The port city of Hakodate is located in the north of Japan and is the largest city on the country’s Hokkaido Island, situated on the region’s southern tip. In its role as an international port, Hakodate has been influenced by a number of different foreign cultures, which can be observed most of all in the city’s stunning variety of intriguing architecture. The area combines aspects of its rich Japanese culture, history and heritage with a number of impressive modern developments to create a unique and enchanting atmosphere. The region was also recently voted as the Japanese town that most people wanted to visit. Hakodate’s majestic landmarks and stunning areas of natural beauty instil lasting memories upon visitors to the city, creating a truly unforgettable cruise destination.
Sightseeing in Hakodate
Hakodate is home to a number of interesting historical structures, superb modern attractions and areas of incredible natural beauty. The city’s culture has been influenced by foreign travellers over the centuries, during its time as an international port.
Motomachi is Hakodate’s historic district, boasting a number of impressive buildings constructed over the previous centuries. One of the most significant structures in this historic district is the Old Public Hall, which displays an classic European-style architecture and was used to house the Hakodate’s government in the early 20th century. Various old religious structures are also located in this part of town, including the Higashi Honganji Temple, Russian Orthodox Church, Episcopal Chruch and Roman Catholic Church. Motomachi is also home to the Gokoku Shrine, which holds the remains of those who lost their lives in the Battle of Hakodate.
A climb to the summit of Mount Hakodate may be a tiring experience, but the spectacular views from the top are well worth the trek, especially at night. The mountain stands at a height of 334 metres and the top can be reached by walking, car, bus or ropeway. Facilities at the peak of the mountain include observation platforms, souvenirs shops and a restaurant.
Goryokaku is a magnificent star shaped fort, designed in 1885 by Takeda Hisaburo to be the main fortress of the ephemeral Republic of Ezo. The fort was designed in a distinctive star shape to allow for a greater number of gun placements and a reduction in the amount of blind spots around the structure. Nowadays, the fort is a park and has been named as a special historical site.
Shopping in Hakodate
A bustling morning market is located in several buildings along the city’s bay front, where visitors and locals can purchase a variety of seafood including the region’s renowned crabs. Many supermarkets, shopping malls and speciality stores are also distributed throughout downtown Hakodate, selling a variety of gifts, souvenirs and general necessities.
Eating out in Hakodate
The city’s local delicacy is squid, alongside a range of other locally caught seafood dishes. Seafood can be found in eateries all over the city, many of which also serve a delicious range of international cuisine, allowing everyone to find something that they can enjoy at meal times.