruyama Site

Romanticism for ancient world never ends.

Aomori might sound like an isolated place, but it was really a beautiful place for me. If you are a romantic adventurer, I encourage you to travel there.

Do you like to time-travel on Tokyo Direct Diary or really want to visit Sannai-Maruyama Site?

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Aomori Travel Information

Sannai-Maruyama Site
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:00
Closed  on 30 December – 1 January.
Free to enter.
Official Website: (English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese)

How to Get to Sannai Maruyama Relics
Take JR Shinkansen (bullet train/super express) from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori. It takes around 3.5 hours.
Catch the shuttle bus “Nebutan-go” at Bus Stop No.3 out of East Exit of Shin-Aomori Station. Or take a taxi. It is a 15 – 20 minutes ride to Sannai Maruyama Site. (You can go there from Aomori Station, too. It is farther than Shin-Aomori.)


(Meet dogus in Tokyo? Go to Tokyo National Museum.)

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