The Hokkaido University Botanical Gardens are a botanical garden park which is open to the public. Originally a part of the Hokkaido University campus, it is now operated as both an attraction and a part of the university programs. The gardens span an area of several city blocks and include over 4,000 plant species, a section of preserved old growth forest, walking trails, a pond and several small museums including the Natural History Museum. They can be easily reached by a about a 5 minute walk from Sapporo Station, Hokkaido University campus and Odori Park, and are just a block away from the Hokkaido Prefecture Building and Akarenga. The gardens are open daily for a small admission fee.
The entrance is located at North 2, West 8, and the grounds span from here to North 5, West 11. There is a bus stop for tour buses directly across the street. The easiest access is by walking west from Sapporo Station, which is about a 5 minute walk. The gardens are 4 blocks west from Sapporo Subway Station exit 10. Alternately you can take a taxi from Sapporo Station. You can also walk from Odori Subway Station exit 2 by going two blocks north and 4 blocks west. Because the gardens are just a block west of the Hokkaido Prefecture Building and Akarenga Park, it’s possible to walk from Sapporo Station and enjoy the grounds of both Akarenga Park and the Botanical Gardens in one easy walking tour.
The gardens were established in 1886 as part of the Old Sapporo Agricultural College, and are now the second oldest botanical gardens in Japan (the oldest is the Koishikawa Botanical Garden in Tokyo). Today they form part of Hokkaido University’s School of Agriculture, and contain a small part of the old growth forest formerly covering the Ishikari Plain, as well as collections of over 4,000 plant species, including alpine plants, wild plants from Hokkaidō, and the oldest lilac in Sapporo. The gardens also contain early Hokkaido homes, a tropical greenhouse, and the Natural History Museum (built in 1884), which exhibits Ainu artefacts, local archaeological and biological specimens, and the stuffed body of Taro, one of two surviving sled dogs from Japan’s 1958 Antarctica mission.
Admission is 400 yen for Adults and 280 yen for Children (elementary and junior high school students). Admission is also available for just the greenhouse at 110 yen for both adults and children.
Overall this is a must-see for nature lovers and those with botanical interests, and it’s a wonderful spot for a relaxing stroll in spring through summer. In winter the greenhouses are the main attraction as the walking trails are covered in snow.
This post is also available in: Japanese