Old Russian Consulate opens to public

Inside the Old Russian Consulate bustling with visitors
The Old Consulate features a blend of Japanese and Western design styles

Old Russian Consulate was opened to the public on September 12. About 200 Hakodate City residents entered and looked around the consulate, which is usually not open to the public. Hakodate City has indicated that they wish to sell the consulate to a private business entity. Visitors looked around the Western style decorations on the walls and doors and were reminded once again of the value of the building.
The action committee held the event to give city residents an opportunity to think about the value of the Old Consulate. The committee consists of seven groups that are advocating for the maintenance of the Old Consulate. According to the city, it has been six years since they last opened the Old Consulate to the public in 2014.
Participants entered the site in small groups. Committee members explained that the first floor was used mainly as a work space and a space for social gatherings, and the second floor was used for the consul and his family to live in. Also, committee members talked about features like how the size of the doors was designed higher than usual to match taller Russian people.
A city resident who was intently taking photos of the decorations and surroundings said, “The detailed decorations of the walls and doors are really beautiful. This building really has a lot of ambiance as well, so I hope they preserve it.”
The city calculated the renovation cost for the aged building to be 100 million yen or more. A business has stepped up with a desire to make use of it, and Hakodate city is considering selling the building under the condition that the buyer must preserve the appearance.


Old Russian Consulate