There are many archaeological sites throughout Japan and museums have a large collection of findings from the remains. Some of them are easy access from Tokyo and one of such historical sites is Shakado Archaeological Site in Yamanashi prefecture.
The archaeological site of Shakado was excavated during 1980 and 1981 and many clay pots and clay figures were found. The number of clay figures from this site is one of the largest in Japan. The era when these clay pots and clay figures were made is called Jomon Era. Jomon in Japanese means the pattern made by ropes which is the typical pattern put on clay pots during that time.
Jomon Era started just after the Old Stone Age which is about 15 thousand years ago and lasted until about 2,300 years ago. The clay pots and clay figures of Shakado are said to be made about 6,200 – 3,800 years ago.
The shapes are very beautiful and you can see that those ancient people had a taste of artistic sense.
The museum is in the middle of fruit farms of peaches and grapes so many people visit here during the flower season of peaches. And if you visit here in August and September, you can enjoy fruit picking. It is easier to come here by car than public transport.
For More Information on Shakado Mueum:
Address: 764 Ichinomiya-cho Senbei-ji, Fuefuki City, Yamanashi
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm (closed on Tuesdays, the next day of national holidays and year-end / New Year holidays
Admissions: ¥200 for adults, ¥100 for school kids
Access: Bus or taxi (about 15-min ride) from Katsunuma Budokyo Station of JR East.
If you use a car, it is a few-minute walk from Shakado Parking Area of Chuo Expressway
If you happen to visit Yatsugatake area such as Kiyosato and Nobeyama, there is an open air archaeological site of Kinsei which is also from Jomon Era.
Here, you can see the inside of the houses of ancient people.
Accross the street from Kinsei Site, I found guardians for the community. There are many such guardians on the streets in this region.