The development of Sapporo as the capital of Hokkaido began in 1869, with the help of many foreign experts, engineers and educators. "The Clock Tower" was built in 1878 and is therefore regarded as both a historical and cultural symbol of Sapporo. The Clock Tower was originally called "Embujo" - meaning a 'military drill hall' - and served as a drill hall for the Sapporo Agricultural College (currently Hokkaido University), which was the first institution for Agricultural Studies in Japan.

Dr. William S. Clark, President of Massachusetts Agricultural College, was invited as the first vice-president of the Sapporo Agricultural College. During his tenure, he designed the curriculum with military training, similar to that of MAC. Professor William Wheeler took over after Dr. Clark and planned to build a military drill hall, which was later called the Clock Tower. It is said that Governor Kiyotaka Kuroda of the Hokkaido Development Commission proposed renovating the tower by installing a large clock, which was manufactured and purchased from the E. Howard Watch & Clock Co. of Boston, Massachusetts. The construction of this new addition was completed in 1881.

The simple and practical features of the Clock Tower's wooden structure are typical of American houses found in the Mid-west and West during its colonization. Rooms on the first floor were used as laboratories, lecture rooms, and exhibition space for zoological, botanical, and mineralogical specimens. The second floor was used for physical education training as well as a ceremony hall.

The Clock Tower was designated as a National Important Cultural Property in 1970 and is now a museum that is also used for various cultural activities. The Clock Tower continues to serve as a historical landmark, telling stories of early days in Sapporo.

Clock Tower

North1,West2,Chuo-ku,Sapporo,Hokkaido 060-0001
10 minutes on foot from JR Sapporo Station Southern entrance.
5 min walk from Odori Station, exit number 7.
The 4th Mondays of each month and the following Tuesday when Monday falls on a public holiday.
From December 29 to January 3
8:45~17:10 (Admission until 10minutes before closing)