Hokudai Shokubutsu-en (Hokkaido University Botanic Gardens)
Hokudai Shokubutsu-en (Hokkaido University Botanic Gardens) Review
With more than 5,000 plant varieties, these gardens are a cool summer retreat. Highlights include a small Ainu Museum with a grisly but fascinating 13-minute film of an Ainu bear-killing ceremony in Asahikawa in 1935, and a stuffed husky sharing a room with bears and an Ezo wolf. This glassy-eyed hound is Taro, one of the canine survivors abandoned in a 1958 Antarctic expedition (a story brought to non-Japanese audiences in the Disney movie Eight Below). After his ordeal, Taro retired to Hokkaido University, died in 1970, and remains here in dusty, shaggy glory.