2018年01月18日

'Sapporo Clock Tower', the official name of which is 'The old martial arts practice hall of Sapporo Agriculture School', standing in the very heart of Sapporo City, is a leading sightseeing spot in Hokkaido.

IMG_1646.JPG

This clock tower was originally built in the ground of Sapporo Agriculture School, present Hokkaido University, in 1878, as a martial arts training hall of that school. It was, at first, a bell tower though, the bell was replaced with the clock in 1881. This clock had long been abandoned by the locals, however it was carefully repaired by a nearby watchmaker in 1933. He had visited almost every day after that to take care of this old clock till 1982 as his volunteer work. Once being used as a city library before the Second World War, it is now utilized as a small museum focusing on the history of Hokkaido University as well as a rental hall for the locals. This old building is on the list of important cultural assets, because this is one of the oldest buildings in Hokkaido. The development of Hokkaido just started in the middle of the 19th century.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 15:30 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年01月09日

'Yoichi Distillery' in Hokkaido is the birthplace of 'Nikka Whisky'.

IMG_1724 (2).JPG

IMG_1729.JPG

Japan's first genuine whisky was produced at 'Yamazaki Distillery' in the suburbs of Kyoto by 'Kotobukiya', present Suntory in 1929. Mr. Masataka Taketsuru, who was the head manager of this distillery at that time, quit Kotobukiya aiming for perfect whisky. He founded a distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido, to make the best Japanese whisky unlimitedly like Scotch Whisky. Yoichi and its neighborhood have Scottish weather, and are blessed with the good materials as well as the fuel for whisky making. This distillery still employs old-fashioned distilling equipment in order to put more importance on quality than quantity, being based on Quality-First-Policy. The first whisky was marketed in 1940, after undergoing all sorts of hardships, however this factory was under requisition by the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Second World War. As the pictures show, this old factory in operation is dotted with the original buildings such as the house of the founder's family, office building and many branch workshops for whisky making. This factory is open to the public.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 09:48 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年01月03日

Otaru City in Hokkaido enjoyed prosperity as a provincial financial center exceeding Sapporo City early in the 20th century.

IMG_1702.JPG

IMG_1713.JPG

Otaru City used to be the most important economic base city in Hokkaido before the Second World War. Because it was a shipping port of coals and agricultural products, a base of herring fishing, and a trade port with South Sakhalin and Korea, both of which were Japan's territory in those years. However, under the influence of the shift in energy from coals to oil, the independence of Korea, and the decrease of the herring catch, this city has long been in its twilight since the end of the War. As a satellite city of Sapporo as well as a tourist city with almost half of the golden age population, this city barely conveys the traces of the former prosperity. The first picture shows 'Otaru Unga' canal lined with old warehouses, which are used now as restaurants and souvenir shops. The townscape in the second picture is past downtown of the city. Most buildings are financial offices and they are converted into museums attracting sightseers from home and abroad.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 12:38 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする