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3 Must-See Museums in Hokkaido

(Top Left)Abashiri Prison Museum(Top Right)Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum(Bottom  Left)Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum(Bottom Right)Sapporo Olympic Museum


Hokkaido, a popular tourist area in Japan, has many unique museums that can be enjoyed by both children and adults, as well as ski resorts and hot springs. We will introduce museums where you can go sightseeing without worrying about terrible weather like rain and snow and experience various things that can only be found in Hokkaido.


※All information and prices listed are accurate as of September 2020.
※In Japan, elementary school students are approximately 6-12 years old, junior high school students are 12-15 years old, high school students are 15-18 years old, and university students are 18-22 years old, with regard to the grades listed on the price list.

1. Abashiri Prison Museum
2. Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum
3. Sapporo Olympic Museum


(1)  You can see the ruins of an actual prison!
Abashiri Prison Museum

Abashiri, which is well-known for drift ice, has a unique and extremely famous museum. Abashiri Prison is a museum that is located on the Lake Abashiri side of the scenic area/Mount Tento. This site preserves and exhibits the 25 historical buildings of Abashiri Prison, which were built more than 120 years ago and were actually used in the past. It’s the only prison museum in Japan. 
Of all the structures that were relocated and restored from the prison, eight of the buildings are registered as national cultural properties and six of the buildings are registered as tangible cultural properties. The highlights of the prison are the wooden prison’s "Hut chambers and central watch-house" and the video "The Forest of Prisoners in Red" (with 5-language audio support available:Japanese・Chinese (Mandarin/Cantonese)・English・Korean) where you can see how Hokkaido has been cultivated with powerful images in the physical experience theatre. Additionally, you can also get a picture of yourself as a prisoner in the Abashiri Prison here too! What’s more, you can also try prison food (barley rice, grilled fish, small side dishes, medium side dishes, miso soup) that recreates the lunch that is actually served at new Abashiri Prison today! There is also a cafe in the Administration Building of here. You can also have a snack in the café.

Abashiri Prison Museum
Address:1-1 Aza Yobito, Abashiri-shi, Hokkaido 
Access:About 7 minutes by car from JR Abashiri Station
Opening hours:
【1st April 1- 31st July】9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
【1st August – 16th August】9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
【17th August -31st March】9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Entrance fee:
【Adult】1,100 yen
【Senior high school/college student】770 yen
【Elementary/junior high school student】550 yen



(2)  Drift ice in the Summer!?
Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum

"Drift ice" refers to the "sea ice" made of frozen seawater drifting on the sea. You can see it around Monbetsu, Abashiri, Shiretoko, and other places from around the end of January each year, but as it floats on the sea surface, it is up to your luck whether or not you can see it. However, at the Okhotsk Ryuhyokan, you can see real drift ice anytime!
We recommend the Drift Ice Experience Terrace (World of Drift Ice Experience Room). In a room of -15 degrees Celcius, you can touch real drift ice and freeze a wet towel with it in the “Shibare Experiment” corner. In addition, rare creatures such as "Clione" that live in the Sea of Okhotsk and can only be seen on drift ice, "Namedango" and "Fusennou" Clione are exhibited. At the on-site cafe, they have salted caramel flavoured ice cream made using sea salt from the Sea of Okhotsk! In addition, there are lots of points that even families with children can enjoy, such as the "Observation Terrace" where a 360-degree panorama of the Shiretoko Mountain Range and the Akan Mountains can be seen.

Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum 
Address :244-3 Tentozan, Abashiri, Hokkaido.
Access:About 10 minutes by car from JR Abashiri Station
Opening hours:
【May-October】8: 30 AM - 6: 00 PM(Last admission:5:30 PM)
【November-April】9: 00 AM-4:30 PM(Last admission 16:00)
【29th December -5th January】 10: 00 AM -3: 00 PM(Last admission:2:30 PM)
Entrance fee:
[Adult] 770 yen
[High school student] 660 yen
[Elementary / Junior high school student] 550 yen


(3)  Experience winter sports at an actual Olympic site!
Sapporo Olympic Museum

Sapporo Olympic Museum, a museum located at the foot of the "Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium", which is well-known as an observation spot with a panoramic view of the Sapporo city. Materials related to the Winter Olympic Games held right here in 1972 and real equipment used by athletes in the competition are exhibited. Also, there are 6 kinds of simulators where you can experience the Winter Olympic Games from the perspective of an athlete, such as speed skating, ice hockey, and bobsledding, all of which are thrilling! Among the simulators, the most popular one is the simulator which allows you to have an experience from the viewpoint of ski jumpers. Standing in front of a giant, powerful screen, you can experience a simulated ski jump from take-off to landing. The distance jumped and scores are also displayed, so even small children can enjoy it! After the going around the museum, get on the lift to the observation lounge at the summit of Mt. Okura. Enjoy the night in Sapporo with a panoramic view of Sapporo city and Ishikari Bay!

Sapporo Olympic Museum 
Address :1274 Miyanomori, Chuo-ku, Sapporo (Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium) 
Access:About 10 minutes by car from Maruyama Park Station
Opening hours:
【1st May -31st October】: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
【1st November -30th April】9:30 AM - 5:00 PM (Last admission: 30 minutes before closing)
Entrance fee:
【high school student and younger】Free
【65 years old and over】450 yen

※Please show proof when entering.


Click here for more information on the facilities mentioned in this article.

Visit all the popular sites in Hokkaido! Convenient for all - The Hokkaido Rail Pass

Abashiri Prison Museum

Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum

Sapporo Olympic Museum

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