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HakodateJapan

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

Motomachi, Hakodate, Japan

Motomachi

5/5Exceptional!(3 area reviews)

Motomachi is noteworthy for its restaurants, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward and Kyu Soma-tei.

Motomachi

Top Hotels in Hakodate

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
THE SHARE HOTELS HakoBA Hakodate
THE SHARE HOTELS HakoBA Hakodate
3 out of 5
23-9, Suehiro-cho, Hakodate, Hokkaido
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
¥3,338
per night
Apr 12 - Apr 13

Situated by the ocean, this hotel is steps from Hakodate City Museum of Photographic History and Kitasjima Saburo Memorial Museum. Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (486 reviews)

"Hotel was walking distance from the tram station and directly opposite the Red Brick Warehouse. You can walk to Mt Hakodate Ropeway from the hotel too. There are multiple bunk beds in each room, and each room comes with a small area to sit down and rest. There is a play area for kids and the lounge ..."…"

Reviewed on Jan 2, 2020

THE SHARE HOTELS HakoBA Hakodate
La Vista Hakodate Bay
La Vista Hakodate Bay
4 out of 5
12-6 Toyokawacho, Hakodate, Hokkaido
¥13,894
per night
Apr 11 - Apr 12

Situated by the sea, this spa hotel is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse and 3 mi (4.8 km) from Goryokaku Tower. Hakodate Takadaya Kahei Museum ...

4.4/5Excellent! (637 reviews)
Good breakfast, accessible to nearby

"La Vista Hakodate Bay serves a really good breakfast spread. The onsen gets really busy, as guest from the sister hotel are allowed to use the onsen as well. There are places that are easily accessible nearby for you to explore. A night or 2, is sufficient enough to complete the nearby ..."…"

Reviewed on Jan 2, 2020

La Vista Hakodate Bay
Four Points by Sheraton Hakodate
Four Points by Sheraton Hakodate
3.5 out of 5
14-10 Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate
Free Cancellation
¥7,095
per night
Apr 12 - Apr 13

Situated in Hakodate, this spa hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Morning Market and 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Goryokaku Tower. Ekini Fish Market and Hakodate Seikan Renrakusen ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,130 reviews)

"Close to JR station, good to have hand sanitizer at elevator area, but should also supply in room. However there is no cool air conditioner at room, it is very hot."…"

Reviewed on Feb 13, 2020

Four Points by Sheraton Hakodate

Popular things to do in Hakodate

Mount Hakodate
Image for Mount Hakodate

Mount Hakodate

4.5/5(26 reviews)

Appreciate captivating views of Hakodate’s skyline, surrounding coast and glittering city lights from atop this central city mountain, accessible via a scenic cable car.

Goryokaku Tower
Image for Goryokaku Tower

Goryokaku Tower

4.5/5(15 reviews)

Enjoy a unique overlook of Hakodate’s city skyline, surrounding mountain ranges and distant coastline from this modern observation tower and history gallery.

Fort Goryokaku
Image for Fort Goryokaku

Fort Goryokaku

4.5/5(17 reviews)

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

Morning Market
Image for Morning Market

Morning Market

4.5/5(27 reviews)

Start your day with delectable fruit, vegetables and freshly made breakfast in this buzzing market selling Hakodate’s freshest seasonal produce and seafood.

Hakodate Ropeway
Image for Hakodate Ropeway

Hakodate Ropeway

4/5(30 reviews)

Enjoy an outing to Hakodate Ropeway during your stay in Hakodate. While in this walkable area, find time to visit its shops.

Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
Image for Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward

Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward

4/5(2 reviews)

Learn about the local history of Hakodate when you spend time at Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward. While in this walkable area, find time to visit its shops.

Top activities in Hakodate

Hakodate Full-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide
Image for Hakodate Full-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide

Hakodate Full-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide

¥26,396
Per adult
Let's make traditional and cute character lunch box!!
Image for Let's make traditional and cute character lunch box!!

Let's make traditional and cute character lunch box!!

¥9,746
Per adult
FOODIE tour, Local desserts in Hakodate!
Image for FOODIE tour, Local desserts in Hakodate!

FOODIE tour, Local desserts in Hakodate!

¥8,447
Per adult

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
0
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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