Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill

Statue of Dr William Smith Clark
AdmissionAdults : ¥520 (groups ¥470)
Children: ¥300 (groups ¥270)
Opening HoursMay - June: 8:30 -18:00
July - August: 8:30 - 19:00
September: 8:30 - 18:00
October - April: 9:00 - 17:00
NotesBuses available
Wheelchair access
Free parking for 150 vehicles
Credit cards available

Location /
Getting There
1 Hitsujigaoka, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaidō 062-0045

Hokkaido Chuo Bus: 10 minutes from Fukuzumi Station (Tōhō Line) to Hitsujigaoka Tenbodai Bus stop.

Sheep at Hitsujigaoka Observation HillHitsujigaoka which literally means, “Hill of Sheep”, was first developed in 1906 as a cattle breeding station, and then sheep breeding was introduced in 1919. At its peak it was the home to 2,000 sheep. The hill now, is the home to the famous statue of Dr. William Clark, and commands a stunning view overlooking the Ishikari Plains, with Sapporo Dome in the foreground. The hill also has an “Austrian House” souvenir shop, a rest house & restaurant serving mutton, a wedding chapel, a lavender garden in summer and the Snow Festival Museum.

Lavender at Hitsujigaoka Observation HillThe Austrian House has plenty of souvenirs to choose from, and has ice cream for those hot, sunny days. Around the back is a huge field and a beautiful lavender garden that is in full bloom in the summer. People visiting are allowed to cut the lavender into bouquets at the end of the season and take them home! Nearby is a white birch grove, where you can wander about. For lunch, at the Rest House, there is a restaurant that is set up for “Jingisukan” (a Hokkaido dish of grilled mutton cooked on a hotplate). The two floor restaurant also has venison, lamb chops, and there is an all you can eat & drink option. Prices range from ¥1200 – ¥2200.

Church at Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill

The chapel

The chapel is a pristine white building, which is a great wedding spot, and has seen many wedding ceremonies over the years. It is equally beautiful in the winter! Behind the chapel is a charming white birch grove. Along with the chapel is the Snow Museum. This building contains information about all the Snow Festivals that have been held over the years. It contains miniatures of the giant sculptures of the Snow Festival from decades past. The museum also has an interesting image of one of the snow sculptures in the very first Snow Festival!

Statue of Dr William Smith ClarkThe most famous aspect of Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill, is the statue of the Dr. William Smith Clark, the father of pioneers in Hokkaido and who left the famous words “boys be ambitious”. His right arm is raised in his characteristic pose as he points “toward the eternal truth which lies far in the distance”. Dr. William Smith Clark was the first “hired foreigner” and served as the vice-principal at the Sapporo Agricultural School (presently Hokkaido University) in 1876. Although he served for only 8 months he had a great influence on all the students. His statue was set up at the Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill as the university was being overwhelmed by tourists.

To get to Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill, you need to take the subway to Fukuzumi station on the Toho Line (blue line). From there take the 84 bus (Fuku Hachiju yon, Hitsujigaoka sen). Get off at the last stop Hitsujigaoka observation hill (Hitsujigaoka tenboudai). If you are driving, it is a 25 minute drive from Sapporo station.
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Hokkaido Guide contributor and editor. Keen photographer with a love of travel, the great outdoors and all things Hokkaido, Japan. Matt Holloway is a professional photographer and holds exhibitions around Sapporo, Hokkaido and Sydney Australia.