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
Motomachi, Hakodate, Japan

Motomachi

Known for Walking, Friendly People, Dining

5/5(3 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.

Top Hotels in Hakodate

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel Paco Hakodate
Hotel Paco Hakodate
3.5 out of 5
Omori-cho 25-3, Hakodate, Hokkaido
¥4,986
per night
Nov 22 - Nov 23

Situated in Hakodate, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from Hakodate City Office and within 3 mi (5 km) of Goryokaku Tower and Yunokawa Hot Spring. Mount Hakodate ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (882 reviews)

"It was very nice view from window. And everything was good setting inside room."…"

Reviewed on Nov 5, 2019

Hotel Paco Hakodate
Four Points by Sheraton Hakodate
Four Points by Sheraton Hakodate
3.5 out of 5
14-10 Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate
¥6,612
per night
Nov 24 - Nov 25

Situated in Hakodate, this spa hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Morning Market and within 3 mi (5 km) of Goryokaku Tower and Mount Hakodate. Ekini Fish Market and ...

4.3/5Excellent! (993 reviews)

"Clean, convenient and friendly staff. The room is small but as expected in Japan the rooms tend to be small. Good choice for self stay."…"

Reviewed on Nov 6, 2019

Four Points by Sheraton Hakodate
Hotel WBF Hakodate ~ WATATSUMI ~
Hotel WBF Hakodate ~ WATATSUMI ~
3.5 out of 5
Wakamatsu-cho, 24-1, Hakodate, Hokkaido
¥6,204
per night
Nov 26 - Nov 27

Located in the heart of Hakodate, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Morning Market and 2.1 mi (3.5 km) from Goryokaku Tower. Ekini Fish Market and Hakodate ...

4.2/5Very Good! (12 reviews)

"The hotel location is convenient and the room is clean . Staff are friendly and helpful and thanks to Miyamoto-San booked restaurant for us, Front desk needs more training in inter communication. Overall it’s a nice place to stay."…"

Reviewed on Nov 15, 2019

Hotel WBF Hakodate ~ WATATSUMI ~

Popular things to do in Hakodate

Mount Hakodate
Image for Mount Hakodate

Mount Hakodate

4.5/5(23 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(13 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(15 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(24 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(28 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)

Step back in time and learn more about local history with a stop at Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward in Hakodate. While in this walkable area, find time to visit its shops.

Top activities in Hakodate

Airport taxi from Hakodate Airport to Noboribetu Onsen
Image for Airport taxi from Hakodate Airport to Noboribetu Onsen

Airport taxi from Hakodate Airport to Noboribetu Onsen

¥86,666

Airport taxi from Hakodate Airport to Noboribetu Onsen (Noboribetsu Hot Spring) . Our small taxis can accommodate up to four passengers, but as foreign visitors often arrive with a lot of luggage and our trunks can only fit two suitcases, we ask that customers use one taxi for two passengers.

Airport taxi from Hakodate Airport to New Chitose Airport
Image for Airport taxi from Hakodate Airport to New Chitose Airport

Airport taxi from Hakodate Airport to New Chitose Airport

¥105,333

Airport taxi services From Hakodate Airport to New Chitose Airport. Our small taxis can accommodate up to four passengers, but as foreign visitors often arrive with a lot of luggage and our trunks can only fit two suitcases, we ask that customers use one taxi for two passengers.

Airport taxi from Hakodate Airport to Otaru Station
Image for Airport taxi from Hakodate Airport to Otaru Station

Airport taxi from Hakodate Airport to Otaru Station

¥105,333

Airport taxi services From Hakodate Airport to Otaru Station. Our small taxis can accommodate up to four passengers, but as foreign visitors often arrive with a lot of luggage and our trunks can only fit two suitcases, we ask that customers use one taxi for two passengers.

Reviews of Hakodate

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
34
5 - Excellent 72.34042553191489%
4 - Good
13
4 - Good 27.659574468085108%
3 - Okay
0
3 - Okay 0%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

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.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Aug 2, 2019

Very good fireworks display at the start of the August festival.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jul 12, 2019

Capsule Hotel Hakodate. Eat crab tempura anywhere in Hakodate. The place has a warm and welcoming vibe.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 25, 2019

函館は小さい町なので、駅や空港への移動が便利です。でも観光する場所は限られているかな。

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 27, 2019

The two day bus and! tram pass was worth it

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