Prior to the Meiji Era (pre-1868), Hokkaido was known
as Ezo-chi, and inhabited primarily by the native Ainu people.
After 1868 and the beginning of the Meiji Era, however, full-scale
development began. Development was centered in Sapporo and
carried out thanks to settlers from the main Japanese island
of Honshu and innovative American and European technology.
As such, many buildings in Sapporo such as the Sapporo Clock
Tower and "Akarenga", the Former Hokkaido Government Office
Building, feature examples of European and American architectural
styles. Add to this the large tracts of farmland different
from anyplace else in Japan, and it might be said that from
a historical background, Hokkaido could be thought of as somewhat
European in nature.
Since the Meiji Era, Hokkaido has had a history of people throughout
Japan banding together to establish new cities towns and villages.
That tradition lives on today as well, as we warmly welcome
those who travel here from far and wide.