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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, Hokkaido, 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
APA Hotel Hakodate Ekimae
APA Hotel Hakodate Ekimae
3 out of 5
19-13, Otemachi, Hakodate, Hokkaido
The price is ¥5,777 per night

Situated in Hakodate, this hotel is steps from Morning Market and Ekini Fish Market. Hakodate Ropeway and Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward are also within 2 ...

4.2/5Very Good! (198 reviews)
Great stay

"Very conveniently located, it's super close to the train station and morning market. The rooms were clean and well-kept. Would stay here again!"…"

Reviewed on Mar 11, 2020

APA Hotel Hakodate Ekimae
Four Points by Sheraton Hakodate
Four Points by Sheraton Hakodate
3.5 out of 5
14-10 Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate
The price is ¥6,605 per night

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 Fort Goryokaku. Mount Hakodate is 2.8 ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,000 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
La'gent Stay Hakodate Ekimae
La'gent Stay Hakodate Ekimae
3.5 out of 5
Wakamatsucho, 12-8, Hakodate, Hokkaido
The price is ¥8,510 per night

Situated in Hakodate, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Morning Market and Ekini Fish Market. Hakodate Ropeway and Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward are ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (65 reviews)
Comfortable hotel with design touch

"Clean, comfortable, and nicely designed."…"

Reviewed on Mar 7, 2020

La'gent Stay Hakodate Ekimae

Popular places to visit 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.

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.

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.

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.

Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse
Image for Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse

Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse

4/5(21 reviews)

During your visit to Hakodate, you can search for that perfect souvenir at Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse. While in this walkable area, you can enjoy the seafood restaurants.

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.

Top things to do in Hakodate

Hiking tour to historic and hidden fortresses at Mt. Hakodate!
Image for Hiking tour to historic and hidden fortresses at Mt. Hakodate!

Hiking tour to historic and hidden fortresses at Mt. Hakodate!

¥10,830
Per adult
Bar hopping in Hakodate with a local guide!
Image for Bar hopping in Hakodate with a local guide!

Bar hopping in Hakodate with a local guide!

¥12,916
Per adult
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

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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