HOKKAIDO

The clock tower

This tower was originally built in 1878 as a drill hall for the Sapporo Agricultural College, which later became Hokkaido University. The American-made clock was added three years later. At the time of its construction, the Clock Tower was the tallest building in Sapporo, and although it has become rather inconspicuous thanks to the modern buildings towering around it, it is still considered a symbol of the city and is often featured in postcards and brochures. It has been designated as an Important Cultural Property, and there is a small local history museum inside, which is open to the public. The red stars on the front of the building were a symbol of the Hokkaido Development Commission.

Susukino

 A field of pampas grass, which is what “Susukino” means, is thought to have existed when the Hokkaido Development Commission designated the area as a red light district in 1871. Today it is still the entertainment district for Sapporo, and is full of bars, restaurants, clubs, karaoke and pachinko parlors, as well as adult entertainment. It is said to be the only place bustling with life in the city after 9pm.

Sapporo Beer Museum

 

Sapporo Breweries is one of Japan’s top four beer companies, and its popular Beer Museum attracts 1.5 million visitors each year. It is located in a Meiji-era brick factory building, and offers a 50-minute tour which explains the history of beer in Japan as well as the process of beer making, and concludes with a tasting and small gift. The tours begin every 15 minutes and are conducted in Japanese, but English audio tapes are available. Reservations are recommended during the summer and holidays. The adjacent Sapporo Beer Garden, where you can order beer that is not available anywhere else, is also very popular.

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