History / Culture / Tour Spots in Hokkaido Area

  • Sapporo Clock Tower
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    3.5
    2630 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Sapporoshi Chuou-ku Kitaichijounishi 2-chome Former Sapporo Agricultural College Demonstration Center
    The clock tower familiarly, called “Sapporo Clock Tower” was originally constructed as a drill hall for the former Sapporo Agricultural College, the predecessor of Hokkaido University. Originally there was no bell tower but only a mechanism of pulling a rope to ring a small bell, however, the bell tower was constructed in 1881 under the direction of the Governor Kiyotaka Kuroda and since then a Howard pendulum type clock has been in use. It is about 10 minutes on foot from the nearest Odoori Station. The first floor serves as a museum displaying the history of the clock tower and on the second floor you can experience the atmosphere of the historic drill hall and view the workings of the clock.

    Was surprised at how small the clock tower is but its neat. There some sort of a museum inside. We didnt have time so we didnt go inside,i am sure it would have been interesting.

  • Hokkaido University
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    4.0
    1755 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Sapporoshi Kita-ku Kitahachijounishi 5
    Hokkaido University, which first opened as Sapporo Agriculture College in 1876. After that, it has made a great contribution not only to agriculture, but also to the development of Hokkaido. The words Professor Clark left for his students on his departure from Sapporo “Boys be ambitious!” remain as the university’s motto today. The university grounds are enormous, the Sapporo campus being approximately 1.77 million square meters, which is the size of 38 Tokyo Dome baseball stadiums. Walking around the nature-filled campus with its avenues lined with poplars and elm forests is an enjoyable experience.

    It was already afternoon when my family visited the campus. We went thru the main gate but there was not much signage that can guide you. Luckily, we managed to spot the Tourist Information Centre...

  • Former Hokkaido Government Office Building (Red Brick Office)
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    4.0
    2116 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Sapporoshi Chuou-ku Kitasanjounishi 6
    The building called “The red brick office” (aka renga chosha) is the symbol of development in Hokkaido and is a brick building that was completed in 1888. It is built in the neo-baroque American-style and is designated as a National Important Cultural Property. The building was restored to its original state in 1968 after the roof and interior were lost to fire. Many flowers such as cherry trees and tulips have been planted in the grounds making it a relaxing spot for the locals.

    Our Japanese friend wanted to go there, or we would not have gone. We went after getting warmed up in the underground walkway, so we were ready to be outside a bit longer.

  • Abashiri Prison Museum
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    4.5
    769 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Abashirishi Yobito 1-1
    This historic museum has preserved the former Abashiri Prison barracks as an outdoor museum. It was completely renovated in 2010. The virtual prison movie titled ''Forests Where Inmates in a Red Prison Uniform Worked'' is a must-see digital stereophonic theater experience focusing on the harsh working conditions of the erstwhile prisoners captured with the latest technology. One can explore the facility on a Guided Prison Tour, or actually eat the food the prisoners were given with the Experience Prison Food encounter. Two of the structures, 8 wards, transferred here are treasured as Japan's Important Cultural Properties.

    This is so much more than just a museum about the prison. It covers quite a bit of Hokkaido history, telling the sad tale of how prisoners were used to help build roads and infrastructure in...

  • Historical Village of Hokkaido
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    4.5
    549 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Sapporoshi Atsubetsu-ku Atsubetsuchou Konopporo 50-1
    The Historical Village of Hokkaido is an outdoor museum which reproduces the frontier days of Hokkaido where you can learn about frontier history. There are four separate areas which are the Farm Village, the Sea Village, the Mountain Village and the City and you can walk through each village to experience the different atmospheres. At the Frontier Village Restaurant in the museum, you can eat the simple but delicious “Imo Mochi” and the restaurant’s original Tondenhei (Settlers’) Set Meal.

    We visited the Historical Village of Hokkaido last time we visited Japan. It was mid autumn, and therefore snow was lacking, but the village was interesting all the same. It is easy to get around and...

  • Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
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    4.0
    545 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Motomachi 11-13
    The Old Public Hall was completed in 1910 and constructed at a total cost of 58,000 yen, 50,000 yen of which was donated by Mr. Teppei Soma, a leading Hokkaido businessman. The building is impressive with its blue and yellow coloring and symmetrical colonial style. It is also famous for being the dormitory of Emperor Taisho when he was the Crown Prince. In 1974 it was designated as an Important Cultural Property of the country. It is a seven-minute walk from the “Suehiro-cho” tram stop.

    It looks so beautiful in photographs and was so disappointed to see the building under wraps and closed for construction.

  • Hakodate Orthodox Church
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    4.0
    467 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Motomachi 3-13
    With the beautiful contrast between its green roof and white walls, Hakodate Orthodox Church was Japan’s first Russian Orthodox church. It is located at the top of Daimi-saka going up from Benten Suehiro-dori Street. The current church was built in 1916 to replace the original church that was burnt down in the great fire in Hakodate in the Meiji period, and it was subsequently designated as an Important Cultural Property. In 1996, the sound of the bell in the tower was chosen as one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan.

    Beautiful architecture built in 1860, this is accessible from the Daikan Zaka slope. This church was originally built as a chapel attached to the first Russian Consulate. The original church was...

  • Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum
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    4.0
    381 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Abashirishi Tentozan 244-3
    Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum, which is located on Tentozan in Abashiri City, is a tourist facility based on drift ice and the creatures who live in the Sea of Okhotsk. Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum has the biggest projection mapping in Hokkaido and displays the mysterious creatures such as the clione which live in the Sea of Okhotsk. The high-definition five-screen theater which includes a 300-inch screen is also impressive. One very popular experience is freezing a wet towel when touching the ice directly on the drift ice simulation terrace. At the highest observation terrace, 360-degree panoramic views are an amazing sight and have been designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty since 1938.

    The museum is on top of a hill which provides a good vantage point to look at the surrounding mountains and lakes. It is located in a modern-looking building. The first thing upon entrance is to...

  • Former British Consulate of Hakodate
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    4.0
    255 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Motomachi 33-14
    The former British consulate in Hokkaido. It was used as a consular office until 1934. There is an “exhibition room” where you can enjoy the state of the former British consul of the time, and an “opening port museum”, where you can learn the history of the opening of Hakodate. It was designated as a Tangible Cultural Property of Hakodate City in 1979. There is a combined shop and tea room, where you can also enjoy a British-style traditional afternoon tea.

    It is basically a small building that tries to showcase of British products, really nothing much to talk about.

  • Bank of Japan Otaru Museum
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    4.0
    316 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Ironai 1-11-16
    In about 1900, banks concentrated in Otaru City and it began to be called “Wall Street of the north”. Among them, the Bank of Japan also entered Otaru City, and the building which was completed in 1912 became the Otaru Branch. Using the historical building of the time, historical artifacts of the Bank of Japan and the development of Otaru are displayed. You can feel the weight of a package containing 100 million yen (imitation) and see the anti-counterfeiting technology to prevent the forgery of bills. Guided tours are conducted twice a day (Required time: about 30 minutes.)

    Numerous banks opened branches in Otaru during its heydays, so much so that the area was called the Wall Street of the north. Most of the buildings have been retained. We went to the former Otaru...

  • Hakodate Magistrate’s Office
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Goryoukakuchou 44-3
    The Edo Shogunate public office building was established at the end of the Edo period in 1864 coinciding with the opening of the port. The administrative center was a base for diplomatic relations as well as security of the northern regions at the end of Edo Period. After that it became the stage of the Battle of Hakodate and upon entering the Meiji period the office buildings were dismantled by the new government, however, in 2010 the building was restored to one third of its original size. You can now glimpse the Magistrate’s Office as it once was. It also exhibits relics from Goryokaku Fort and is a must-see.
  • Motomachi Roman Catholic Church
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    4.0
    246 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Motomachi 15-30
    Motomachi Roman Catholic Church is distinguished by its Gothic-style architecture and large bell-tower. The Church that visitors see today was rebuilt in 1924 after a fire. Having originally been built shortly after the restrictions on Christian proselytizing in Japan were relaxed, Motomachi Roman Catholic Church’s long history makes it one of the oldest congregations in Japan. To reach the Church, take the Hakodate Streetcar service and get off at the Jujigai Stop in Motomachi, near Mt. Hakodate; the Church is around 10 minutes’ walk from the Jujigai Stop.

    Walk up the Daisan Zaka slope and you will see this Motomachi Catholic Church which was started by a French missionary with a temporary church hall in 1867. You will see a rooster at the top of the...

  • Otokoyama Sake Museum
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    4.0
    171 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Asahikawashi Nagayamanijou 7
    Otokoyama Sake Museum is a museum operated by Otokoyama, a sake brewer in Asahikawa City. The exhibits include valuable materials and literature from the Edo period, ukiyo-e prints depicting Otokoyama, as well as vats and other sake making tools. There is free tasting and the museum also sells sake from the brewery. You can also pump up the underground water at the facility to take home free of charge. The sake made with underground water sourced from the perpetual snow in the Mt. Taisetsu range has won numerous awards both in Japan and overseas.

    We altered our travel plans so we could fit in a trip to this museum and very glad we did. There is certainly plenty of information about the history and production of sake, but the highlight for...

  • Sapporo Winter Sports Museum
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    4.0
    170 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Sapporoshi Chuou-ku Miyanomori 1274 Okurayama jumping stadium
    Sapporo Winter Sports Museum is located in the Okurayama Jump Stadium about 30 minutes by car from Sapporo Station. There are exhibits of many valuable materials from the Sapporo Winter Olympics held in 1972 in the museum as well as simulators that allow visitors to experience ski jumping while watching on the big screen. This is a place where you can see, touch and experience the fun of winter sports.

    A museum dedicated to the 1972 winter olympics that took place in Sapporo. A short trip, but a bit of fun.

  • Shiroi Koibito Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Sapporoshi Nishi-ku Miyanosawanijou 2-11-36
    Shiroi Koibito Park is a theme park where you can tour the production plant for Shiroi Koibito, a well-known confectionary that is symbolic of Sapporo (an entry fee is charged). There are also hands on activities such as a course in drawing pictures on the Shiroi Koibito, which can be enjoyed by children and adults. The Shiroi Koibito Park is packed full of areas where you can experience things first hand such as a lounge where you can enjoy the sweets in a space surrounded by English antiques as well as a candy lab where you can watch demonstrations by candy craftsmen. There is also a beautiful rose garden which presents different aspects in summer and winter.
  • Hokkaido Shrine
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    3.5
    3 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Sapporoshi Chuou-ku Miyagaoka 474
    Hokkaido Shrine is located about 15 minutes’ walk from Maruyama Koen Station on the Tozai Line. It was erected to worship the three deities of reclamation: Okunitama no kami, the deity of reclamation and development, Onamuchi no kami, and Sukunabikona no kami. In 1955, the Meiji Emperor, who adopted Western culture and built the foundations of Japan, was newly enshrined. Hokkaido Shrine is also known as a famous place for cherry blossoms in the spring and is popular among the local people.

    佐賀藩出身で幕末維新時に官軍の要職を務めた方です。札幌を世界一の都市にすると豪語しましたが、志半ばで戻ることになりました。その後江藤新平と佐賀の乱をおこし刑死しました。北海道神宮の門前にあります。銅像の写真は上手くいかなかったのでそばに有った説明書のみ投稿します。

  • Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art
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    4.0
    114 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Sapporoshi Chuou-ku Kitaichijounishi 17-chome
    Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art opened in 1977 near downtown Sapporo. It runs its activities based on the themes of Hokkaido’s regional and international characteristics. In addition to the Modern Art Collection Exhibition, which features the museum’s collection from a variety of angles, it plans and holds special exhibitions to introduce outstanding works from Japan and overseas. It has also undertaken some unique initiatives such as running traveling art museums all around Hokkaido.

    Modern Japan has adapted many Western influences, so it not surprising that the art on show is connected to European artkstic movvements such as Impressionism. The art is very good, and serves as a...

  • Otaru Music Box Museum Hall Number 2 Antique Museum
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    4.0
    155 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Otaru-shi Sakaimachi 6-13
    "This music box company has shops not only in Hokkaido but also nationwide, including Tokyo, Kyoto, and Okinawa. Enwrapped in the old-fashioned atmosphere of the museum building located 100 meters away from the Otaru Music Box Museum Main Building, visitors can enjoy the ""music of the heavens"" of the music boxes in the collection up close. Filled with historic and valuable antique music boxes, visitors can also view an Aeolian pipe organ made in England in 1908. The first self-playing pipe organ brought into Japan, the organ still resounds with the same beautiful sounds today as when it was first built."

    I keep on coming here everytime I travel to Otaru, which is 4 times by now. Its great to walk through both floors gazing at different types of music boxes and glass art on the second floor as well...

  • Hoppokan Nostalgia House
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    4.0
    158 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Nemuro-shi Nosappu 36-6
    This facility is inside Bokyo no Misaki Park, at the eastern tip of Cape Nosappu. It was built to display materials helping to locate the Northern Territories. The local geography and poor climate conditions result in lots of days with terrible fog, restricting vision, so this facility was built to help encourage public recognition and to support the spirits of those who once lived on the islands. It helps educate the public about the origins and history of the islands. There are also displays of materials relating to the lifestyles of the residents who called the islands home, as well as the old city scape and maps showing the old addresses, all filled with prayers for the lost homes. It's a wonderful place to learn about these historic islands.

    U can see many of islands which suppose belong to Japan in the sunny day. This place is rather different from other area in Japan, I guessed. Somehow rather u can feel the feeling of Japanese...

  • Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples
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    4.5
    130 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Abashirishi Shiomi 309-1 Tenriyama/Tachi Okhotsk Park
    The Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples is the only folk museum dedicated to the peoples of the North in Japan, and one of only a handful of museums of its kind in the world. The Museum displays the results of extensive research on the history and culture of the indigenous peoples of Hokkaido and also of other Northern peoples in other parts of the world. The Museum holds frequent lectures and seminars, and the Museum shop has an impressive range of books about Northern peoples. The Museum is situated around 10–15 minutes’ drive from Abashiri Station. To reach the Museum by bus, take the Kanko Meguri tourist bus service and get off at the “Hoppou Minzoku Hakubutsukan” bus stop.

    Easy to get to on the bus, this is a must see if you are in Abishiri. We were expecting the museum to focus exclusively on the Ainu, but it covers so much more than that with information about all...

Hokkaido Areas

around-area-map

Not just a prefecture but an island of its own, Hokkaido is the most northerly prefecture and island of the Japanese archipelago. Arriving in Hokkaido, which is rural and bursting with breathtaking nature, means entering a world where vast national parks, towering mountains, and natural hot springs can be found at every turn. Come December, these natural splendors freeze over and morph into a winter wonderland.

Hokkaido Photo Album

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