April 3, 2017
The Best 10 Things to Do in Hakodate, Hokkaido
With the opening of the rapid railway Shinkansen from Honshu to Hokkaido, Hakodate is now nearer than ever. Hakodate prospered from 1850’s as a commercial port and kept his characteristic multicultural treats. Being a fishing port, in addition to the famous night view from Mount Hakodate and the Goryokaku, you can enjoy Hakodate’s seafood cuisine. Here is for you a list of some very fascinating touristic sites.
1. Mount Hakodate
The fabulous night view from Mount Hakodate is probably the most representative tourist attraction! The Mount Hakodate, with his 334 meters (1,096 feet) of height, is visible from every part of the city.
If you reach the top of the mount by cable car or bus, you can see the characteristic hourglass shape of the city. With the help of good weather, you can enjoy a great view of Mount Komagatake and the prefecture of Aomori.
Night view is however the number one attraction. Hakodate has one of the three best night views in Japan. Compared to the other two cities Hakodate is smaller in size, but its peculiar land shape valorizes the essence of the night view. Starting from sunset, the city gradually lights up and the sea, with its fishing boat lights, looks like a jewel case.
On the top of the Mount there is a restaurant so it is possible to dine in front of a wonderful panorama. Hakodate’s night view is a must!
Name: Mount Hakodate Ropeway
Address: 19-7, Motomachi, Hakodate city, Hokkaido
Access: 10 minutes from the Jyujigai station (Hakodate City Tram)
The Goryokaku is a famous star shaped fortress. From the top of the Goryokaku Park Tower, you can see the peculiar star shape. This was the first western style castle in Japan. The Edo government built this fortification for security reasons in 1866 when the port was opened after a long time of national isolation policy.
After this, as a result of a war started between the old feudal government and the new government, part of the remnants of the feudal party retired to Hokkaido and established their government in the Goryokaku and eventually surrendered to the new government; in other words the Goryokaku marks the end of Edo and samurai period.
The Goryokaku, with its bitter past, is now a recreation area for everyone. Inside the Goryokaku, there is the Hakodate Bugyosho that functioned as a consulate when the port of Hakodate was opened. The Bugyosho has been restored, so if you love history, visit this site.
Name: Goryokaku tower
Address: 43-9, Goryokaku-cho, Hakodate city, Hokkaido
Access: 15 minutes from the Goryokaku Koen Mae station (Hakodate City Tram)
3. The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
Standing on the top of the Motomachi hill, the famous Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward (Kyu Hakodate-ku Kokaido) was built in 1919 as an assembly place for the citizens.Blue-grey and yellow walls with colonial style symmetry.
Even within the Motomachi area, with its western architecture, the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward outstands regally. From the balcony you can enjoy a wonderful view of the port.
The interior decoration is a unique fusion of western and Japanese style and the room that hosted the Meiji prince is strikingly gorgeous. Moreover, for a cost of 1,000 yen per 20 minutes, you can rent a Meiji period dress to taste the atmosphere of that time.
Pictures of the interiors are also allowed so you can retain a memory of the place. This is a touristic site visited by many people that we strongly suggest you.
Name: Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
Address: 11-13, Motomachi, Hakodate city, Hokkaido
Access: 8 minutes from the Suehiro-cho station (Hakodate City Tram)
4. Hakodate Orthodox Church
The Hakodate Orthodox Church is a beautifully shining touristic site. Hakodate’s port was opened by the feudal government at the end of the Edo period. At that time the Hakodate Orthodox Church was built with a double function of Russian consulate and church. Here is the historical birthplace of Japanese Orthodox Church.
With its white walls and green dome, this Russian byzantine style church is really beautiful. A visit to this site is recommended. This church is also famous among the locals for the sound of its bell and nicknamed “Gan Gan Dera (ding-dong temple)”. Experience this beautiful sound.
Name: Hakodate Orthodox Church
Address: 3-13, Motomachi, Hakodate city, Hokkaido
Access: 10 minutes from the Suehiro-cho station (Hakodate City Tram)
5. Hakodate Early Morning Market
If you visit Hokkaido you will see many famous touristic sites but make sure not to miss the exquisite local seafood. The “Hakodate early morning market (Hakodate Asa Ichi)” is just near the JR Hakodate Station. In this market place, busy from 5 a. m., you will find hundreds of stores for fishes, vegetables, dried foods and some restaurants.
”Donburi Yokocho” is absolutely recommended for who loves fishery. Beautifully arranged on the dish and, being this place close to the market, the fishery is very fresh. A unique place to try this taste. Here you will also find affordable prices so do not hesitate to step by.
Name: Hakodate early morning market
Address: 9-19, Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate city, Hokkaido
Access: 2 minutes from the Hakodate station (JR Hokkaido)
6. Kanemori Red Brick Warehouses
Kanemori Red Brick Warehouses (Kanemori Aka Renga Souko) is another representative place of Hakodate as a port town. You can reach the place walking from the early morning market. The Warehouses, historical buildings since the end of the samurai period, are now renewed to become a venue with souvenir shops, café such as Starbucks, pubs, sweets shops etc.
Especially good for shopping lovers, even window shopping is nice as you can enjoy the exotic mood of Hakodate. After dark, the Warehouses are illuminated and a beautiful waterfront scenery appears in front of you.
Name: Kanemori Red Brick Warehouses
Address: 14-12, Suehiro-cho, Hakodate city, Hokkaido
Access: 15 minutes from the Hakodate station (JR Hokkaido)
7. Trappist Convent
Close to Yunokawa Onsen, there is a Trappist Convent established in 1899 by eight French nuns. This elegant building is known as the first convent in Japan. Here sisters offer their life to God and get peaceful days.
Visitors are not allowed inside the convent, but you can visit the reference room. The Gothic appearance, the front garden and the Virgin Mary statue will calm your mind to experience a peaceful mood. You can buy simple handmade cookies and jam for souvenirs.
Name: Trappist Convent
Address: 346, Kami Yunokawa-cho, Hakodate city, Hokkaido
Access: 15 minutes by car from the Yunokawa station (Hakodate City Tram)
8. Trappist Monastery
The Trappist Monastery is a very famous and popular place to buy good tasting dairy products made by the monks. You can reach this place in 1 hour by car or 40 minutes by train from Hakodate. This Monastery, as the Trappist Convent, was also founded in 1896 by the Trappist and it is the first Monastery in Japan.
The Monastery quietly stands on a road lined with poplars. Only men are allowed inside and a reservation is required. Their dairy products as well as their handmade cookies and butter candies are a typical souvenir of Hakodate.
Name: Trappist Monastery
Address: 392, Mitsuishi, Hokuto city, Hokkaido
Access: 15 minutes by car from the Oshimatobetsu station (South Hokkaido Railway)
9. Onuma Quasi-National Park
Onuma Quasi-National Park (Onuma Kokutei Kouen) is one of greatest place to admire the nature of Hokkaido. One hour by car from the center of Hakodate, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station, there is an astonishing landscape of ponds and more than 120 islands formed as a result of the explosion of the Volcano Komagatake.
A mixture of wood and water resulting in a valuable environment and a rich ecological system. A view that varies with seasons, frame for an environment in which people may enjoy activities such as walking, cycling around the waterside and boating. Do not miss the chance to experience the nature of Hokkaido.
Name: Onuma Quasi-National Park
Address: 1023-1, Onuma-cho, Nanae-cho, Kameda-gun, Hokkaido
Access: 1 minute from the Onuma Kouen station (JR Hokkaido)
Daimon-Yokocho, streets with more than 20 foods stalls, provides an opportunity to experience the local atmosphere. After the night view or if you want a few drinks, you can enjoy good dishes and the Sake of Hakodate in a casual environment.
At a reasonable price, Daimon-Yokocho gives you many options from Japanese food such as Ramen or Sushi to cuisine from all over the world! Each stall is small sized, for a maximum of 10 people; therefore it makes a good chance to interact with your neighbor at the table. Enjoy your time in Hakodate by night.
Address: 7-5, Matsukaze-cho, Hakodate city, Hokkaido
Access: 7 minute from the Hakodate station (JR Hokkaido)
Let’s fly to Hakodate!
Do you like Hakodate? There are even more charming places. At Hakodate, you can enjoy delicious foods, incredible views and activities – anything you want! Utilizing a daily train ticket you can visit the city at a reasonable price. Make your own plan and have fun!