About 17 minutes by tram from Hakodate Station, Goryokaku (五稜郭) is one of the city’s “must-see’ attractions.
01 HISTORIC SITE & CHERRY-BLOSSOM VIEWING
五稜郭公園 / 5am-7pm, to 6pm Nov-Mar / FREE / Wi-Fi
Goryokaku was Japan’s first Western-style fort built in 1864, but the fort was deserted after the last battle of Boshin civil war of 1869. The remains of the fort, such as water moats and stone foundation walls, has been developed as Goryokaku Park from 1914. Some 1600 cherry trees bloom from late April to early May.
函館奉行所 / Goryokaku Park / 9am-6pm, to 5pm Nov-Mar / Closed 31 Dec-3 Jan / ¥500 / Wi-Fi / www.hakodate-bugyosho.jp
Located at the central part of Goryokaku Park, Hakodate Bugyosho (magistrate office of the Edo shogunate) was built here in 1864 but scrapped in 1871. The Bugyosho was faithfully reconstructed in 2010 with galleries.
五稜郭タワー / 43-9 Goryokaku-cho / 8am-7pm 21 Apr-20 Oct, 9am-6pm 21 Oct-20 Apr / ¥900 / Wi-Fi / www.goryokaku-tower.co.jp
Stands at the entrance gate of the park, the 107m-tall modern Goryokaku Tower provides panoramic views of the five-star-shaped fort and the town. Best to climb up the tower for cherry-blossom season or winter night.
04 ART MUSEUM
Hakodate Museum of Art, Hokkaido
北海道立函館美術館 / Hakodate Bijutsukan / 37-6 Goryokaku-cho / 9.30am-5pm / Closed Mon / Admission ¥260 / www.dokyoi.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/hk/hbj
Southern Hokkaido’s premier art collection awaits at this museum, including works by Kakizaki Hakyo and Kaneko Otei. It is also holds Asian art and calligraphy works. The museum is close to the Goryokaku Tower.
05 CHERRY-BLOSSOM VIEWING
桜が丘通り/ 1 Kashiwagi-cho / late Apr-early May
If you visit Hakodate during Golden Week (late Apr-early May), don’t miss Sakuragaoka-dori street (800m) in the residential area that became a tunnel of cherry trees. It is a short walk west from Kashiwagi-cho (柏木町) tram stop, two stop east of Goryokaku-koen-mae.
From Hakodate Station, Yunokawa-bound trams run to Goryokaku-koen-mae (五稜郭公園前) every 6 minutes. From where, it is a 15-minute on foot to the park.
Hakodate Bus operates the Goryokaku Tower & Trappistine Shuttle Bus twice hourly to the Goryokaku Tower from Hakodate Station (15min) and Hakodate Airport (32min).