Eastern Sapporo is a recommended destination if you like nature and history. Nopporo Forest Park (野幌森林公園) has not only hiking trails but also historical museums of Hokkaido.
Area About 2000-hectare
Highlights Hokkaido Museum, Historical Village of Hokkaido
Tourist Information Nopporo Forest Park Visitor’s Center (see below): www.kaitaku.or.jp/nfpvc.htm
01 LOCAL HISTORY
北海道博物館 / Hokkaido Hakubutsukan / Atsubetsu-cho, Atsubetsu-ku / 9.30am-5pm, to 4.30pm Oct-Apr / Closed Mon, 29 Dec-3 Jan / Adult ¥600, student ¥300, child FREE / www.hm.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp
If you want to know more about Hokkaido’s history and nature, this red brick museum (also called the Mori-no-Charenga) should be your first stop. Explores from 1.2 million years ago to the frontier history to the modern day, with valuable collection, photos, bird-eye’s view and diorama of ecosystem. The Ainu culture hall has a thatched house, cloths, tools and exhibitions of their history. You can rent an audio guide (¥280).
A dual purpose ticket (¥1200) valid for this museum and the Historical Village. JR Bus 22 from Shin-Sapporo Station stops here.
02 LOCAL HISTORY
Historical Village of Hokkaido
北海道開拓の村 / Hokkaido Kaitaku-no-mura / Atsubetsu-cho, Atsubetsu-ku / 9am-5pm May-Sep, 9am-4.30pm Oct-Apr / Closed Mon of Oct-Apr, 29 Dec-3 Jan / Adult ¥800, student ¥600, child FREE / www.kaitaku.or.jp
In the attractive village of Kaitaku-no-mura is a fine open-air museum. It boasts the Meiji and Taisho periods’s 53 historic buildings that were moved (or restored) here from all over Hokkaido, including halls, schools, houses, shops and factories. Experience-based events and historic performances are held on weekend. At least two hours for explore the village.
You can making traditional toys at the Experiential Training Building (9.30am-4pm; closed 11.30am-1pm weekday; free) near the Children’s Plaza. A horsecar (mid Apr-Nov) or a horse sleigh (Sat, Sun & holiday Dec-Mar) runs in the main street (adult ¥250 / child ¥100).
03 LOCAL HISTORY
Hokkaido Archaeological Operation Center
北海道埋蔵文化財センター / Hokkaido Maizo Bunkazai Center / 685-1 Nishi-Nopporo, Ebetsu-shi / 9.30am-4.30pm / Closed Mon, 29 Dec-3 Jan / FREE / www.domaibun.or.jp
This modest archaeological operation center, adjoining Bunkyodai elementary school, has earthenware, wooden tools and boulders from the Paleolithic era (20,000 years ago) in one exhibition room. From Shin-Sapporo Station stop 10, take the JR Bus 82 or 83 to Kurinoki Koen-mae, then about a 5-minute walk to the center. During warmer seasons, you can walk from the memorial tower.
04 VISITOR CENTER
Nopporo Forest Park Visitor’s Center
野幌森林公園自然ふれあい交流館 / Shizen Fureai Koryukan / 685-1 Nishi-Nopporo, Ebetsu-shi / 9am-5pm May-Sep, 9.30am-4.30pm Oct-Apr / Closed Mon except holiday / FREE (ask for staff)/ Wi-Fi / www.kaitaku.or.jp/nfpvc.htm
A short walk from Osawa Gate, this visitor’s center has small displays on flora and fauna, hiking maps, information and binoculars. It also has picnic tables and toilets. Five pleasant paths start here.
Nopporo Forest Park
Extends from Eastern Sapporo to Ebetsu in the heart of the Ishikari Plain, this 2000-hectare sprawling forest has been preserved from the late 19th-century and designated as a prefectural natural park. There are 14 walks crisscross Nopporo Forest Park. The hiking season starts from early May.
The most popular hike is a 30-minute walk from the memorial tower to the Mizuho-no-ike (瑞穂池) reservoir completed in 1928. This path is continue to the historical village.
NOPPORO FOREST PARK MAP
Discovering Hokkaido’s History
DURATION 6 HOURS | TIMING YEAR-ROUND
START: Sapporo Station
↓ JR local train for Ebetsu or Iwamizawa (13-18min)
↓ JR Bus 22 for Kaitamu-no-mura (5min / ¥210) or 20min walk
01 Hokkaido Museum
↓ 10min walk or JR Bus 22 for Kaitaku-no-mura (2min / ¥210)
02 Historical Village of Hokkaido
↓ JR Bus 22 (7min / ¥210)
↓ JR local train for Sapporo (10min)
↓ 5min walk across the Ario shopping mall
FIHISH: Sapporo Beer Museum
TRAIN: The main gateway to the forest park, Kinento-guchi (記念塔口) is about a 15-minute walk uphill from Shinrinkoen Station (森林公園駅) on the JR Hakodate Line, four stops east of Sapporo Station by local train (13min / ¥340). Osawa-guchi (大沢口) is about a 30-minute walk from JR Oasa Station south gate in Ebetsu.
BUS: JR Bus 22 leaves from Shin-Sapporo Station (on the JR Chitose Line) bus terminal stop 10 to Kaitaku-no-mura (開拓の村: Historical Village) every 30 minutes from 10am to 3pm (flat ¥210), stopping at JR Shinrinkoen Station (east gate), Nopporo Forest Park in front of Kinento-guchi and Hokkaido Museum. The last bus from Kaitaku-no-mura back to Shin-Sapporo is at 5.40pm. Japan and Hokkaido rail passes are available.