The Botanic Garden (ca. 13 ha) was established in 1886 for research, education, and systematic collection, preservation and utilization of plants and museum materials. From the beginning, the garden has been open to the public and has contributed to the public’s education in the areas of natural and social sciences. It is Hokkaido University's oldest facility, and is the second oldest botanical garden in Japan. The garden includes approximately 4000 species of plants. It is located on the alluvial plain of Toyohira River, a branch of the Ishikari River, and has become an oasis of the natural landscape that originally existed before the urban development of Sapporo. The botanic garden has some sections such as alpine plants, shrubs, Northern cultures, herbaceous plants, and greenhouse, for studying various plants from around the world. Most of the museum's collection has been collected from the late 19th century, and the specimens are prized for their historic value and other academic studies. With these collections, the museum continues to make scientific and educational contributions to society. Research programs focus on the diversity of the wild plants distributed in the subarctic region mainly Hokkaido and around area such as Japan, northeast Asia, Sakhalin, Kuril islands, with particular attention to plant taxonomic and ecological studies.