This city on the island of Hokkaido offers a unique Western townscape


Advertising Feature

Japan 2019 Travel Guide: Hakodate

Taste cuisine using the freshest seafood and local ingredients as Hakodate boasts vast fields and is surrounded by the sea…

The Culture Vulture

Goryokaku Park in Hakodate city centre – a ten-minute walk from Goryokaku Koen Mae tram stop – is well known as Japan’s first Western-style fort, built in 1866. The fort is in a star shape and is a popular destination.

Just five minutes from Hakodate station, you’ll find Daimon Street’s food stalls. Lined with small restaurants selling ramen, sushi, tempura, yakitori, yakiniku, jingisukan and more, it’s great for treating your taste buds.

The Foodie

As it’s surrounded by the sea, Hakodate is a seafood paradise. To try the freshest seafood, head to Hakodate’s Morning Market for sushi or a kaisen donburi (seafood rice bowl).

Japan 2019 Travel Guide: Hakodate

Fresh feast: Seafood donburi is a well worth trying

Lucky Pierrot is famous for its burgers, especially the Chinese chicken variety, and you’ll only find the fast-food chain in Hakodate. Popular with both tourists and locals.

The Adventurer

Located near Hakodate is Mount Esan – an active volcano. The hike from the car park to its peak takes around one hour and is suitable for beginners. Get to the climbing gate by bus from Hakodate station (110 minutes).

Onuma National Park – 20km north of Hakodate and 30 minutes by train to Onuma Koen station – is known for its picturesque, island-dotted lakes and volcano, Mount Komagatake, which you can reach by cable car. There are many species of birds to spot and also a range of outdoor activities to partake in, such as cycling, running and boat cruises.

Japan 2019 Travel Guide: Hakodate

Volcano visit: Mount Esan is less than two hours from Hakodate

The Party Animal

Take a cable car to the top of Mount Hakodate – 334 metres high – and enjoy dinner at the restaurant while basking in the view, voted one of Japan’s top three night views.

Hakodate Beer Hall – a short walk from the Suehiro-cho tram stop – is in the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse in the bay area. A lively restaurant with high ceilings, it also offers locally brewed beers.

For more travel information…

How to get there

JAL, ANA and Air Do fly (80min) between Tokyo and Hakodate. Or take the JR Tohoku/Hokkaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto (four hours) and transfer to the relay train to Hakodate (20min) .