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Built in 1888, the former Hokkaido Government Office Building is one of Hokkaido's most famous buildings at the heart of Sapporo. With its red brick walls, it stands out among Sapporo's more modern buildings.
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The building was akin to Hokkaido's capitol where the governor's office was located. It was used for 80 years. Open 9 am - 5 pm, closed Dec. 29-Jan. 3. Free admission. Near Sapporo Station's south exit and visible from Ekimae-dori road.
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Nicknamed "Akarenga Chosha" (Red Brick Government Building), a fire in 1909 gutted the interior, but the exterior was little damaged. The building was restored in 1911. 赤れんが庁舎
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Most of the building materials, stones and wood, were procured from Hokkaido. The building is flanked by yaezakura cherry trees which bloom in early May.
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Tulips also give a colorful touch to the grounds. In 1968, the building was restored to its original state, and it has been preserved since then. It has an American Neo-baroque style.
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In March 1969, it was designated as an Important Cultural Property. Its 2.5 million bricks were made locally and laid in a French style.
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The roof has chimney-like ventilation outlets.
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Former Hokkaido Government Office Building and tulips, Sapporo
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Former Hokkaido Government Office Building and yaezakura cherry blossoms, Sapporo
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Adjacent pond and cherry blossoms
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G8 Summit countdown sign
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The interior of the Former Hokkaido Government Office Building is just as dignified as the exterior. This triple-arch staircase is what you first see when you enter the building.
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Rear of the triple-arch staircase.
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Going to the 2nd floor.
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Most of the rooms open to the public are on the 2nd floor.
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Staircase and G8 Summit sign
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Second floor corridor.
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On the right is the entrance to the former Governor's office
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The second floor has several large rooms. This is the Hokkaido Archives where Hokkaido's historical documents and records are kept.
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Cannon balls
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Inside the former office of the Governor. There's a large conference table and the walls are decorated with portraits of past Hokkaido governors.
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Portraits of past Hokkaido governors. The bottom row are the most recent governors.
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A stately room. The governor's desk is in the right corner.
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Governor's desk in the governor's former office.
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Another room on the 2nd floor shows Hokkaido's international relations with sister states in Alberta, Canada; Massachusetts, USA; and Heilongjiang, China.
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From Alberta, Canada
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From Massachusetts, USA. The famous Dr. William Clark was from this US state.
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Photos of international sister state exchanges.
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Red bricks
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Karafuto/Sakhalin Resource Library
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Hokkaido History Gallery occupies another room on the 2nd floor.
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Hokkaido History Gallery includes wildlife exhibit.
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There's also the Northern Territories Room with exhibits clamoring for the return of the northern territories (Shikotan, Habomai, Etorofu). now occupied by Russia.
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Petition for the return of the Northern Territories. As of late April 2008, over 80.3 million people signed the petition.
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Poster for the return of the Northern Territories
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Poster for the return of the Northern Territories. Her braided hair resembles the northern islands.
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First floor corridor. Most of the rooms on the 1st floor are closed to the public.
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Point Zero for Hokkaido's travel distances.
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Along the road to the former government building are display panels about Hokkaido's hisotry. Here's one about the early foreigners in Hokkaido.
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