As the crossing point between Hokkaido and Honshu, railway travelers have been passing through this region for over a century. The nostalgic port town of Hakodate, a tourist-friendly regional capital, has an unusually East-meets-West rich cultural heritage that makes it one of Hokkaido’s most interesting cities. Hakodate is the gateway to the stunning Oshima Peninsula of volcanic mountains, rugged coastlines, pleasant onsen and compact historic towns, with a variety of activities. Less than an hour away to the north, Onuma Quasi-National Park offers picturesque landscapes and relaxed vibe.


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. After the start of the Hokkaido Shinkansen (bullet train), Hakodate is growing again as an international tourism city and a gateway of Hokkaido for rail travelers from Tokyo. We recommend you to spend two days in the city and admire a romantic night view from Hakodate-yama. Read more articles >

Onuma Park & Around Hakodate

Rugged sea cliff, peaceful lakes, volcanic mountains and relaxing onsen, the region around Hakodate making for a popular excursion and also easily accessible from the shinkansen station. Onuma Quasi-National Park is Southern Hokkaido’s top resort that offers graceful holiday, such as cycling and skiing. The Kameda Peninsula, juts into the Pacific Ocean on the east coast of Hakodate, is an unknown jewel to most international tourists. The sacred mountain E-san is the highlight of the peninsula. The coastal railway town Oshamanbe offers traveler-friendly dining options and onsen to keep you amused between train connections. Read more articles >

Matsumae & Hiyama

The spectacular coastal Oiwake Soran Line, stretch south from the Matsumae Peninsula to Hiyama Region, is the home of Hokkaido’s Japanese tradition and historical heritages dating back to the feudal period. Japan’s northernmost castle town Matsumae and once the island’s main trading center Esashi keeps tasteful buildings and traditional festivals. Both towns are accessible by local buses from Hakodate. The coastline of Hiyama and a friendly remote island of Okushiri-to offers rugged headlands and pleasant beaches jutting into the clear ocean. Add the delight of local seafood such as uni (sea urchin) and awabi (abalone). Read more articles >

Our travel Guides

For more info about Southern Hokkaido and Hakodate, check out our ebook travel guides.