A striking triangular roof painted in red above its white walls characterizes the two-story wooden building. The tower stands 19.825 m tall and holds about 760 sq.m of floor space. The outer walls feature red stars, the symbol of Sapporo's Development Commission.
The first floor features a reading room for learning about the history of the clock tower and the Sapporo Agricultural College, with information panels and dioramas. The hall on the second floor is a reconstruction of the old auditorium, and is now used for night events and concerts. On display in the corner of the hall sits a replica of the tower's clock mechanism made by E. Howard & Co., showing you its workings up close.
A bell chimes every hour, counting out the hours.
The clock tower is about 10 minutes by foot from JR Sapporo Station via the underground walkway towards Odori Park using Exit 9, and about 5 minutes by foot from the exit beside the city hall in Odori Station on the subway.
200 JPY for adults, free for high school students and younger
History of the Clock Tower
Based on a suggestion by the American educator Dr. William Smith Clark, the building was constructed as a military drill hall (used for practicing martial arts as well as for ceremonies) for Sapporo Agricultural College, the precursor of the present-day Hokkaido University. The hall was completed in 1878 and fitted with the clock tower three years later. In 1906, the building was relocated to the site where it stands now. The clock tower is designated as an Important Cultural Property.
Photo Opportunities in the Clock Tower
(1) Stage for Souvenir Photos
You can find a stage set up for photography outside of the building, offering a perfect photo spot for pictures with the clock tower. Volunteer staff is present from June to September to help with photography.
(2) Beside the Statue of Dr. Clark
In October 2017, a statue of Dr. Clark was erected inside the hall on the second floor. You can take pictures beside the Doctor, who is sitting on a bench with a textbook in his right hand.
(3) Terrace for Taking Photos of the Clock Tower
The building across the road has a terrace on its second floor with a view looking down on the front of the clock tower. Noon is the best time for taking photos on this terrace, when the building beautifully catches the sunlight.
Mechanisms of the Clock Tower
Two weights, one 50 kg and the other 150 kg, drive the tower's clock. Gravity pulls down the weights in the clock, and this force is transmitted to a pendulum via a gear mechanism. The regular movement of the pendulum is conveyed into a device called an escapement where it is converted into rotary motion to make the clock work. You can get a closer look at the mechanisms in the clock in a model made by E. Howard & Co., placed in the hall on the second floor.
Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido north 1 west 2, 060-0001
- Nearest Station
･ Namboku Line
･ Tozai Line
･ Toho Line
- Phone Number
011-231-0838Available languagesonly in Japanese
8:45am - 5:10pm
※Admission until 5:00pm
※New Year's holiday period (Jan 1 to Jan 3)
- Public Site
- Official Site
Recommended Spots in Area
HOKKAIDO MUSEUM OF MODERN ARTSapporo / ChitoseArt Museums
JR Tower Observation Deck T38Sapporo / ChitoseLandscapes
Shiryokan (Former Sapporo Court of Appeals)Sapporo / ChitoseOther Historic Sites
SAPPORO TANUKIKOJI SHOPPING STREETSapporo / ChitoseOther Townscapes
Odori ParkSapporo / ChitoseParks
SAPPORO TV TowerSapporo / ChitoseLandmarks
POKER FACE Sapporo storeSapporo / ChitoseClothing Stores
TiCTAC Sapporo Stellar Place storeSapporo / ChitoseJewelry Stores and Watch Shops
TiCTAC Sapporo PARCO storeSapporo / ChitoseJewelry Stores and Watch Shops
MIKI HOUSE Sapporo Daimaru storeSapporo / ChitoseClothing Stores
Akarenga TerraceSapporo / ChitoseShopping Malls
BicCamera Sapporo StoreSapporo / ChitoseElectronics Stores