Like Kobe and Yokohama, Hakodate was one of Japan’s first cities opened to trade. It later became the capital of the short-lived Republic of Ezo. Today the city is a popular retreat for domestic tourists, but the culture and history is worth the attention of international travelers as well. It is served by Hakodate Airport
, and train services are also available to reach the city.
A top destination for tourists in Hakodate is Motomachi, the historical district. A mix of sites showcase the early days of foreign trade and their traders. A walk from the Higashi Honganji Temple to the Foreign Cemetery makes for a pleasant day and passes by a number of historical consulates and churches, including the Roman Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox Church. Those interested in the time of the Ezo Republic can visit Fort Goryokaku
and the viewing platform of Koryokaku Tower. For the natural experience, head to Mount Hakodate. Locals here say that views of the city rank as one of the Three Best Night Views in the world. Exploration outside the city is offered with an express train going to Lake Onuma which has a mid-sized ski resort adjacent to it. And a scenic drive to Esan makes for a great day trip, especially if heading there in June for the Tsutsuji Festival.
Find the most suitable accommodation for you by clicking on our interactive map and exploring Hakodate for hotels and must-see destinations.