Former Hokkaido Government Office

Former Hokkaido Government Office

Travel Guide

The Former Hokkaido Government Office is Hokkaido’s best-known symbol and the red star on its exterior wall is the symbol of the Hokkaido Development Commission.

Former Hokkaido Government Office is American-neo-baroque style building which was built in 1888 and was the center of government administration of Hokkaido in the early years of the development of the prefecture. Using the Massachusetts State House in the USA as a reference, local architects designed this building. The red bricks used in the wall of the building were made in Toyohira and Shiroishi villages, which are currently wards of Sapporo (as Toyohira-ku and Shiroishi-ku).

Hokkaido Island had been a developing land since the 19th century, so "Hokkaido government" was set up here in 1886. In 1947, after World War II, Hokkaido government was abolished by Local Autonomy Act, and it changed to Hokkaido Prefecture.

Former Hokkaido Government Office is in central Sapporo, behind the current Hokkaido Government building. When completed, it was one of the largest and tallest buildings in Japan. Unfortunately the building needed to be rebuilt in 1911 after a devastating fire, but was declared an Important Cultural Property in 1969.

The building is constructed from about 2.5 million red bricks that are laid in the French style. Brick buildings are rare in Japan so the great big red brick building attract big attention and the Former Hokkaido Government Office gained the popular name Red Brick Office.

Today the Former Hokkaido Government Office functions as a museum and tourist information office, but also has conference room. The facilities inside the building also include a few historical exhibition rooms and libraries. Visitors can enter the building free of charge. Flower gardens and a pond in front of the building work as a downtown oasis for the local people.

Inside the building most of the furnishings are made from wood. All of the windows are double pane to provide protection against the cold winter. The most popular spot among tourists is the staircase under the three beautifully decorated arches.


Travel Advice


- Closed for maintenance from October 1, 2019 to March 2023.

- There are restaurant and shops at the basement of the building.

- The building lights up after the sunset to 21:00,so visitors can enjoy it in different ways throughout the day.



Address Nishi 6-chome, Kita 3-jo, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Phone 011-231-4111
Admission Free  
Hours 08:45 to 18:00  
Closed December 29 to January 3
Duration 20 minutes
Getting There By Train
10 minute walk from JR Sapporo Station.
10 minute walk from Odori Station on subway Nanboku Line, subway Tozai Line or subway Toho Line.

By Car
Take Sasson Expressway to the Sapporokita exit. It is approximately 15 minutes from exit.
Parking No parking available

Attractions in Japan