(Sept 9) If you have some free time in Sapporo, it might be worthwhile to check of the Botanic Garden of Hokkaido University, which includes a small but well-stocked natural history museum. These photos cover only a fraction of what is available.
The Greenhouse features tropical and desert plants that will not grow in Hokkaido’s climate
The Alpine Garden is a large rock garden with plants that grow in Hokkaido’s mountains.
(There is also a Canadian Rock Garden featuring North American plants, but we chose to skip it.)
The Natural Woodland attempts to recreate the look of Hokkaido’s original forests.
September is probably not the best time to vist the Rose Garden, but it still doesn’t look too bad.
The Northern Peoples Ethnobotanical Garden is for plants used by the Ainu and other indigenous peoples of North Asia.
The “Museum and National Treasures” has mounted specimens of Hokkaido wildlife.
I hope North American readers will agree that this does not look very much like a raccoon, and that the common practice of translating “tanuki” as “raccoon” is mistaken. (Actually the tanuki is more closely related to a fox.)