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Hakodate city mapHakodate Hakodate is a city located near the south end of Hokkaido Island.
This city has a population of about 280 thousand people, and is the third largest city in Hokkaido after Sapporo and Asahikawa.

In the 17th century, this city was opened as a trading point in Hokkaido.
In 1859, Hakodate became one of the five ports for foreign trade after changing the policy of isolation which had lasted over 200 years.
So many Western merchants stayed here, and several Western buildings and churches were built in the city.

Since then, Hakodate prospered as a central city in southern Hokkaido and as the entrance of Hokkaido from Honshu Island.
But since the 1970s, main local industries such as shipbuilding and long-distance fishing have declined.
Now Hakodate is living as a sightseeing city.

But having said that, fishery is the main industry of Hakodate, and especially squid of Hakodate is famous.
From late summer to autumn, we can see the many lights of squid fishing boats on the sea off the coast of Hakodate at night.
(The lights are called "isaribi" in Japanese.)

There is Mount Hakodate in the western side of city.
It was an island in the past, later it connected with sand bar.
The main part of the city was built on it.

There are several historic buildings built from the late 19th to early 20th century in the city.
Additionally a few popular scenic spots are in the suburbs of Hakodate.

Hakodate, Southern Hokkaido Tourist Guide

Hakodate Morning Market /1/

Hakodate Morning Market It is one of the famous morning markets, and is located just south of JR Hakodate station.
About 280 shops are in about 200 meters square. Sea products, vegitables, fruits, meats and so on are sold.
And a part of the area has over a dozen restaurants, and is called "Donburi-Yokocho".
Most of shops are opened from early morning to noon.

Red Brick Warehouse Group /2/

Old buildings in the waterfront area There is a Hakodate port on the west side of the center of city.
At the southern end of the port, there are some old warehouses built in red brick and a pier. It is located about 1.3 km southwest of JR Hakodate station.
They were built in the early 20th century, and trading was very active at that time.
They are now used as restaurants or malls, and are lit up in the evening.
So the area is one of most popular spots in Hakodate.

Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse official website

Russian Orthodox Church /3/

Russian Orthodox Church It is a church located about 2 km southwest of JR Hakodate station, and is at the foot of Mount Hakodate.
First, a Russian consul built a shrine here in 1859. Then it became the Japan's first Orthodox Church in 1861.
In 1907 it burnt down by great fire of the city, and current Russian-Byzantine church was rebuilt in 1917.
This is called "Harisutosu-kyokai" in Japanese. "Harisutosu" is the Japanese pronunciation of a Greece word of "Christos" and means Christ.
And "kyokai" in Japanese means "church".

Former Public Hall of Hakodate Ward /4/

Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward It is located 0.4 km northwest of Russian Orthodox Church.
It is a beautiful Western wooden building built in 1910 as a public hall, and is colored light blue and yellow.
In 1911, Prince Yoshihito (who became the Emperor Taisho) stayed here, therefore this building has deluxe rooms and great hall.

Mount Hakodate /5/

HakodateyamaMount Hakodate ("Hakodateyama" in Japanese) is located at the western end of central Hakodate, and it is the most popular sightseeing spot in Hakodate.
It is 334 meters high and there are 13 peaks in all.
Originally it was an island, then it was connected to mainland by a sand bar about 3,000 years ago.

The view from the top is very wonderful.
Especially the night view is great, therefore we Japanese call it "one of the world's three major night views along with Naples and Hong Kong".
We can go up to the top by ropeway, bus or car.

Hakodate Ropeway official website

Cape Tachimachi /6/

Tachimachi-misaki It is a cape located southeast of Mount Hakodate.
We see the Tsugaru Straits from here, and can see the Shimokita Peninsula in Honshu Island over the see if it is fine.
To this cape, go to Yachigashira stop which is a final destination of streetcar then walk about 1 km.

Goryokaku /7/

GoryokakuIt is an star-shaped moated fort which isn't seen even in other parts of Japan, and is located about 3 km northeast of JR Hakodate station.

In 1866, at the end of Edo period, it was built for strengthening homeland security against foreign countries.
European structure was adopted for battle by artillery, but it was used only as the last stage of the battle between the new Meiji government and conservative samurai group in 1868.
Since that it had become needless, then it was opened to the public as a historic park in 1914.

Now it is one of popular cherry blossom-viewing spots in spring.
And in winter, 18-kilometers-long moat is illuminated, and a big star shape is appeard in the dark.

On the southwest side of Goryokaku, there is Goryokaku Tower which has a observatory for Goryokaku.
We can look down the star-shaped fort from heights of about 90 meters.

Yunokawa hot spring resort /8/

Yunokawa spring resort It is located about 5 km east of central Hakodate, and is on a way between the center of city and the Hakodate airport.
It is one of old spring resorts in Hokkaido, and opened in 1653.
There are over 20 hotels and ryokans in this area.

Trappistine Convent /9/

Trappistine ConventTrappistine Convent is a Cistercian one, and is located about 9 km east of central Hakodate city.
And there is the Hakodate airport at 2 km south of this convent.

This convent was established in 1898 by 8 nuns from France.
It was destroyed by fire in 1925, then current one is rebuilt in 1927.
There are about 60 nuns in the convent now.

We can tour only the forecourt and museum.
At the shop for visitors, we get the tasty cookies, butter candies and rosaries made by the nuns.

Additionally, there is Trappist Monastery established in 1896 about 18 km west of Hakodate city. There are 40 monks in it.
We can only see it at the gate, so the visitors are not so much as Trappistine convent.
But the cookies and butter made by the monks are very popular souvenirs of Hakodate, and we can get them at many souvenir shops in Hakodate city and airport.
In contrast, the souvenirs of Trappistine convent are sold at only the convent.

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

How to get to here

By airplane

  1. By airplane, from each airport to Hakodate Airport.
    (For example, it takes 1 hours and 20 minutes from Haneda (Tokyo) and 1 hour and 40 minutes from Kansai (Osaka).)
  2. Then by bus, from the airport to Hakodate Station, it takes 20 minutes.

By railroad

By limited express of JR, it takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes from Sapporo.

Hakodate Morning Market Hakodate Morning Market
Red Brick Warehouse Group Red Brick Warehouse Group
Russian Orthodox Church Former Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
Scenic Hachimanzaka slope near Russian Orthdox Church
©Hakodate International Tourism and Convention Association / ©JNTO
Mount Hakodate
A view from Mount Hakodate Night view from Mount Hakodate
©Y.Shimizu / ©JNTO
Cape Tachimachi
©Hakodate International Tourism and Convention Association / ©JNTO
©Y.Shimizu / ©JNTO
Goryokaku in spring A trail in Goryokaku and Goryokaku Tower
Yunokawa hot spring resort
Copyright(c) City of Hakodate
Hakodate Yunokawa Onsen Hotel Association
Hokodate International Tourism and Convention Association
Copyright(c) City of Hakodate
Hakodate Yunokawa Onsen Hotel Association
Hokodate International Tourism and Convention Association
Trappistine Convent Statue of St.Michael
Tourists around the entrance Trappist Monastery to the west of Hakodate city
Streetcar of Hakodate Iks-soumen (Jukienne raw squid)

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