Former Hokkaido Government Office

Opening Hours9 am to 5 pm daily
Closed29th December to 3rd January
Getting There6 Chome-1 Kita 2 Jōnishi, Chūō-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaidō 060-0002, Japan

Also known as the ‘Red Brick Building’, the Former Hokkaido Government Office was used for approximately 80 years until the new government office currently in use was built. Built in in 1888, it now serves as a museum presenting exhibits about Hokkaido’s history. Built in French style architecture, the 33m-tall and 61m-wide Old Hokkaido Government Building was one of the tallest and largest buildings in Japan but had to be rebuilt in 1911 after a fire destroyed much of the interior.

The exhibits are located on the 1st and 2nd floors. The information panels are all in Japanese but there are folders located that are translated into various languages such as English, Chinese, and Thai. They show information on the history of Sapporo, with models, photos and items from that era. 

Throughout the building there are 20 paintings inside, which depict historically important scenes in the history of Hokkaido. The paintings are hung in the corridors and exhibition rooms. Most of the windows are double-paned, to keep out the freezing climate of Sapporo. A souvenir shop is also located on the 2nd floor. 

Red brick building
The three-section arch, which is decorated with engravings in Western architecture, is installed in the entrance hall. This is a popular spot for tourists to take photos. The Governor’s former office room is open to the public, and it displays restored room facilities as well as pictures of the successive governors in Hokkaidō. Other rooms are occasionally designated as conference rooms, and many companies and organizations have used these rooms for their meetings.