Hello everyone 🙂
Here is Saki, from your Local Travel Partners agency !
Today, we will go back in time in the late Yayoi period, 2000 years ago. In Shizuoka not far from the JR station, you can find and visit ruins from that period : the Toro ruins 登呂 遺跡. It is the first archaeological site excavated in Japan in which remainings of the Yayoi era wet-rice fields were found.
In the middle of the city, surrounding by modern dwelling you can find the Toro site. It is now preserved as a public archaeological park with reconstructed buildings and rice-field.
The site was discovered during the construction of a munitions factory in 1943, during World War II. The research was conducted afterwards, in 1947. The ruins of 12 houses, 2 warehouses, a well and rice fields were found, along many artifacts such as earthenware vessels and wooden farming tools.
Those pit-houses were recreated. They are unique to the Toro site, as they are surrounded by embankments with drainage ditches dug around the house.
You can enter inside and imagine the life in there.
The excavation revealed a rice paddy area, which was also recreated. Aka-mai, or red-rice -an ancient variety of rice-, are being cultivated.
The harvest are kept on those raised-floor store houses. On week-ends and holidays, visitors can enjoy those red-rice cooked in Yayoi period earthenware pots reproduction !
There are several workshops on site and inside the museum. You can try making fire using reproduction tools of that time.
The experience was interesting ! Definitely not as easy as striking matches… It takes time and some elbow greases.
Away from the houses, this large building stands. It is thought to be a ceremonial hall, as a plaza was found in front and fortune-telling bones were discovered.
The Toro ruins seems to be also a place for children from neighborhood nursery to play !
The site has been designated as a special historic site of Japan in 1952, and the museum is there to pass down the value of this discovery to the future generations.
On the ground floor, there is a yayoi experience exhibition room. The admission to this floor is free.
You can try on the clothes that were most likely worn at that time.
You can also take in you hands the reproduction of the artifacts found during the excavations.
You can try the different hands-on learning experience.
If you pay attention to the background painting, you can see the Mount Fuji as it should have been during the Yayoi period. The shape is a bit different, as some eruptions haven’t happened at that time yet. The person who draw this landscape was an artistic director in some of Akira Kurosawa, a famous Japanese director, films.
On the first floor, there are two exhibitions galleries : one permanent and one temporary. You can purchase a 580¥ ticket at the entrance. The permanent exhibition features artifacts out of the 775 excavated ones !
It was interesting to learn that the basic meal of the people at that time didn’t change much compare to now. According to the research, they most likely had rice, soup with seaweed or shellfish, to go along with grilled fish.
There are explanations in English, as well as an audio guide.
The Toro ruins and its museum is a place where you can learn more about the Japanese civilization. The yayoi period is a period in Japan History that we don’t usually see much about. I spent some valuable time there !
♦〈Access to Toro ruins〉♦
- Less than 10 minutes by car, from the Shizuoka inter-change once you the Tomei highway.
- About 10 minutes by bus from the JR Shizuoka Station South exit on the “Ishida line” to “Toro iseki”.
You can visit the Toro ruins during your stay in Shizuoka. We can include it on our bike tour or on our taxi tour as well !
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are interested ! 🙂