10 Gorgeous Spots in Hakodate You Will Definitely Want to Snap a Photo of
Hakodate, one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Hokkaido. It is a place full of renowned locations that would look great on social media, such as beautiful scenic spots, magnificent outdoor locations, and stylish retro buildings. This article recommends 10 picturesque locations in Hakodate and its surroundings!
Gorgeous Spots in the Hakodate Area
One of the most distinctive characteristics of Hakodate is its beautiful night scenery. There are many areas to enjoy this night view within the city, but the viewing platform on Mt. Hakodate, a 334m-tall mountain, is especially popular. The metropolitan area at night, surrounded on both sides by the sea, is a picturesque sight that was even awarded 3 stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan. To reach the summit, it is recommended to use the ropeway. It takes 3 minutes from Sanroku Station at the foot of the mountain.
Ropeway fare (round trip): Adults (junior high school and older) 1,280 JPY, Children 640 JPY
Cape Tachimachi is a cape located on the southeastern side of Mt. Hakodate that can be reached from the city in around 15 minutes by car. This 30m high cliff protrudes towards the sea and offers an unbroken view of the surrounding coastline and the vast ocean. The view is so good that, with clear weather, the peninsula on the opposite shore can be seen in the distance. From early to late summer it is recommended to visit after the sunset, when the lights of the lures from squid fishing boats are scattered on the sea's surface, offering a magical scenery very different from the view that can be enjoyed during the day.
*Closed to traffic in winter.
Goryokaku Tower is one of the classic tourist attractions in Hakodate. It is a 170m-tall landmark and is located in an area that can be reached with a 15-minute walk from the Goryokaku-Koen-mae tram stop. The ruins of the old Goryokaku Fort, shaped like a giant star, can be admired in their entirety from the observation deck inside the tower. The surrounding area is known as a cherry blossom viewing spot and, from late April to early May, you can see the area's approximately 1,600 cherry trees in full bloom.
Observation deck fee: Adults 900 JPY, Middle and High School Students 680 JPY, Elementary School Students 450 JPY
There are many sloping roads in Hakodate, and a great number of them are also sightseeing areas. Among those, Hachiman-zaka is the most well known nationwide. It is a stone-paved slope pointing straight towards the Port of Hakodate. At the head of the slope, there is an ideal photo spot to capture the Mashumaru, a permanently anchored ferry floating right in front of the hill. During winter, the area is illuminated with decorative lighting and is permeated with a romantic atmosphere. The slope can be reached within a 1 minute walk from the Suehiro-cho tram stop. Mt. Hakodate Ropeway's Sanroku Station is close to the slope, so usually tourists visit both Hachiman-zaka and Mt. Hakodate on the same day.
Port of Hakodate - Chuo Pier
The Port of Hakodate is dotted with locations that have a beautiful night view. From the Kyu-Sambashi (former pier) and its surroundings, it is possible to admire the many lights of the city, shining like jewels. In particular, it is highly recommended to visit the Chuo Pier, located only a 10-minute walk from JR Hakodate Station. From there, tourists can enjoy a view of the urban area surrounding the base of Mt. Hakodate and the Mashumaru, decorated with lighting. It is a little-known spot, so there are not many people around, allowing you to enjoy the panorama peacefully. It is also recommended as a viewing spot for the fireworks display that takes place every year in July.
Port of Hakodate - Chuo Pier
Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse
This is a group of warehouses built with red bricks, with an history of over 100 years. Their appearance is dignified yet quaint on the outside, while inside they house a joint facility with many souvenir shops and restaurants. It is a popular tourist attraction, not only because of its appearance, but also for its many shops where one can enjoy shopping and good food. The best moment to take photos is after dusk, when the warehouses are lighted up. Every year in December, a big Christmas tree appears on the sea in front of the warehouses and many events take place. The area is accessible with a 5-minute walk from the Jujigai tram stop.
Stunning Outdoor Spots Away from the Hakodate City Area
Onuma Park Square
Located right beside JR Onuma Koen Station, the Onuma Park Square is the central point of Onuma Quasi-National Park. This nature park has various paths that all offer different things to see, and visitors can enjoy the countless small islands on Lake Onuma and Lake Konuma, the beautiful Mt. Komagatake, and the natural landscape made of seasonal plants and flowers. One of the appeals of the park is the possibility of coming across small animals like Hokkaido squirrels and wild birds. In addition, an observation deck was built on the rooftop of the local specialty shop Onuma Tenbokaku, and from there tourists can enjoy a great view of the Onuma Lake, which is as beautiful as a painting.
Shirotai Farm is a 1.6 million sq.m. farm, 500m above sea level. An observation deck was built on its grounds, allowing one to view all the nature of Hakodate. After sunset, it becomes the perfect spot for nightscape viewing, letting visitors gaze at Hakodate Bay, Mt. Hakodate, and the metropolitan area. Another charm to this farm is the idyllic scenery of cows grazing in a carefree manner. The farm's surroundings are a treasure chest of nature, full of wild animals, where one can encounter Hokkaido deer, Ezo red foxes, Hokkaido squirrels, and other animals. The farm can be reached in around 30 minutes by car from the Hakodate city area.
*The farm and the observation deck are both closed in winter.
Kijihiki Plateau, on the outskirts of Hakodate, offers one of the best views in all of Hakodate. The scenery that can be admired from its 560m-high Panorama Viewing Platform is especially popular. Tourists can enjoy a beautiful view of Mt. Hakodate, the big curve drawn by the elevated shinkansen (bullet train) bridge, Onuma Quasi-National Park, Mt. Komagatake, and more. In addition, the campground located on the plateau is recommended for watching the starry sky and the nightscape of the Hakodate urban area. Kijihiki can be reached in around 40 minutes by car from the Hakodate city area.
*The mountain road leading to the observation deck is closed to traffic between late October and late April.
Mt. Higurashi Observatory
Mt. Higurashi is a small 303m-high mountain. It is well known for its beautiful view, and the observation deck on the summit allows for a great view of the Onuma Quasi-National Park and Mt. Komagatake. The scenery from mid to late October, when some of the plants turn bright autumn colors, is a must-see. The summit can be reached in 10 minutes by car from Onuma Park Station. For people who have time, it is recommended to climb on foot, enjoying the abundant nature from the base to the top of the mountain (one way: 30 minutes).
*The road to the summit is closed to traffic in winter.
If you are thinking of visiting Hakodate, please use this article as a reference to create your travel plan!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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