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Hakodate
Travel Guide

Hakodate showing heritage elements and a sunset

This large city on Japan’s northernmost island has a medley of architectural styles, spectacular nature and some of the freshest seafood in the country.

Hakodate is one of the largest cities on Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. Visit this waterfront city to enjoy stunning views, fresh seafood and a variety of cultural attractions. Hakodate was among the first Japanese harbor cities to open up to international trade following the Edo Period’s self-imposed national isolation from 1615 to 1868. Due to this, the island exhibits significant overseas influence in its architecture and culture.

Stroll through Motomachi, the former residential district of Hakodate’s foreign population. This slice of Europe features a Russian Orthodox Church and the Old British Consulate. Fort Goryokaku, a Western-style citadel in the shape of a star, is one of Hakodate’s most remarkable attractions. It was built at the end of the Edo Period to defend the city against the threat of Western imperialism. By 1910, the fort had lost its military importance and was converted into a public park.

Over a thousand cherry trees line Fort Goryokaku’s moats. Visit in early May to see the blossoms flowering. The Former Magistrate Office sits at the center of the fort. Although the original office was destroyed after the fall of the shogunate, the city meticulously built a reconstruction. To see a bird’s eye view of Fort Goryokaku, ascend to the observation deck of the adjacent Goryokaku Tower.

Make the half-hour trip outside the city to Onuma Park. This Quasi-National Park surrounds Onuma Lake and Konuma Lake. Hike or ride along the lakes’ shorelines on a well-maintained network of trails. Take a boat out to go fishing or sightseeing. The expansive Onuma Lake has 126 islands to explore. The dormant volcano Mount Komagatake serves as the park’s majestic backdrop.

Although Hokkaido is the second largest of Japan’s four primary islands, it is also the least developed. Winters are very cold and snowy, while summers are sunny but mild. Every season, visitors flock to Hokkaido to go skiing, hiking and camping. You can easily reach most of the island’s natural attractions from Hakodate.

Where to stay in Hakodate

La Vista Hakodate Bay
La Vista Hakodate Bay
4 out of 5
12-6 Toyokawacho, Hakodate, Hokkaido
The price is ¥18,529 per night from Jun 8 to Jun 8
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. ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (694 reviews)
"Great breakfast!"

Reviewed on Sep 25, 2020

La Vista Hakodate Bay
Hotel Paco Hakodate
Hotel Paco Hakodate
3.5 out of 5
Omori-cho 25-3, Hakodate, Hokkaido
The price is ¥4,533 per night from May 9 to May 9
Situated in Hakodate, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from Hakodate City Office and within 3 mi (5 km) of Yunokawa Hot Spring and Goryokaku Tower. Fort Goryokaku ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,002 reviews)
"Excellent onsen inside the hotel. The breakfast was very good as well (if you like japanese reakfasts). In overall a really a good place to take a good rest with the family."

Reviewed on Dec 30, 2020

Hotel Paco Hakodate
JR Inn Hakodate
JR Inn Hakodate
3 out of 5
12-14 Wakamatsucho, Hakodate, Hokkaido
The price is ¥5,727 per night from May 9 to May 9
Situated in Hakodate, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Ekini Fish Market and within 3 mi (5 km) of Goryokaku Tower and Fort Goryokaku. Mount Hakodate is 2.8 ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (57 reviews)
recommended
"Clean, comfortable, connected to the railway station, large sized bathroom on top of building was great. Only thing unsatisfied was the view from my room facing the wall of the station. If the room was above 3rd floor, it was different."

Reviewed on Sep 13, 2020

JR Inn Hakodate
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Condominium Stella Site
Condominium Stella Site
3 out of 5
16-1, Wakamatsucho, Hakodate, Hokkaido
The price is ¥12,600 per night from May 10 to May 10
Situated in Hakodate, this condo building is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Morning Market and within 3 mi (5 km) of Goryokaku Tower and Fort Goryokaku. Mount Hakodate ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (66 reviews)
"The Staff was really very helpful and polite. They even provide frozen mac n cheese in case guest are hungry in the middle of the night. Location was great! Very near train and bus station (less then 10 mins walk). Tram station is just beside the hotel."

Reviewed on Jan 14, 2020

Condominium Stella Site
Condominium Panoramique Motomachi
Condominium Panoramique Motomachi
3.5 out of 5
Suehiro-cho 1-1, Hakodate, Hokkaido
The price is ¥15,300 per night from May 11 to May 11
Located in the heart of Hakodate, this condo building is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Sakamoto Ryoma Museum and 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from Mount Hakodate. Hakodate Ropeway ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (44 reviews)
Excellent stay and near attractions
"Convenient to walk to most attraction like Kanemori warehouse, ropeway to Mt Hakodate and Motomachi. Room is spacious and clean. Staff is very nice and helpful!"

Reviewed on Dec 3, 2019

Condominium Panoramique Motomachi
Big Size Hakodate Cozy House 2bedroom w / 2parking
Big Size Hakodate Cozy House 2bedroom w / 2parking
Hakodate, Hokkaido
The price is ¥13,500 per night from May 9 to May 9
Located in Shinkawachō, this apartment building is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Hakodate City Office and within 3 mi (5 km) of Yunokawa Hot Spring and Goryokaku Tower. ...
Big Size Hakodate Cozy House 2bedroom w / 2parking
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Hakodate

Top things to do in Hakodate

Reviews of Hakodate

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
37
5 - Excellent 66.07142857142857%
4 - Good
19
4 - Good 33.92857142857143%
3 - Okay
0
3 - Okay 0%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
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1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Feb 12, 2020

Charming and readily walkable, I found Hakodate very similar to cannery row back in Monterey in CA--great food and plenty of quaint retail making adaptive re-use of historic warehouse buildings.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Feb 6, 2020

If you would like to see a historic port town with russian and military influence, this is the place to go to. Things close early, so be sure to go when they are open. It's very cold in the winter, so dress appropriately.

4/5 - Good

Hummingbird

Feb 4, 2020

Loved the atmosphere of the town. Enjoyed riding a cable car. The food at the restaurants were too expensive - tourist price!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 8, 2019

The bus system is very convenient and everything is closely located. The only note is to make sure if you are coming in the Shinkansen, is to take the line to/from Shin Hakodate.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 23, 2019

Safe , quiet . The morning market was really good .

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Aug 16, 2019

Gyorokukan (sp?) next to the tower was excellent - recommend going into the resident museum (¥500) which is newly renovated and informative. Nearby the northern museum was good though limited in the way of English display descriptions.

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