From military history to stylish crafts, Northern Asahikawa offers several cultural museums and galleries.
01 ART MUSEUM
Asahikawa Museum of Sculpture
中原悌二郎記念旭川彫刻美術館 / 5-7 Shunko-cho / 9am-5pm Tue-Sun / ¥300
Originally built in 1902 as a social club for military officers, the beautifully proportioned white European-style wooden building is now a sculpture museum. It showcases the work of Nakahara Teijiro (1888-1921), Japan’s top sculpture of the Taisho period.
A discount combined ticket (¥450) is available for the Museum of Sculpture and beside the Inoue Yasushi Memorial Museum (井上靖記念館) that chronicles the life and works of Asahikawa-born famous writer Inoue Yasushi (1907-1991) whose several novels have been translated into English.
02 LOCAL HISTORY
北鎮記念館 / Shunko-cho / 9am-5pm Apr-Oct, 9.30am-4pm Nov-Mar / Closed Mon / FREE
Asahikawa was known as Hokkaido’s main military-based town before WWII. This red brick museum exhibits on the history of local tonden-hei (farmer soldiers), the old Imperial Japanese Army and the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force, including swords and guns.
Opposite the museum, the 1902 Hokkaido Gokoku Jinja (北海道護国神社 / Hanasaki-cho 1-2282-2 / 24hrs / FREE / www.hokkaido-gokoku.org) shrine dedicated to mourn the war victims. The precinct has Hokkaido’s only Taikan-style building of Heisei-kan (平成館) constructed in 1935.
03 MOUNTAIN & WILDFLOWER GARDEN
Tossho-zan & Otokoyama Natural Park
突哨山 · 男山自然公園 / Otokoyama Natural Park mid Apr-early May / www.morinet-h.org/katakuri/2017.html
One of Hokkaido’s largest colonies of katakuri (violet trout lilies) lie on Tossho-zan (239m), there are several hiking trails on the ridge line between Route 40 and Murakami-yama Park.
Otokoyama Natural Park, on the south side of the mountain, is open to the public from mid April to early May. From Asahikawa Station stop 7, take bus 2, 5 or 32 and get off at Otokoyama-koen-mae (32min; 19 daily).
Northern Asahikawa Map