Sightseeing Japan > hokkaido > hakodate

11 Destinations For The Full Hakodate Experience - Updated 2019

11 Destinations For The Full Hakodate Experience - Updated 2019
Keita
Keita
Updated

With the grand opening of the Hokkaido bullet train that now allows direct access from Tokyo by land, there are more modes of transport to Hakodate city. Hakodate is a city located in the south of Hokkaido, and it was ranked as the most attractive city in Japan by the Brand Research Institute Incorporated in 2014 and 2015. Filled with fantastic seafood, rich history, great scenery, and magnificent onsen, it sounds great, doesn’t it?!

1. Hokkaido’s jewel box!? The night view from Mount Hakodate

Mount Hakodate

With Hakodate Bay on the left and the Tsugaru Strait on the right, the night view of Hakodate is so spectacular it looks almost like a painting. Awarded a 3/3 star review in The Michelin Green Guide: Japan, the scenic views from Mount Hakodate are bound to entrance and captivate you.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in hakodate and also compare the prices with airbnbs in hakodate

2. The star-shaped fortress of Hakodate Goryokaku

Hakodate Goryokaku

When firearms started becoming more mainstream during war combat more than 150 years ago, the older Japanese-style fortresses started to become ineffective in defending the tenshu kaku, or the central tower of a Japanese castle. When the Convention of Kanagawa, also known as the Japan-US Treaty of Peace and Amity, was signed in 1854, Western culture was brought into Japan, giving rise to the Western-style of fortress building – the star-shaped fort. Hakodate Goryokaku is one of only two castles in Japan that showcases the star design, the other being Shizuoka Castle.

Goryokaku and Tower

Address: 4 Goryokakucho, Hakodate, Hokkaido

Access info: 7 minutes’ walk from JR Goryokaku Station or 15 minutes’ drive from JR Hakodate Station

Opening hours: 9:00 to 18:00

Fixed holiday: please ask

Contact: +81 138-51-4785 

Entrance fee: 840 JPY (7.60 USD) for access to tower observation deck

Official URL

See our full list of recommended Hotels in hakodate and also compare the prices with airbnbs in hakodate

3. A panoramic view from Goryokaku Tower

Goryokaku Tower

Goryokaku Tower not only allows you to view Hakodate Goryokaku, but also gives you a fantastic bird’s eye view of the whole of Hakodate. Goryokaku Tower was built in 1964 to commemorate the 100th-year anniversary of Hakodate Goryokaku and was renovated and reopened in 2006. The view from the 90-metre-high (295-foot-high) observatory is simply stunning!

See our full list of recommended Hotels in hakodate and also compare the prices with airbnbs in hakodate

4. Find out about the Battle of Hakodate

Hakodate Magistrate’s office

Also located within the Hakodate Goryokaku site is Hakodate Magistrate’s office (Hakodate Bugyosho). Built in the centre of Goryokaku, it served as a courthouse and saw historical events such as the Battle of Hakodate. This was a war between a traditional Samurai dynasty (Edo) versus the new movement of Meiji troops that supported the Imperial government. Though dismantled during the Meiji Era, it was restored in 2010 and is now open to the public. There are various artefacts on display inside and it is the best place to learn more about the the Battle of Hakodate.

Hakodate Magistrate’s office (Hakodate Bugyosho)

Address: 44-3 Goryokakucho

Access info: In the centre of Goryokaku

Opening hours: 9:00 - 16:45 (last entry)

Fixed holiday: Dec 31th - Jan 3rd every year

Contact: +81 138-51-2864

Entrance fee: 500 JPY (4.50 USD)

Official URL

See our full list of recommended Hotels in hakodate and also compare the prices with airbnbs in hakodate

5. The retro townscape of the Hakodate Bay area

Hakodate Bay area

Hakodate, along with cities like Yokohama and Nagasaki, was one of the first international trade ports to be opened in Japan. With a splendid mix of Japanese and Western culture, the Hakodate Bay area has a townscape that is reminiscent of the Taisho and Showa eras. The shops and cafés that line the street are worth visiting too!

See our full list of recommended Hotels in hakodate and also compare the prices with airbnbs in hakodate

6. Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse

Kanemori Red Bricks Warehouse

Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse was built soon after Hakodate was opened as an international port, and is now one of the symbols of Hakodate. Though some of the buildings are still used as warehouses today, most of them are now shopping centres and restaurants. It is located near Mount Hakodate and many people enjoy the magnificent sunset here before making their way to Mount Hakodate for the night view.

Kanemori Red Bricks Warehouse

Address: 14-12 Suehirocho, Hakodate, Hokkaido

Access info: 15 minutes’ walk or 5 minutes’ taxi ride from JR Hakodate Station

Opening hours: 9:30 - 19:00 (for shops), 11:30 - 22:00 (beer hall)

Fixed holiday: nil

Contact: +81 138-27-5530

Entrance fee: free

Official URL

See our full list of recommended Hotels in hakodate and also compare the prices with airbnbs in hakodate

7. Indulge at the Donburi Yokocho Market

Donburi Yokocho Market

Located just a minutes’ walk away from Japan Railway’s Hakodate Station, Hakodate Asaichi (Hakodate Morning Market) is perhaps the most luxurious place to have breakfast. With numerous fresh seafood items available, including squid, sea urchins, scallops and many more, it’s just so hard to make a decision! Donburi Yokocho Market, located at the entrance of Hakodate Asaichi, lets you have a blend of these seafood treats in a Japanese donburi style.

Hakodate Asaichi (Hakodate morning market)

Address: 9-19 Wakamatsuchō, Hakodate-city, Hokkaido

Access info: 1-minute walk from JR Hakodate Station

Opening hours: 6:00 - noon

Fixed holiday: depending on the retails

Contact: +81-138-22-7981

Entrance fee: Free

Official URL (Japanese)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in hakodate and also compare the prices with airbnbs in hakodate

8. Try squid fishing!

Squid fishing in Hakodate Morning Market

The squid delicacies of Hakodate definitely have to be on your bucket list. The katsuika tsuri (squid fishing), also found in Hakodate Asaichi, allows you to not just fish, but to have the squid prepared right before your eyes. The cook will help prepare the squid into sashimi once you fish them out of the water- you can’t have squid sashimi any fresher than this!

See our full list of recommended Hotels in hakodate and also compare the prices with airbnbs in hakodate

9. The best breakfast in Japan: La Vista Hakodate Bay (from USD 146)

Hotel and Spa Resort, La Vista Hakodate Bay, is well-known as the hotel with the best breakfast in Japan. Not only is their breakfast selection full of fresh seafood, La Vista also specialises in local Hakodate dishes, Western food, and confectionary.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in hakodate and also compare the prices with airbnbs in hakodate

10. The onsen with fantastic sea view (from USD 118)

Shiosai Isaribi Rotenburo at Yunohama Hotel

Yunohama Hotel is located near the Hakodate Streetcar station of Yunokawa Onsen. Its famous onsen, the Shiosai Isaribi Rotenburo, is an open-air onsen where you can have a spectacular view of the Tsugaru Strait and the Pacific Ocean. You will notice lots of lights along the Tsugaru Straits while enjoying the Onsen; these are the isaribi – lights used by fishermen to attract fish.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in yunokawa and also compare the prices with airbnbs in yunokawa

11. Best panoramic view: Yunokawa Prince Hotel (from USD 400)

Yunokawa Onsen has over 360 years of history and is conveniently located a 5-minute car ride from Hakodate Airport, and 15 minutes from the Japan Railway Hakodate Station. Among the hotels where you can have a relaxing time in Yunokawa Onsen is the Yunokawa Prince Hotel. Rated as a five-star hotel for 9 consecutive years between 2005 and 2014, Yunokawa Prince Hotel offers the best panoramic views of the Tsugaru Straits. Out of the 175 rooms available, 115 of them have a rotenburo (open-air bath) on the balcony.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in hakodate and also compare the prices with airbnbs in hakodate

Explore the wonders of Hakodate

Hakodate is now one of the trending destinations for a trip to Hokkaido. From the night view from Mount Hakodate to the historical Hakodate Goryokaku, you will be constantly excited by the wonders that Hakodate has to offer. Also filled with great food, such as squid cuisine and the famous LeTAO, it is a great place for both all city, history, and food lovers!

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Hi there, thanks for stopping by to read my articles. I travel to various regions in Japan and constantly find myself discovering something new. Hope my work will help in your planning and enjoy...Read more

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