The Historical Village of Hokkaido is an open-air museum located in the Atsubetsu district of Sapporo. It was opened in 1983 and contains more than 50 buildings and facilities from the Meiji and Taisho periods. This was the time during which Hokkaido developed rapidly and got its modern face.
Historical Hokkaido Buildings
Many of these buildings were located at various points in Sapporo, although there are also some buildings that were originally built in other cities in Hokkaido, such as Otaru, Asahikawa, and Obihiro, and have been relocated here.
Among the buildings in the Village, you can find the Old Sapporo Station which serves as the entrance to the facility and the Hokkaidô Government Headquarters. A wooden building that would later be replaced by the so-called Aka Renga are particularly famous.
However, the greatest attraction of the Village is probably in its variety of buildings and constructions. They show the strange architectural mixture that characterized the urban landscape of Sapporo. Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, you saw traditional Japanese houses next to houses inspired by Western models. There were also Buddhist and Shinto temples coexisting with Christian churches, and typical ryokan next to farms typical of the North American Far West.
The Atmosphere of the Past
In addition, it is possible to access most of these buildings. All kinds of furniture, equipment, and clothing of the time are preserved showing us the way of life of the inhabitants of Hokkaido.
In any case, the Historical Village of Hokkaido perfectly reproduces the atmosphere of Sapporo in the last quarter of the 19th century. This was the time when Hokkaido officially became a territory of Japan, and a large number of settlers from all regions of the country flocked to the island in search of a better life.
Of course, the museum also has dedicated exhibitions about aboriginal Ainu culture and Hokkaido’s nature.
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