Top Choice Mountain in Hakodate


Mention you've been to Hakodate and every Japanese person you know will ask if you took in the night view from atop Hakodate-yama (334m) – it's that famous! You want to get up here for sunset or after dark: what's s…
Top Choice Market in Hakodate

Hakodate Morning Market

With crabs grilling over hot coals, freshly caught squid packed tightly in ice-stuffed styrofoam and the sing-song call of vendors, Hakodate Morning Market does a fantastic impression of an old-time seafood market –…
Notable Building in Hakodate

Nakamura-ke Residence

In the 18th and 19th centuries, a roaring herring trade turned Esashi (江差; pop 8110) on the west coast of Hokkaido's southern peninsula, 70km west of Hakodate, into a boomtown. The Nakamura-ke Residence is the sole …
Park in Hakodate


Japan's first Western-style fort was built in 1864 in the shape of a five-pointed star (goryō-kaku means 'five-sided fort') designed to trap attackers in deadly crossfire. Nothing remains of the actual structure but…
Tower in Hakodate

Goryō-kaku Tower

Take the elevator to the observatory atop this 98m-tall tower to see the star-shaped footprint of Goryō-kaku-kōen. There are also displays on the history of the fort up here.
Church in Hakodate

Orthodox Church

Dating from 1916, this Russian Orthodox church is adorned with distinctive copper domes and spires. It's still in use by the 300 or so (mostly elderly) members of the Japanese Orthodox community.
Cemetery in Hakodate

Foreigners' Cemetery

Along the bay, on the western fringe of town (where few visitors venture) is the small, grassy cemetery that contains the graves of sailors, clergy and others who died far from their homelands. Many are marked with …
Historic Building in Hakodate

Red-brick Warehouse District

These early-20th-century red-brick warehouses on the waterfront are the legacy of Hakodate's status as a historic, international trade port. They've been restored and turned into a tourist mall (which seems apt). Th…
Museum in Hakodate

Hakodate Museum of Northern Peoples

Inside the old Japan Bank building (1926), this museum has interesting exhibitions (labelled in English) about Ainu culture and also some of the other indigenous cultures from Sakhalin (the island north of Hokkaidō,…
Historic Building in Hakodate

Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward

The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward, built in 1910, is an ornate mansion and a well-preserved example of Meiji-era (1868–1912) style. From the verandah there are good views over the bay.