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"Historical Museum of Hokkaido" - The more you know about Hokkaido's history the more you'll love this island!

When speaking of Hokkaido's unique history, there are certain key points that you must know. The Naumann elephant, Jomon culture, Yezo (or Ezo), Ainu culture, Kitamae-Bune, Tondenhei, Kaitakushi, and Nagakura Shinpachi from the Shinsengumi. If you'd like to find out where you can learn more read on!


The "Historical Museum of Hokkaido" opened April of 1971 in Nopporo Forest Park as 

part of the Hokkaido 100 Year Project. In 1992 the museum was renewed as a permanent installment to the site.



▲Historical Museum of Hokkaido


▲Adjacent to the museum is the Hokkaido Centennial Tower.



Actually the "Historical Museum of Hokkaido" as it is now, will only be open until November of this year. From November 4th, 2013 until the Spring of 2015 the building will undergo a long-term, large-scale renovation.

After this renewal period, the building will reopen as "Hokkaido Museum." (Name tentative.)





The permanent historic exhibition here consists of eight important sections of Hokkaido history arranged in chronological order. From Jomon culture, Ainu culture, and Yezo, through the reclamation of Hokkaido up until modern day.


As soon as you enter the museum you are greeted by giant spruce and Picea trees. Their presence is overwhelming and really shows the power of Hokkaido's natural beauty. Sadly, these great trees will not be around after the renewal.



▲This part of the exhibit will only be viewable through November.



As you progress through the exhibit you soon find yourself face to face with a giant Naumann elephant skeleton!

Although visitors are not allowed to touch most of the exhibits, there are some special items which you can really get your hands on!

From mammoth tusks to Naumann elephant teeth, you'll get the chance to see just what they feel like for yourself.




▲Touchable exhibits are available.



This museum is a great place for those living in Hokkaido, as well as those visiting the island, to learn more about the island's history.





▲Ainu Culture Corner


▲Steller's sea line and brown bear pelts. Curator Sugiyama Tomoaki stands in for scale.



▲Section 6 "From Recession to War" showing how lumber was transported. This area will also be removed after the renewal.



One of the more hidden areas of the museum can be found in the basement, where non-permanent exhibits are on display.

Currently on display are materials from Nagakura Shinpachi, captain of the 2nd troop of the Shinsengumi, who spent his later years in Otaru.





Above is a famous picture of Nagakura Shinpachi himself! This exhibit is not permanent so be sure to check the homepage for information about the space before you visit.



▲In the hands-on room you can try to start a fire the old fashioned way...


▲Try on some period costumes...


▲And even try out the jewelry and hairstyles of the Jumon period!



For those living in Hokkaido, or just visiting, this museum provides a priceless look into the history of the island. If you'd like to learn more about the past be sure to stop by before the renovations begin!



■北海道開拓記念館 (Historical Museum of Hokkaido)



Location: 札幌市厚別区厚別町小野幌53-2 

(53-2 Konopporo, Astubetsu-cho, Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo)

TEL: (011)898-0456 

FAX: (011)898-2657

●Hours: 9:30-4:30 (Entry permitted until 4:00)

●Closed on Mondays and special occasions.

●General Admission:

Adult ticket: 500 Yen

High School and College Students: 170 Yen

Elementary and Junior High School Students: Free

※For further details please visit the home page.


◎Please note that the Museum will be closed from November 4th, 2013 until Spring of 2015.


(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Takako Chiba)


Photographs provided by Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Itsuki.

  • "Historical Museum of Hokkaido" - The more you know about Hokkaido's history the more you'll love this island!