What to do and see in Hakodate, Japan: The Best Places and Tips

November 15, 2017 Almeta Stockton

Even if you can't be in Hakodate to see the cherry blossoms in May, you'll fall in love with the sunset views from Mount Hakodate. Surrounded by the ocean, it's no wonder Hakodate is known for fresh seafood. If you're up early, have domburi for breakfast at a restaurant in the Morning Market by Hakodate Station.
Restaurants in Hakodate

1. Mount Hakodate

Hakodate 040-0000, Hokkaido
Excellent
55%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Mount Hakodate

Ascend by cable car or foot to the summit of this wooded mountain, which offers one of the finest views in the country.

Reviewed By bremen1018 - Hong Kong, China

Too famous the scenic spot is and it attracted a lot of visitors. There is no control of incoming visitors and the experience is not good, too many people gathered in the only area and you cannot take any photo or have a look unless you are tall enough.
Quite disgusting is, a few gentlemen who seemed to have franchise of photo-taking in another restricted area, tried to ask visitors not to walk in the floor of the restricted area. Actually we can but visitors will think they are official staff there and would obey what they ask even for local Japanese.
Let’s talk about the paid photo taking, they will ask you to leave the restricted area after 17:00. The photo cost about JPY2,300 but no softcopy and they won’t allow you to take photo by your smartphone. They said they will send the hard copy to a designated address in 10 working days. For such a precious moment, JPY2,300 doesn’t mean a lot but can the authority be flexible and say controlling the incoming visitors, just allow the, to stand in the photo taking spot for say 5-10 minutes, or even ask for a higher entrance fee if we want to have a good photo taking spot.
It is actually disgusting in Japan for restricting nearly half of the area for a few guys to take photo with cost but with so many limitation.

2. Motomachi

Motomachi, Hakodate 040-0001, Hokkaido
Excellent
38%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 423 reviews

Motomachi

Many foreign traders settled in this neighborhood in the mid 1800s, which still contains a number of foreign buildings, including the Russian Orthodox Church and the Chinese Memorial Hall.

Reviewed By unescotravelbug - Wooster, Ohio

Motomachi area is known to have significant ties to the westernization of the City. After Japan opened it up to the western world, Hakodate became one of the important seaports positioned for the domestic long distance and international sea trade exchanges and led to the blossom of City’s seafaring infrastructure and trading. Christian missionaries brought westerners here to introduce the gospel of Christianity and the exchange of Western culture and knowledge. Ship merchants also brought with them the skills of ship building and trades. Around Motomachi, there are several significant landmarks of western influences include Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox Church that co-existing along with the Japanese temple structure not far from Daisanzaka Slope. The picturesque landscape and serene atmosphere around the neighborhood give visitors an idea place for leisure strolling; but you would need to take the bus ride up to avoid physical exhaustion going up on steep hill. Another nice spot to view the city below is The Orthodox Church high on the hill; views from its garden can go as far as the harbor area. The ropeway station to the top of Mount Hakodate is midway on the hill. The most famous slope Hachimanzaka and the second famous one Daisanzaka slope are nice places for strolling, the views and photo opportunities of the city below.

3. Goryokaku Tower

43-9 Goryokakucho, Hakodate 040-0001, Hokkaido +81 138-51-4785
Excellent
33%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Goryokaku Tower

Reviewed By Fei L - Houston, Texas

First, we walked to the tower from JR Station area, it took us about 55 minuets, but it is a good way to see the city. It costs 900 yuan to go up, a little expensive. If you are into history, it has a lot info there. Keep in mind, you can’t get pictures of full star shape of the park from the tower (from level open to public). By the way, The park is great.

4. Hakodate Tram

1-15 Komabacho, Hakodate 042-0935, Hokkaido +81 138-52-1273
Excellent
35%
Good
49%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Hakodate Tram

Reviewed By Yang C

For me this trem like a bus But on their track Nothing different and nothing special Just like other public transport

5. Goryokaku Park

44 Goryokakucho, Hakodate 040-0001, Hokkaido +81 138-40-3605
Excellent
34%
Good
45%
Satisfactory
19%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Goryokaku Park

Reviewed By Yang C

Star shaped garden with history why its made For me the best time to travel to here is in autumn season, can see the fall leaves from trees

6. Hachimanzaka

Suehiromachi, Hakodate 040-0053, Hokkaido +81 138-21-3323
Excellent
34%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 766 reviews

Hachimanzaka

Reviewed By unescotravelbug - Wooster, Ohio

In my opinion Hachimanzaka is like a place of pilgrimage regarded by the visitors and feel that their visits would not be completed without a trip there. So here was the scenario I saw around Hachimanzaka last October; taxi drivers and private cars made their ways up to drop off passengers right on the top of hill, a nice position for the photo shoots. The shimmering sea and iconic Ferry Memorial Ship Mashu Maru can be seen straight down on the end of Hachimanzaka ‘s wide boulevard,. In my opinion a trip to Hachimanzaka is not just photo opportunities. This area is known to have significant ties to the westernization of the City. Christian missionaries brought with them not only the gospel preaching of Christianity but also the exposure and exchange of Eastern-Western culture and knowledge. Westerners also brought with them the skills of ship building and trades. After Japan opened it up to the western world, Hakodate became one of the important seaports positioned for the domestic long distance and international trade exchanges and led to the developments of City’s seafaring infrastructure and trading. Around Motomachi, there are Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox Church that co-existing with the Japanese temple structure. The picturesque landscape and serene atmosphere around the neighborhood give visitors an idea place for leisure strolling; but you would need to take the bus ride up to avoid physical exhaustion going up on steep hill of Mount Hakodate. Another nice spot to view the city below is The Orthodox Church high on the hill; views from its garden can go as far as the harbor area. So, in my opinion, making a trip to Hachimanzaka should not be just taking the photos of the slope; make it a trip of opportunity for the cultural explorations.

7. The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward

11-13 Motomachi, Hakodate 040-0054, Hokkaido +81 138-22-1001
Excellent
27%
Good
56%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 474 reviews

The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward

Reviewed By poopshooter - Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

While walking around Motomachi we passed by this historical building. Looks nice from outside. Well kept. Didn't go in as we didn't think it was worth paying. Spent like 10 minutes walking outside of it. The park in front of it was more interesting in my opinion. Guess if you are nearby you can snap a pic.

8. Hakodate Ropeway

19-7 Motomachi, Hakodate 040-0054, Hokkaido +81 138-23-6288
Excellent
31%
Good
48%
Satisfactory
19%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 847 reviews

Hakodate Ropeway

Reviewed By Ha P - Ontario, Canada

When I arrived at Hakodate station, I went to the tourist information and asked how to get to the Hakodate ropeway. The guy checked for the view status from the top to see if it’s worth going and he said I’m quite lucky since from live camera the view was amazing. He also said for the past couple days, the weather hasn’t been very cooperative. The round trip ticket for he ropeway is 1280yens, the bus ticket from the bus station to the ropeway station is 240yen one way. So in total it will cost 1760yen but at the bus station, there is an offer of the whole package for 1590yen. So I went for the package and put my backpack in the locker at the bus station. You can get the bus schedule from the bus station. It takes about 15-20mins depends on the road condition since it was very sluggish. At the ropeway station, I exchanged the voucher for the ropeway ticket. It was a fast process the waiting in line wasn’t that long compared to the Peak Tram in Hong Kong. The view at the top was amazing. You can also check out the souvenirs store on the second top floor. I would totally recommend doing this but remember to check the weather status. You don’t want to see only fog or snow at the top like I did in Hong Kong after 2 hours lining up.

9. Hakodate Morning Market

JR Hakodate Station, Hakodate, Hokkaido +81 120-858-313
Excellent
30%
Good
43%
Satisfactory
22%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 718 reviews

Hakodate Morning Market

Start your day with a domburi breakfast (cooked rice with another type of food on top) at a restaurant in this morning market, which features stalls with fresh seafood and produce

Reviewed By Fei L - Houston, Texas

The morning market is a must visit experience. It is only a few minutes away from JR Station. There are lots of store selling similar products. Stores locate in three buildings next to each other and some on street. We tasted fresh Yubari Mellon here, it is sweet.

10. Motomachi Park

12-18 Motomachi, Hakodate 040-0054, Hokkaido +81 138-27-3333
Excellent
20%
Good
60%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 107 reviews

Motomachi Park

Reviewed By Rumples - Tucson, Arizona

Motomachi Park spills down the hill from the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward in the Motomachi area. The park consists mostly of a wide expanse of stone pavers and steps that descend to a flat area with raised plantings, trees and historic buildings. For me, the best part of this park occurs at the top, where I enjoyed a spectacular view of the city and sea below. An excellent map here identified what I saw in English and Japanese.
On the extremely warm day that I visited, heat radiated from the pavers and I longed for a shaded garden path. In that weather, the benches here did not beckon to sit and further admire the Panorama. Instead, I entered the flat area for a closer look at the Hokkaido Prefectural Government's Old Branch Office, which went up in 1909. It displays four huge columns and holds the helpful Motomachi Tourist Information Office.on the first floor and the Hakodate City Musem of Photography History on the second floor. Public restrooms in very good condition are located to the right of this building.
The park is easily reached by tram, getting off at the Jujigai stop and walking for about 10 minutes. Only a handful of others ambled through the park when I was there, but I saw many more throughout the Motomachi area, which has been heavily influenced by the West.

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