On the historic port-side of Hakodate, the Bay Area is dotted with atmospheric markets, red brick warehouses, shops, restaurants and bars.
Hakodate Morning Market
函館朝市 / Hakodate Asa-ichi / 9-19 Wakamatsu-cho / 5am-2pm, from 6am Jan-Apr / Wi-Fi / www.hakodate-asaichi.com
A good starting place for stroll the town is the lively Asa-ichi (morning market), immediately to the right as you exit JR Hakodate Station.
Dating back to post-WWII as an open-air food market, Asa-ichi has about 280 small stores that selling fresh (but a bit pricey) seafood, such as ika (squid) and kani (crabs), from all over Hokkaido. Try ika-tsuri (squid fishing) from a tank and taste its sashimi right away at the Ekini Ichiba.
There are also shokudo (eateries), food stands, fruit and vegetable shops. This market is one of the best location in town and seafood is a bit pricey. Most stores close by 2pm.
Seikan Ferry Memorial Ship Mashu-maru
青函連絡船記念館摩周丸 / 12 Wakamatsu-cho / 8.30am-6pm Apr-Oct, 9am-5pm Nov-Mar, 10am-3pm 31 Dec-3 Jan / Closed 2nd week of Apr / ¥500 / www.mashumaru.com
The floating ship museum Mashu-maru was used as a Hakodate-Aomori train ferry from 1965 to 1988. It includes model ships, a steering gear room, ship’s re-create passenger rooms and history of the port. You can have Russian tea on the 3rd floor (10am-3pm). The ship’s whistle sounds at noon and 5pm.
03 HISTORIC BUILDINGS
Kanemori Red Brick Warehouses
金森赤レンガ倉庫群 / 14-12 Suehiro-cho / 9.30am-7pm, to 10pm restaurants / Wi-Fi / hakodate-kanemori.com
Hakodate’s waterfront red brick warehouses (Akarenga soko-gun), constructed from 1907, have been restored and transformed into a tourist complex, with plenty of craft shops, restaurants and galleries set on a pretty harbor.
04 LOCAL HISTORY
Hakodate City Museum of Literature
函館市文学館 / 22-5 Suehiro-cho / 9am-7pm Apr-Oct, to 5pm Nov-Mar / Closed non-scheduled / ¥300/ www.zaidan-hakodate.com/bungakukan
Built in 1921 as a bank building, the museum of literature featuring manuscripts and materials of writers, such as the city’s iconic poet Ishikawa Takuboku, related to Hakodate.
05 HISTORIC BUILDING
Old Kanemori Haberdashery
市立函館博物館郷土資料館・旧金森洋物館 / 19-12 Suehiro-cho / 9am-4.30pm, to 4pm Nov-Mar / Closed Mon, last Fri of month, holiday except Golden Week, 29 Dec-3 Jan / ¥100
Right opposite the museum of literature, this branch of the city museum is housed in the 1880 old haberdashery building set along the tram line. It exhibits folk materials and stock-in-trade from the Meiji to Taisho periods.
06 AINU CULTURE
Hakodate City Museum of Northern Peoples
函館市北方民族資料館 / Hoppo Minzoku Shiryokan / 21-7 Suehiro-cho / 9am-7pm Apr-Oct, to 5pm Nov-Mar / Closed non-scheduled / ¥300 / www.zaidan-hakodate.com/hoppominzoku
The Hoppo Minzoku Shiryokan, in the 1926 old Bank of Japan building near Suehiro-cho tram stop, houses materials, folk arts and costumes of Ainu, as well as other indigenous peoples.
Hakodate Bay Area Map