POPULATION 255,000 | DIALING CODE 0138
One of Japan’s first international trade ports opened in 1854, Hakodate is a romantic port town with an East-meets-West culture, historic buildings, lively markets, fresh seafood and coastal onsen. Motomachi district on a scenic hillside keeps a nostalgic atmosphere. Goryokaku has Japan’s first Western-style fort. We recommend you to spend two days in the city and admire a romantic night view from Hakodate-yama.
TO DO 01
Seeing Spectacular Night View From Hakodate-yama
This small mountain boasts one of world’s most beautiful night views, which looks like big wings crossing the ocean. You will find some old gun batteries around the ridge line.
TO DO 02
Walking Motomachi’s Historic Heart & Scenic Slopes
At the foothills of Hakodate-yama overlooking the harbor, Motomachi is a great strolling district with scenic slopes, elegant Western-style buildings, churches and temples.
TO DO 03
Wandering Through the Bay Area
Hakodate’s historic waterfront area is dotted with warehouses, restaurants and bars. A good starting place for stroll the town is the lively Asa-ichi (morning market) facing JR Hakodate Station.
TO DO 04
Discovering Hakodate Park & Yachigashira
Sandwiched between the Tsugaru Strait and Hakodate-yama, Yachigashira can be easily explored on foot from Motomachi. Visiting the ocean-view Hakodate Park and the atmospheric Hachiman-gu shrine, then soaking in the public bathhouse.
TO DO 05
Gazing in Goryokaku Fortless
Goryokaku was Japan’s first Western-style fort built in 1864 and some 1600 beautiful cherry trees bloom in spring. Looking down on the star-shaped park from Goryokaku Park.
TO DO 06
Soaking in the Seaside Yunokawa Onsen
One of Hokkaido’s oldest and largest onsen resorts lie along the Tsugaru Strait. You will see fantastic views of the fishing boats’ light.
FERRY: Ferry is the cheapest public transport between Hakodate and Aomori (3hrs 40min) across the Tsugaru Strait. Hakodate is served by two ferry terminals (Western Goryokaku and Nanaehama). Fares will be raised in summer.
TRAIN: The Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa runs hourly from Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto (4hrs / ¥23,230) via Shin-Aomori (1hr / ¥7720).
The rapid or local train Hakodate Liner, timed to meet the all shinkansen, runs between Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and Hakodate (15-20min / ¥440). IC cards are not available.
The limited express train Hokuto runs roughly every hour from Hakodate to Sapporo (3.5-4hrs / ¥8310) on the JR Hakodate Line and the JR Muroran Line.
BUS: Kosoku Hakodate-go runs from Sapporo to Hakodate (8 daily / 5.5hrs / one-way ¥4900, return ¥8740) continue to Yunokawa Onsen. There is a night bus via Tsugaru Kaikyo Ferry Hakodate terminal. Compulsory reservation.
The basic fare on buses and trams are between ¥210 and ¥260. Both buses and trams need to take a numbered ticket (整理券: seiri-ken) in a car. If you use an IC card on the Hakodate Bus or trams, touch a card reader on board. You can purchase the following discount one- or two-day passes at Hakodate Station’s tourist information center or on-board.
TRAM: From Hakodate Station, trams run to Hakodate Dock-mae (13min), Yachigashira (13min), and Yunokawa (30min) via Goryokaku-koen-mae.