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Fort Goryokaku

Walk around the enchanting grounds of this repurposed military fort shaped like a star and see historic architecture and magnificent cherry blossoms in springtime.

Fort Goryokaku is an enormous star-shaped citadel built over 150 years ago as a defensive fortress for Hakodate’s government offices. After a brief period of wartime turmoil and imperial threat, the fort was transformed into a stunning public park, distinctive for its elegant architecture, magnificent cherry blossom trees, curving moat and pleasant grassy lawns. Stroll on the promenades along the moat, visit the site’s museum and enjoy the scenic park area and historic architecture.

Built in a Western style, the star-shaped fort was planned to defend against enemies arriving from any direction. The fort was the famous site of the final 1869 battle in the Boshin War and was repurposed as a public garden in the 1910s. Explore the fort’s outer perimeter to find a tranquil oasis of deciduous trees and over 1,000 cherry trees planted along the moat. Stroll along a charming footbridge onto the fort’s main area and wander amid Japanese pine trees and manicured gardens.

At the center of the fort, find a replica of the Former Magistrate’s Office. This traditional and ornate red-tiled building was used by the shogunate for the administration of Hokkaido, but the original was destroyed after the shogunate’s fall in 1871. The office is open to the public and houses a small museum dedicated to the history of the site and the city.

The sprawling Fort Goryokaku grounds are stunning year-round. Visit in spring to experience one of Hokkaido’s most famous cherry blossom viewing spots, or in summer for the lush greenery of the surrounding gardens. In fall, the colors of the fort’s deciduous trees transform into brilliant red and gold hues. A magical carpet of white snow falls upon the area in winter.

Fort Goryokaku is located in Hakodate, a large city in southern Hokkaido. Catch a 10-minute tram to Goryokaku Koen Mae from Hakodate Station. Reach the fort after an additional 15-minute walk. The Former Magistrate’s Office is open year-round except for a short period around New Year’s. For panoramic views of Fort Goryokaku and the surrounding cityscape, visit the neighboring Goryokaku Tower.


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Best Lodging Options Near Fort Goryokaku

See all 145 Properties near Fort Goryokaku
HOTEL MYSTAYS Hakodate Goryokaku ¥5,453
HOTEL MYSTAYS Hakodate Goryokaku

HOTEL MYSTAYS Hakodate Goryokaku

26-17 Hon-cho, Hakodate, Hokkaido
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in the heart of Hakodate, this hotel is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) from Fort Goryokaku and within 3 mi (5 km) of Hakodate Tropical Botanical Garden and Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse. Miharashi Park and Motomachi Catholic Church are also within 6 mi (10 km).

    Hakodate Guesthouse OHANA 105 ¥3,272
    Hakodate Guesthouse OHANA 105

    Hakodate Guesthouse OHANA 105

    11-17, Suginamicho, Hakodate, Hokkaido
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Hakodate, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Hakodate Museum of Art and Goryokaku Tower. Yunokawa Hot Spring is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) away.

      La Vista Hakodate Bay ¥15,206
      La Vista Hakodate Bay

      La Vista Hakodate Bay

      12-6 Toyokawacho, Hakodate, Hokkaido
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated on the boardwalk, this spa hotel is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse and within 3 mi (5 km) of Mount Hakodate and Goryokaku Tower. Hakodate Takadaya Kahei Museum and Sakamoto Ryoma Museum are also within 10 minutes. Hakodate Station is 13 minutes by foot.

        Jujiya Hotel ¥7,273
        Jujiya Hotel

        Jujiya Hotel

        32-4 Goryokakucho, Hakodate, Hokkaido
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Hakodate, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Goryokaku Tower and Fort Goryokaku. Hakodate Racecourse and Yunokawa Hot Spring are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Dormitory Silsil
          Dormitory Silsil

          Dormitory Silsil

          Hondori 1-20-34, Hakodate, Hokkaido
             
            1.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Hakodate, this hostel is within a 15-minute walk of Hakodate City Northern Pacific Fishery's Document Museum and Goryokaku Tower. Yunokawa Hot Spring is 2 mi (3.3 km) away.

            Hakodate Rich Hotel Goryokaku
            Hakodate Rich Hotel Goryokaku

            Hakodate Rich Hotel Goryokaku

            Goryokaku-cho 35-3, Hakodate, Hokkaido
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Hakodate, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Hakodate City Northern Pacific Fishery's Document Museum and Goryokaku Tower. Yunokawa Hot Spring is 2.2 mi (3.5 km) away.

              Hakodate Guesthouse OHANA 101 ¥3,272
              Hakodate Guesthouse OHANA 101

              Hakodate Guesthouse OHANA 101

              11-17 Suginami-cho, Hokkaido, Hakodate, Hokkaido
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Hakodate, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Hakodate Museum of Art and Goryokaku Tower. Yunokawa Hot Spring is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) away.

                Hotel Hokke Club Hakodate ¥9,091
                Hotel Hokke Club Hakodate

                Hotel Hokke Club Hakodate

                Honcho 27-1, Hakodate, Hokkaido
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Hakodate, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Goryokaku Tower and Fort Goryokaku. Hakodate Racecourse and Yunokawa Hot Spring are also within 2 mi (3 km).