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Spots in Hakodate / Onuma / Matsumae Area

  • Goryokaku Tower
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    4.0
    1899 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Goryoukakuchou 43-9
    The Goryokaku Tower is an observation tower located near the entrance of the Goryokaku Park, and the current tower is the second one to be built here. You can see almost all of Goryokaku from the observation floor, which is at a height of 107 meters. Inside the tower, a special display allows you to learn about the history of Goryokaku. In addition, there is the “see-through floor,” where you can see directly below you through a tempered glass floor as well as a shop where you can buy original Goryokaku goods. The bronze statue of Toshizo Hijikata, who came from Goryokaku is also not to be missed.

    We caught a tram to a stop close to this tower. You get wonderful views of the area, especially the star-shaped Fort. It is interesting to read about the history of the area. We had an enjoyable...

  • Mt. Hakodate Observatory
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Hakodateyama
    Mt. Hakodate Observatory on the summit of Mt. Hakodate affords views of Hakodate and its suburbs. The Mt. Hakodate Ropeway reaches the summit from the base in about three minutes. From the rooftop observation deck on the top floor, you can enjoy beautiful views of Mt. Hakodate, which have been given a three-star rating in the “Michelin Green Guide Japon” travel guide. Inside the observatory, there is a gift shop selling Mt. Hakodate-limited merchandise as well as a restaurant where you can enjoy the chefs’ signature Japanese and Western cuisine while gazing at the night view full of an infinite number of lights.
  • Tsugaru Strait Ferry Hakodate Ferry Terminal
    Transportation
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Minatochou 3-19-2
    This ferry terminal in Hakodate offers boarding for ferries connecting Hakodate, Aomori City, and Oma Town. The sunny deck offers a beautiful view of the Tsugaru Strait and port. Inside, there's a children's play area and dog park, so it's perfect for families and pet lovers. The cafeteria offers meals made with specialties of the southern Hokkaido Donan area.
  • Goryokaku Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Goryoukakuchou 44
    Goryokaku is a star-shaped fortification that was the stage for the Battle of Hakodate, which was the final battle in the Boshin War. It was Japan’s first Western-style fortification, and it has been designated as a Special Historical Site. From December, illuminations in the moat are lit up, and you can enjoy fantastic views from Goryokaku Tower at the entrance. By the end of April, the Yoshino cherry blossoms in the park are in full bloom, and it is a cherry blossom viewing spot visited by many people.
  • Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Suehirochou 14-12
    The Kanemori Warehouses in Hakodate are a complex of warehouses now used for general purposes. There are shops, the Hakodate Beer Hall and more in the Kanemori Youbutsukan and Hakodate Street Plaza, and BAY Hakodate has cafes and a chapel. The fourth area is Kanemori Hall, which hosts concerts and other events. The warehouses are lit up at night for a totally different atmosphere from the daytime.
  • Hakodate Morning Market
    Shopping
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Wakamatsuchou 9-19 (Hakodate morning market cooperatives Federation Secretariat)
    The Hakodate Asaichi (Morning Markets) are regarded as the face of Hakodate and it is said that the market began when nearby farmers began selling fruit and vegetables in 1945 after the war. After that the markets were moved several times until settling in the present location in 1956. The markets became even more popular with the addition of shops selling seafood such as crab and salmon with food and drink shops as well. Now about 5,000 people visit the market every day. It is best to visit as early in the morning as you can as popular items are sometimes sold out.
  • Hakodate City Museum of Northern Peoples
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    4.0
    100 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Suehirochou 21-7
    Hakodate City Museum of Northern Peoples is located in Suehiro Town, Hakodate and introduces the lives and culture of northern peoples. Collections with high academic value on a global level are on display. They include materials formerly held by Hakodate City Museum collected by philanthropists and the Hokkaido Development Commission between 1879 and 1886 in addition to Ainu folk materials collected by Dr. Osamu Baba, a world authority on research into northern peoples.

    The museum is not particularly big but it certainly holds a lot of information. The museum is not just about the Ainu, but also other indigenous cultures. They have volunteer guides as well who...

  • Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
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    4.0
    521 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Motomachi 11-13
    The Old Public Hall was completed in 1910 and constructed at a total cost of 58,000 yen, 50,000 yen of which was donated by Mr. Teppei Soma, a leading Hokkaido businessman. The building is impressive with its blue and yellow coloring and symmetrical colonial style. It is also famous for being the dormitory of Emperor Taisho when he was the Crown Prince. In 1974 it was designated as an Important Cultural Property of the country. It is a seven-minute walk from the “Suehiro-cho” tram stop.

    The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward is situated further up from Motomachi Park. This American colonial style two story building was constructed in 1910 after the former public hall was lost in the...

  • Former British Consulate of Hakodate
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    4.0
    225 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Motomachi 33-14
    The former British consulate in Hokkaido. It was used as a consular office until 1934. There is an “exhibition room” where you can enjoy the state of the former British consul of the time, and an “opening port museum”, where you can learn the history of the opening of Hakodate. It was designated as a Tangible Cultural Property of Hakodate City in 1979. There is a combined shop and tea room, where you can also enjoy a British-style traditional afternoon tea.

    We went up Motoi-zaka about two hundred meters to reach the former British Consulate. This building built in 1913 served as the British Consulate until it was closed in 1934. It was later acquired by...

  • Hakodate Orthodox Church
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    4.0
    411 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Motomachi 3-13
    With the beautiful contrast between its green roof and white walls, Hakodate Orthodox Church was Japan’s first Russian Orthodox church. It is located at the top of Daimi-saka going up from Benten Suehiro-dori Street. The current church was built in 1916 to replace the original church that was burnt down in the great fire in Hakodate in the Meiji period, and it was subsequently designated as an Important Cultural Property. In 1996, the sound of the bell in the tower was chosen as one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan.

    This church is side by side with Catholic curch, so dont miss it. A small church with history on the hills Inside you can buy candle, to support the building maintenance

  • Foreigners’ Cemetery
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Funamichou 23
    The “Foreigners’ Cemetery” is located on a hill overlooking Hakodate Bay. After the opening of the port in the late Edo period many people from overseas came in and out of Hakodate and many of them died here never returning to their homeland. The first to be buried were two American sailors from Perry’s fleet and since then many foreigners from countries such as England, Russia and China, etc. who died in Hakodate are buried here.
  • Hakodate Hikari no Yatai Daimon Yokocho
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    4.0
    190 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Matsukazechou 7
    Daimon Yokocho Hakodate Hikari no Yatai is an alley located in the Daimon district in front of Hakodate Station. It is lined with 26 restaurants where diverse cuisine can be enjoyed, including ramen stores, seafood restaurants, sushi shops, and bars. Regular events are also held such as Daimon Bar offering one drink and one meal for a set price of 500 yen during certain times, and it can be seen bustling with many people. It is also a spot where you can enjoy contact with the locals with the many regular customers not to mention the staff.

    We found this small restaurant that seats only 16 persons. We had excellent crab shabu-shabu and went back again the next night to try their other dishes. The best crab fried rice I've ever tasted...

  • HAKODATE BEER HALL
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Otemachi 5-22 Meiji-kan style street
    HAKODATE BEER HALL is a restaurant combined with the brewery for Hakodate Beer, which is carefully brewed using the underground water of Mt. Hakodate. You can enjoy a menu that utilizes seafood and fresh local ingredients that go well with freshly brewed beer. There is also an outstanding atmosphere with two live performances on the stage inside the restaurant every evening. Additionally, there is bar seating so that you can even go on your own without feeling any hesitation. Good access with a seven-minutes’ walk from Hakodate Station is one of its attractions.
  • Mizunashi Kaihin Onsen
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Hakodate, Hokkaido Esanmisaki
    Located in the Todohokke area of Hakodate, Mizunashi kaihin onsen is a natural outdoor bath where there are changes in the water temperature due to the rising and falling of the tide, which is unusual even for Japan. The onsen is submerged at high tide, and you can only bathe at low tide. It is recommended that you check in advance because there are times when it is not possible to bathe due to environmental effects such as weather conditions and high waves. Bathing is free, but swimwear is essential for mixed bathing. Separate changing rooms for men and women are provided.
  • Fukuyama Castle (Matsumae Castle)
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Matsumaegunmatsumaechou Matsushiro
    Fukuyama Castle (Matsumae Castle) is Japan’s northernmost castle, constructed in 1854. Matsumae Castle was built to protect Japan from the many foreign ships that appeared off the coast at that time. Part of the Matsumae castle was destroyed by fire in 1949 where a fierce battle of the Boshin War had once occurred. The tower and three stories of the castle were restored in 1961. The Honmaru Gate was designated as a National Important Cultural Property, and a selection of artifacts and many other historical materials are on display.
  • Former Nakamura Family Residence
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hiyamagunesashichou Nakautachou 22
    These historical buildings were built by Omi merchants who were engaged in the wholesale seafood business from the end of the Edo period to the Meiji period, and are representative of wholesale buildings of the time. There is a two-story gabled main building made of cypress storehouses lining the streets from the main house to the shore and a loading and unloading place called “Hanedashi” at the far end. The buildings bring the glory of the past to the present and also show displays of material related to the Kitamae ship and herring fishing industries.
  • Onuma Yusen
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    4.0
    14 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Kamedagunnanaechou Onumachou 1023-1
    Onuma Yusen is a pleasure boat on which you can relax and enjoy the Onuma Quasi-National Park, which includes three lakes and Mt. Komagatake and is one of Japan’s Top Three New Views. The Island Circuit route runs regularly from May to October, and you can relax while going round the islands on Onuma Lake and Konuma Lake which requires about 30 minutes. There are also motor boats, rowing boats, and pedal boats, and winter activities such as snow mobiles on the ice, 4-wheel buggies and snowshoe tours can also be enjoyed in the winter.

    大沼は自転車で回る方も多いのですが、私は自転車がダメで船で大沼観光を。大沼は沼だと思っていたられっきとした湖だとか。大沼湖・小沼湖からなっているそうです。ガイドの方がずっと詳しく説明してくださって、すっかり大沼通に。30分と時間もちょうどよい観光です。

  • Hakodate City Seikan Ferry Memorial Ship “Mashu-maru”
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Wakamatsuchou 12 - ahead
    Hakodate City Seikan Ferry Memorial Ship “Mashu-maru” is where the Mashu-maru is preserved and open to the public in the actual boarding point where it operated until the last day of the Aomori-Hakodate ferry in 1988. In addition to the being able to visit the steering room and the communications room in contemporary state, there are exhibits of actual parts and models in the refurbished front green room, and you can learn about the history and operation of the Aomori-Hakodate ferry through video and audio. This museum is located four minutes’ walk from JR Hakodate Station.
  • Kitajima Saburo Memorial Museum
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    4.0
    78 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Suehirochou 22-11 inside the winning hotel
    This is a hands-on museum that tells the path to glory of Saburo Kitajima, who is the one of most famous Japanese enka folk singers. The museum is full of highlights, including a section that reproduces the location where Kitajima spent his youth in Hakodate and a theater zone where a robot version of the singer performs his famous song “Matsuri.” There are also plenty of original goods, including doll cakes baked in the shape of his face and Daiginjo sake made with references to his famous song “Otoko no Namida (Man’s tear).” The museum is located seven minutes from Hakodate Station by local train.

    ここに行けばいつでもサブちゃんを見られます。子どものころから見慣れ、聞き慣れた昭和の名歌手について詳しく知ることができました。

  • Yachigashira Onsen
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    3.5
    6 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Yachigashirachou 20-7
    Yachigashira Onsen is a natural hot spring located at the bottom of Mt. Hakodate and is about seven minutes from Hakodate Station by car. Since it opened in 1953, it has been loved by locals, and it has many regular customers. The open-air hot spring is a star-shaped pentagon named after Hakodate-Goryokaku is popular. The characteristic of the water is its high concentration of iron, which is colored dark reddish-brown, and the warm temperature warms you to the core. It is beneficial for neuralgia, promotion of health, chronic stomach diseases, and chronic women’s diseases.

    函館山から下山して立ち寄りました。いつ寄っても気持ちの良い温泉ですね。風呂上りに生ビールが飲めれば良いのですが、贅沢言っても仕方ありませんね。自動販売機でビールを買い、券売機に山川牧場の牛乳ソフトクリームというのを見掛けたので食べてしまいました。風呂上りの火照った体は冷たい何を飲んでも、何を食べてもうまい。

Hokkaido Main Areas

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Not just a prefecture but an island of its own, Hokkaido is the most northerly prefecture and island of the Japanese archipelago. Arriving in Hokkaido, which is rural and bursting with breathtaking nature, means entering a world where vast national parks, towering mountains, and natural hot springs can be found at every turn. Come December, these natural splendors freeze over and morph into a winter wonderland.

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