The Former Hokkaido Government Office is a red-brick building that stands as a symbol of Hokkaido and its rich history. Built in 1888 in the American neo-baroque style, this iconic structure is not only a historical landmark but also a hub of cultural and educational activities. With its grand architecture and significant historical value, the Former Hokkaido Government Office attracts tourists and locals alike.
One of the main attractions of the Former Hokkaido Government Office is its historical displays and art exhibitions. The building houses exhibitions on the first and second floors that showcase the history and culture of Hokkaido. Visitors can explore these displays and learn about the region’s past, including its indigenous people, colonization, and development. The exhibits provide a comprehensive overview of Hokkaido’s unique heritage and contribute to the preservation of its history.
In addition to the historical exhibitions, the Former Hokkaido Government Office also hosts seasonal events that add vibrancy to the surrounding area. One such event is the Yosakoi dancing, which takes place in front of the building. Yosakoi is a traditional Japanese dance form that originated in Kochi Prefecture and has since spread throughout the country. The energetic performances and colorful costumes create a festive atmosphere and attract both locals and tourists.
During the summer months, the outdoor food and market stalls in front of the gardens offer a delightful experience. Visitors can sample local delicacies and browse through a variety of handmade crafts and souvenirs. The lively atmosphere and the opportunity to interact with local vendors make this a popular spot for both food enthusiasts and shoppers.
Getting to the Former Hokkaido Government Office is convenient, as it is located just an 8-minute walk from the West Exit of JR Sapporo Station or from Exit 10 of Sapporo Station on the Namboku Subway Line. The proximity to these major transportation hubs makes it easily accessible for visitors from both within and outside Hokkaido.
The architectural features of the Former Hokkaido Government Office are what make it truly unique and captivating. The massive double doors and warped glass are rare in Japanese architecture, giving the building a distinct character. These features serve a functional purpose as well, as the double doors are designed to keep out the cold during the harsh Hokkaido winter. The darker bricks used for the lower part of the outer walls were heated at higher temperatures to withstand greater pressure, showcasing the attention to detail and craftsmanship of the builders.
The Former Hokkaido Government Office also offers visitors the opportunity to experience the atmosphere of Meiji japan. The building houses several facilities that are open to the public, including a library and historical archive. These resources provide valuable insights into the history of Japan’s northern island and offer researchers and history enthusiasts a wealth of information. Additionally, visitors can explore the former governor’s office and admire the artwork displayed throughout the halls. The combination of historical artifacts and artistic elements creates a unique ambiance that transports visitors back in time.
It is worth noting that the Former Hokkaido Government Office was modeled after the Massachusetts State House in the United States. This inspiration is evident in the building’s architectural style and adds to its cultural significance. The decision to model the building after a well-known structure from another country reflects the aspirations of the Hokkaido government to position the region as a modern and progressive entity.
The construction of the Former Hokkaido Government Office was a monumental task that required the use of around 2.5 million bricks. When completed, it was one of the tallest and largest buildings in Japan, standing at an impressive height of 33 meters. The false chimneys that adorn the building are not just decorative elements but serve as air vents, ensuring proper ventilation within the structure. These details highlight the engineering prowess and innovative techniques employed during the construction process.
The Former Hokkaido Government Office is not only a historical and architectural gem but also a testament to the resilience and spirit of the people of Hokkaido. It has withstood the test of time and continues to be a symbol of the region’s identity and heritage. The preservation of this iconic building is a testament to the importance placed on cultural heritage in Hokkaido, as well as the efforts made to ensure its longevity.
In conclusion, the Former Hokkaido Government Office is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in Hokkaido’s history, culture, and architectural heritage. With its captivating architecture, engaging exhibitions, and vibrant atmosphere, it offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors. Whether you are a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking to explore the cultural treasures of Hokkaido, a visit to the Former Hokkaido Government Office is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Address And Maps Location:
6 Chome, Kita 3 Jonishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido