A favorite attraction and the start of many tours in Sapporo, the Sapporo Clock Tower has a museum and gallery on the ground floor dedicated primarily to its own colorful history and the accomplishments of graduates and teachers of Sapporo Agricultural College.
The tower was built in 1878 during the city's formative decades and was actually Sapporo's first building. Its clock, installed in 1881, was commissioned and purchased from the E. Howard Watch & Clock Company of Boston, and is a weight-driven mechanism.
The Sapporo Clock Tower is the city's oldest building
One of few surviving structures of Western design
The tower is a 10-minute walk from the south exit of Sapporo Station, and the route there is easy to follow. It's only five minutes away from Odori Park.
One unusual aspect of the tower's clock is that it is powered solely by the force of gravity. A 50-kilo stone box and 150-kilo bell hung at the bottom of the clock wind the gears and keep the clock ticking over. When the weight reaches the bottom, which takes about a week, it is wound back up by a crank handle.
The tower was originally intended to be used as a drill hall for the Sapporo Agricultural School. It later became a military training facility during World War Two, and a library after that.
The tower now houses a small museum and gallery, while the second floor is used mainly as a presentation and event space.