One of Japan’s major nightlife districts, the lively Susukino also offers several historic temples and shrines dating back to the late 19th-century where you will see another face of the town.
すすきの交差点 / S4W4, Chuo-ku
Located in front of the tram stop, the grand-scale Susukino Crossing is highly photogenic night spot and the Nikka sign is the most famous.
豊川稲荷 / 1-1 S7W4, Chuo-ku / 24hrs / FREE
Founded in 1898 as a branch of Toyokawa Inari in Central Japan, this shrine’s construction fund was donation from Susukino’s restaurants, playhouses and geisha (traditional female entertainers) houses. It is a syncretization of Shinto religion and Buddhism. The ground floor is a buddhist temple, and the second floor is a shinto shrine.
成田山新栄寺 / S7W3, Chuo-ku / 7.30am-4pm / FREE / sapporo-naritasan.jp
Established in 1885 as a branch temple of Naritasan Shinsho-ji (in Chiba Prefecture), the traveler-friendly Shin’ei-ji has modern and splendid building (rebuilt in 2003). O-goma (sacred fire ceremony for Fudo) held every morning at 8am (8.30am Dec-Mar), as well as 2pm on weekend.
The Komyo-den (光明殿) on the ground floor is a marvelous hall that houses countless buddha statues. You can go down the stairs from an indoor temple shop.
中央寺 / S6W2, Chuo-ku / Dawn-dusk / FREE
Chuo-ji is the branch temple of Eihei-ji (Soto sect in Fukui Prefecture) founded in 1874 and relocated here in 1892. The wooden main gate has a pair of Nio Guardians (also called the Kongo Rikishi Statues: fierce guardian god).
新善光寺 / S6W1, Chuo-ku / Dawn-dusk / FREE
Founded in 1884, Shin-Zenko-ji is Hokkaido’s home temple of the Jodo (Pure Land) sect. Inside the main building, Amida Nyorai Statue is said to be curved in the 12th-century (late Kamakura period) and relocated from Kyoto’s Jokoku-ji Temple in 1964 when the current temple hall was complete. The entrance is at the temple office on the left hand.
06 LOCAL HISTORY
Sapporo City Archives Hall
札幌市公文書館 / Sapporo-shi Kobunshokan / 5-2 S8W2, Chuo-ku / 8.45am-5.15pm / Closed Sun & Mon / FREE / www.city.sapporo.jp/kobunshokan
In an old elementary school building a few minutes’ walk south from Hosui-Susukino subway station, the city’s archives hall has a small galleries with rare old photos, maps and postcards. Don’t miss the documents for the cancelled 1940 Winter Olympics.
SUBWAY: Nanboku subway line stops at Susukino and the Toho subway line stops at Hosui-Susukino.
TRAM: The circumference tram stops at Susukino at the photogenic crossroads.