Hokkaido Shrine - Hokkaido

Hokkaido Shrine (北海道神宮) is not only the main shrine of Sapporo City but also one of the most important shrines in the whole of Hokkaido. It is located at 477 Miyagaoka, Chuo-ku, Sapporo City in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan
 
Hokkaido Shrine (北海道神宮)

Hokkaido Shrine details

(WINTER)

In 1869 during the Meiji Period, when Hokkaido was being integrated into Japan's territory, Emperor Meiji ordered a ceremony in Tokyo to enshrine three Shinto shrine deities (kami) for the Hokkaido reclamation (Kaitaku Sanjin). These deities were Okuninushi, Okunitama, and Sukunahikona. They were known as the pioneering gods who are believed to guide and uplift the spirits of pioneers. These deities were later on moved to Sapporo City. 

Hokkaido Shrine - Sapporo City, Hokkaido Prefecture

A temporary shrine was constructed to house the three deities in 1870. In just a year, the construction present shrine was completed. It was then named Sapporo ShrineIn 1964, the soul of Emperor Meiji was also enshrined here and the shrine was then officially renamed Hokkaido Shrine. Sadly, the building was gutted by fire in 1974. It took four years before it was finally rebuilt. 

北海道神宮 公園口鳥居
Hokkaido Shrine Eastern Torii

Hokkaido Shrine vicinity map

開拓神社(北海道神宮境内社)
Kaitaku Shrine

Kaitaku Shrine
開拓神社(北海道神宮境内社)

Currently, Hokkaido Shrine has a total land area of 180,000 square meters. The shrine is the final stop of the parade during the Sapporo Festival which is held from June 14-16 annually.

穂多木神社(北海道神宮末社)
Hotaki Shrine

Food stalls in Hokkaido Shrine

北海道神宮 手水舎
Hokkaido Shrine Chozuya

北海道神宮 神門
Hokkaido Shrine Mikado

Photos of Hokkaido Shrine





The shrine grounds are also a popular place for Hanami or cherry blossom viewing during spring. It is also very common to see hundreds of people flock to Hokkaido Shrine during the Japanese New Year. 

Ema Stand in Hokkaido Shrine

The 2022 Year of the Tiger Ema in Hokkaido Shrine

Cedar Forest of Hokkaido Shrine

With my Filipino ALT friends in Hokkaido Shrine

Speaking of which, my Filipino friends and I visited Hokkaido Shrine last January 6, 2022. It was my 10th week here in Japan as an ALT under the JET Programme. Although New Year was over, there were still a lot of people visiting the shrine. As a matter of fact, there were food stalls that line up the path going to the shrine. Of course, my friends and I didn't miss the chance to go food-tripping during our visit. Our visit was very timely as we did not eat lunch yet. I tried the okonomiyaki and takoyaki. 

Hokkaido Shrine Goshuin

I also did not miss the opportunity to get the goshuin (shrine stamp) of the Hokkaido Shrine for my collection.

Overall, despite the crowd and the COVID fears, I could say that our trip was worth it. The crowd and food stalls actually added a different atmosphere to the shrine. 

Hokkaido Shrine Entrance Fee

It's FREE to enter and explore the grounds of the Hokkaido Shrine. However, bring money if you want to buy some trinkets or get a goshuin for your collection. 

Hokkaido Shrine Operating Hours

Hokkaido Shrine is open from 6AM - 5PM (summer) and 7AM - 4PM (winter).

Why visit Hokkaido Shrine?

Aside from being one of the most important shrines in the prefecture, Hokkaido Shrine should be on your itinerary if you want to take a relaxing walk in nature without the fear of being mauled by a bear since it is connected to the vast Maruyama Park

Getting to Hokkaido Shrine


When in Sapporo City, ride the Tozai Subway Line and board down at the Maruyama Koen Station. From there, you can either walk for 15 minutes or ride the bus. 

If you chose the bus the JR Hokkaido Bus at Nishi 14 or Nishi 15 and get off at Jingu Mae Teiryujo. 

Bus fare: 210 yen
Travel time: 32 -36 minutes

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