Goryokaku Park is named for the pentagon shaped fort in the middle of the park. During normal times, it is a nice place for a run, a bike ride or going on a rowing date with your significant other. During cherry blossom season though, it is the life of the party. We were lucky enough to be in Hakodate during the peak cherry blossom viewing period, which is usually around the 2nd week of May, but dependent entirely on the weather.
The park has 1,660 cherry blossom trees. Because it was in season, there were a lot of hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties going on. We got there in the afternoon, so there were only some people there but there were already mats and empty Asahi & Sapporo kegs set up under the trees in the front portion of the park. Clearly, they expected brisk business that night. There is also 1,815m of path for people who fancy a run if drinking is not your area.
The actual fortress is on an "island" that is accessible by a couple of foot bridges. The fortress is surrounded by a star shaped moat. There is a cafe area on the "island" as well.
There is no admission fees to the park itself but it cost 800 yen to go up the Goryokaku Tower to see the pentagon shape. I manged to save the money because I already got an aerial view of the park from the plane.
(Yes, you will hear the plane fly by from time to time, but it's not too disturbing.)
The main attraction , mount Hakodate is 334 meters high, the view from the mountain is spectacular and is one of Japan's best three night views.
It' accessible by ropeway, bus or car.
The ropeway depart from Motomachi district and cost for adults 640 yens one way and 1160 yens for a round trip.
In this district one can find some " western style buildings" like old british consulate, or the old Hakodate public hall, also the chinese memorial hall or the russian orthodox church.
The district is situated at the foot of mount Hakodate.
From JR station 5 mins tram ride.
Find the histories of Goryoukaku and Hakodate in ground floor of this tower.
You can climb up to the upstairs to see around of Hakodate, but you cannot see the star shape from here.
They are building higher tower now, but I dun know if the star shape garden can be see from this new tower
The Bay area is lit up at night and makes for a good walk - however, don't expect restaurants to open til late. Still, you can settle for Lucky Pierrot's burger.
Alternatively, on a good clear day, take the cable car up Mount Hakodate for a glittery view of the city with the sea and ships as backdrop.
An area beside the Bay that used to be old red brick warehouses. These warehouses have been converted into souvenir "parlours", cafes, restaurants or shops. There are interesting views of sloped warehouses, water inlets between warehouses and in general, plenty of pretty trinkets and food.
Nearby, there is also a "Teddy Bear Museum" which is basically a shop selling teddy bear toys.
A wonderful area with sights of a Russian orthodox church right beside Japanese residential houses, which connects to the English embassy, and leads to a Shinto shrine that offers prayers for safe seafaring. A walkable area that gives a good overview of the history of Hakodate and its status as a trading port with influences from around the globe.
Best of all are the slopes that are unblocked and lead right into the harbour area, giving a panaromic view from this vantage point.
A must visit even if you are not a foodie. A good sight of large Alaskan crabs, squids, shells, sea urchins, fishes and some randomly caught "sea angels". The hustle bustle of seafood being cooked in the streets and fishermen moving their wares in the market is an experience not to be missed
If you love seafood, do not miss this place - they offer fantastic seafood at unbeatable prices. When we made a comparison with Sapporo, the latter was probably 20-30% more expensive and not as fresh.
Talk about fresh - the wholesalers will weigh, sell and boil the King crabs on the spot for you. The numerous Japanese restaurants in the main market square sell good ramen, sushi and sashimi (squids are sliced fresh out of the tanks and tentacles and sucking pads still fully operational as you dip it into the soy sauce)
Goryokaku Fort is actually a park that housed alot of flowers and it one of the places Japanese gather for cherry blossoms viewing. Unfortunately I visited the place at the wrong season and missed the sight! However, there are still other nice flowers that decorated the park though.
The entire garden is shaped like a pentagon and the entire shape can be viewed at the top of the Goryakaku Tower.
We went to Asa-ichi at about 8:00AM. (ungodly early for Rose)
After the breakfast we walk around Asa-ichi.
There many fish fish shop like this.
I asked a fish dealer where did you catch the fishes?
He answered: almost these crab are caught from Russian sea.
Pastel blue and Yellow beautiful town hall was built in 1910.Renaissance pattern building.
Taisyo emperor stayed here.
In the minor photos, from the Motomachi district uphill, walk down the street and reach the Bay Area. This downhill scene is well-known in Japan, having been used in television dramas and adverts.
Located in the Motomachi District along with the other turn of the century churches and architecture, the Hakodate St. Johannes Church began from early Meiji era (1874) with the mission of the Church of England, in which case I reckon ought to render the official name "St. John's" though this is not reflected in the Japanese terminology. Anyway, this building was rebuilt in 1921 and refurbished in 1979.
I heard from the taxi driver in here that this is the third most famous night view after US and Hongkong. Is it true? Well, I heard that here is the most famous night view in Japan, so it is a must see view!!
Lucky me that there was fireworks festival in the day i visited Hakodate, so that I can enjoy the nightview together with the fireworks. It was awesome!
The one of oldest harbour that opened for trading in Japan beside the one in Yokohama n Nagasaki. Now this area become a shopping area in Hakodate. This area is famous for the red brick old warehouse which now used as the shops. The most unique shop inside is a shop with christmas thema.
You can find christmas accesories all year. You also can send christmas card in here whenever you visit but it only will delivered on chirstmas.
There are many restaurant in here too.
This convent was founded by eight sisters from France in 1898. You are not allowed to enter this convent. There is some pictures displayed in the next of souvenir shop which show you how is the inner of this convent and how is the the sisters daily activities.
You can buy original butter cake or candies that made by Sisters in the souvenir shop.