Ofune Site

Hakodate, Japan

The Ōfune Site (大船遺跡, Ōfune iseki) is an archaeological site consisting of a series of large shell middens and the remains of an adjacent settlement from the Jōmon period. 

The Ōfune Site was a community with over 100 pit dwellings, including smaller family homes and some larger homes that were inhabited from 3500 BC to 2000 BC. The dates of the site's habitation correspond to the early and middle Jōmon period of Japanese history. The community was positioned alongside the Pacific Ocean, enabling easy access to fishing and whaling grounds and providing an avenue for the site's people to trade extensively with other communities in the Tōhoku region. Pottery from the Tōhoku region and central Hokkaido was found in the sites burial mound, providing basis for the site's function as a trade center.

The Ōfune Site was discovered during surveying work in 1996. Initial discoveries included a large pit dwelling, embankments, and a storage pit.

The Ōfune Site is one of the Jōmon Archaeological Sites in Hokkaidō, Northern Tōhoku, and other regions, a group of Jōmon period archaeological sites in Hokkaido and northern Tōhoku that was recommended by Japan in 2020 for inclusion to the UNESCO World Heritage List, under criteria iii and iv. The submission currently resides on the Tentative List.



Your name


Hakodate, Japan
See all sites in Hakodate


Founded: 3500-2000 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Japan

More Information



4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

森下敦 (37 days ago)
There are many remains of pit dwellings, some of which have been dug to a depth of nearly 2 meters. It seems that there is no other pit dwelling like this. We also asked a volunteer who had been involved in excavations for a long time. I thought they were digging deep into measures against the cold and snow, but that's not necessarily the case, so it's a mystery. ・There are dozens of Jomon ruins in Hokkaido, but this is the only one where the pit dwellings are dug so deep. - As a measure against the cold, the ``furnace'' used in the cold season is cut large, and the ``furnace'' used in the warm season is smaller. We have both types here. It's strange.
KS Chak (2 months ago)
Very nice place to visit with recreated dwelling of the Jomon culture.Anned by very friendly locals
Artur Kulczynski (14 months ago)
This is a very interesting archeological site. Great stop during the drive along there coast.
MMT1206 (2 years ago)
It is one of the World Heritage "Jomon Archaeological Sites in Hokkaido and Northern Tohoku". These are ruins from 5,500 to 4,000 years ago. It is roughly the same age as the Sannai-Maruyama site in Aomori Prefecture. The characteristic is the depth of the pit. More than 100 pit dwellings dug down to a depth of about 2m have been confirmed. Since whale bones, tuna bones, shellfish, and chestnuts have been unearthed, it is presumed that the area was rich in resources at that time.
関清志 (2 years ago)
Visited on October 10, 2022. 3500 BC to 2000 BC, Jomon ruins centered on the middle Jomon period. The remains of pit dwellings were rebuilt many times and were excavated so as to overlap. The number is about 120, and the pits are deeper than other areas. In addition, it was found that the characteristics of the temple, such as the presence or absence of indoor ritual facilities, the shape of the pit, the number of main pillars, etc., were divided and changed over time. The remains of an embankment have also been found nearby. As traces of burning fires and human bones were also found, it is believed that this was a sending place accompanied by faith. In addition, since a large number of stone plates have been excavated, it is believed that the area was blessed with food resources. Personally, I felt that the Jomon transgression progressed in the middle period, the food situation improved with global warming, and the population increased and settlement progressed. In addition, it is considered that the cold season has entered and the village has reached its end. As for the large number of stone plates, I imagined that depending on the vegetation at the time, it might be evidence that fiber was actively extracted from plants and produced. I felt that many of the stone crowns excavated from the ruins in Hokkaido had a simpler form.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kakesbeck Castle

Kakesbeck is one of the largest medieval fortifications in Münsterland and the oldest castle in Lüdinghausen. The imposingly grown complex originated in 1120 as a motte, a small hilltop tower castle. After numerous changes of ownership, the castle was extended onto two islands, but it was not until the 14th century that it underwent significant alterations and extensions under the von Oer family. The estate experienced its heyday in the middle of the 18th century, when it covered an area of almost one square kilometre and consisted of five further outer castles in addition to the core castle, which were secured by ramparts and moats.

The well-maintained condition of the castle today is thanks to the late Wilfried Grewing, the former lord of the castle. The foundation named after him has been particularly committed to preserving the property since 2020.