Top things to do

Top Choice Mountain in Hakodate

Hakodate-yama

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 Seafood in Hakodate

Kikuyo Shokudo

Inside Hakodate Morning Market, Kikuyo Shokudo got its start in the 1950s as a counter joint to feed market workers and is now one of the top reasons to come to Hakodate. The speciality here is the Hakodate tomoe-do…
Top Choice Teahouse in Hakodate

Tea Shop Yūhi

Filling the halls of a wooden building from 1885 (actually the old Hakodate Quarantine Office) is this magical teahouse overlooking the water. It's lit only by natural light so closes after the sun sets. In the mean…
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

Goryō-kaku-kōen

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…
Burgers in Hakodate

Lucky Pierrot

Hakodate's iconic burger shop has been voted best in the nation several times – despite its cultivated dive image. The house special is the Chinese chicken burger, an oddly addictive combo of twice-cooked chicken, c…
Street Food in Hakodate

Daimon Yokochō

This is a fun place to gather in the evening, a collection of 25 food vendors in an old-style marketplace, with outdoor seats (when it's not freezing!). You can take your pick from ramen, donburi (rice bowl) dishes …
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.