Hokkaido #8: Odori Park (大通公園)

Odori Park is a large strip of green park in Sapporo, Hokkaido which separates the city and provides a nice, relaxing area in the city center. In the winter, the Sapporo snow festival takes place in this park, while in other seasons various flowers bloom and other events are held. At the head of the park stands the Sapporo TV Tower, which has an observation deck for good views over Sapporo.

When I visited, I was more interested in seeing the Clock Tower and the old red-brick Prefectural Building that I didn’t spend much time here. Also, they were setting up for some kind of event while I was there, so I just took the one picture of the clock tower and moved on! Sapporo is on my “must visit again” list, so one year maybe I’ll get the chance to retake this picture with the 2016 postcard!

My one Odori Park picture

Hokkaido #7: Former Prefectural Gov’t Building (北海道庁旧本庁舎)

I am happy to report that I have finally made it to Hokkaido through the We Love Japan Tour 2015! You can read about my travels through that link, but in between Noboribetsu Onsen and Nibutani, I took a quick detour to Sapporo. I got to see the famous Clock Tower, so I updated that post with some pictures if you’d like to look. I also got to see the Former Prefectural Government Building, with it’s beautiful red bricks done in American-style architecture. You can read a bit about it here.

Building and postcard

Welcome to Sapporo!

The building’s brand

Looking outside

I enjoyed my brief visit to Sapporo and hope I can go again soon!

Hokkaido #1: The Sapporo Clock Tower (時計台)

Hokkaido is the northern-most prefecture in Japan, and collectively agreed upon as being “cold as balls”. Sapporo is the capital city of Hokkaido, and the symbol of Sapporo is the subject of Hokkaido’s first postcard, the Clock Tower. I swung by Sapporo on the We Love Japan Tour 2015, although I didn’t post anything about it in the blog. I got the chance to see this clock tower as well as the museum inside.

The tower was constructed in 1878, and was one of the earliest buildings in the city. It was built with American assistance in a western style, and the clock itself was bought from Boston and installed in 1881. It still works and keeps time, and when you visit you can hear its chimes on the hour. Once a building part of the Sapporo Agricultural College, now the building hosts a museum introducing the college, as well as the history of Sapporo. You can read about the tower, as well as details about visiting, here at Japan Guide.

The tower can be visited year-round, and is picturesque whether surrounded by snow, or framed by lilacs. If you visit Hokkaido, make your first stop this historical building, and listen to the chime of the clock as it keeps time. Maybe I’ll see you there!

The famous clock tower of Sapporo

It was imposing once, but now is dwarfed a bit by the buildings around it

Inside the museum