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Autumn Leaves 2016

5 Popular Activites on Hokkaido University Campus

Photo: MIKI Yoshihito on Flickr

5 Popular Activites on Hokkaido University Campus


The Sapporo campus of Hokkaido University, located just 10 minutes away on foot north from Sapporo Station, offers a beautiful scenery and popular sightseeing spots for visitors.

Here is a compiled list of five things you can do and see when visiting the Hokkaido University campus:

1. Boys Be Ambitious

One of the most famous landmarks of Sapporo is located on campus, and that is the bust of William S. Clark who founded the Sapporo Agriculture College in 1876, that later became Hokkaido University. His bust does not just commemorate the foundation of the university, but also symbolizes the great historical relationship between foreigners and the local population. It is known that one of the last things Clark said to his students before leaving Japan after founding the college, was “Boys be ambitious”. This has thus become a famous slogan for the city, as well as the rest of Japan. Several statues of Clark can be found throughout the city, but the bust located inside the campus is one of the most popular.

Photo 1_Clark bust

Jun Seita on Flickr

2. Hokkaido University Museum

The Hokkaido University museum is a popular spot for visitors coming to the campus wanting to learn more about the educational history of Sapporo. The museum is free to enter, and offers a broad history of the establishment of the university, its founders and its significance to the island of Hokkaido.

Currently ranked as number eight of the top universities of Japan, Hokkaido University is one that excels in its research of agriculture and natural sciences. At the university museum you can learn all about these efforts from its establishment until modern day. And even see a dinosaur.

Photo 2_Hokkaido University Museum

663highland on Wikimedia Commons

3. Park Life

Taking a walk around the campus is a great activity in late summer when its not too hot, but even better in autumn when the leaves start to change colors and beautiful colorful sceneries dominate the entire campus park.
From the main entrance you will come across popular spots such as the Elm Forest and The Ono Pond. The campus park is huge and you can spend hours exploring its surroundings and historical buildings. Young people, students, families and solo visitors all come to the park for a relaxing time under the trees. The university made recent headlines when it removed itself from the Pokemon GO application, enabling visitors and students to enjoy the park without disturbance from Pokemon enthusiasts.

Photo 3_Park life

Hiroyuki Takeda on Flickr

4. Campus Walk Tour

Between the 1st of June and the 30th of October of every year, the popular campus walk tours are offered giving visitors and locals a chance to experience all that the beautiful university campus has to offer. Every Wednesday and Friday-Sunday from 10:00- 11:30 AM, a free tour of the park is conducted in both Japanese and English. It is recommended that you meet up to five minutes before it starts. The starting point is in front the information center by the main entrance.

The tours are organized by the Sapporo International Communication Plaza, Foreign Language Volunteer Network and are free for anyone interested in joining. Although you can easily enjoy the Hokkaido University campus entirely by yourself, the tour will give an insight to the historical background of each of the different spots and buildings, so that the campus can be more enjoyable.

Photo 4_Campus Walk Tours

663highland on Wikimedia Commons

5. Information Center and Cafe

Once you have seen the famous Clark bust and the beautiful elm trees, a good relaxation spot comes in handy. The information center at the main gate includes a beautiful relaxing cafe, as well as a gift shop where you can buy different William S. Clark or elm tree souvenirs amongst other things. The information center is also a great place to pop by if you have questions about the university, its history and sightseeing opportunities. The information center provides information and resources in both Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese languages and is a great place to either start or end your tour.

Photo 5_Tourist Cafe

MIKI Yoshihito on Flickr