Learn about the prison during the development of Hokkaido
The reclamation of the huge area of Hokkaido occurred during the Meiji Era. It was a time when many hands were needed, so prisoners were also used as a labor force. Abashiri Prison Museum is known as a valuable facility where you can get a glimpse of prisoners working off their sentences through their contributions to the development during this age and their lifestyles. As Japan’s only prison museum, tableware and historical goods that were used in the relocated barracks during the Meiji Era are exhibited. The lifestyles of the prisoners of the time are depicted realistically through figures and other means so that you can feel that sense of realism. This is a museum that is extremely valuable for its history and the value of its buildings. It is also a museum where you will have a strong feeling not to forget that the development of Hokkaido was made possible due to the sacrifices of these prisoners. There are plenty of sites worth seeing starting from the deep red brick main gate, the government office building that has been registered as a Tangible Cultural Property, the counseling hall and the radial 5-winged prison house.
A prison meal to experience life in a prison at that time
For tourists who think that merely observing exhibits and architecture just aren’t enough, there is an area where you can experience a prison meal. At the museum, the same menu that is served to prisoners at the current Abashiri Prison is also provided at the Old Futamigaoka Farm Cafeteria Building. This valuable building was registered in 2005 as a Registered Tangible Cultural Property. There are also 10 figures at the Old Futamigaoka Farm Cafeteria Building which recreate the mealtime of the prisoners. The meal has been surprisingly well-received as being tasty.