Hakodate, the Gateway to Hokkaido   函館市

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A warm welcome in the cold

Hakodate is one of the most famous urban landscapes of Japan. It is also a place known for its special atmosphere. Winters are chilly, but in summer it offers one of the most pleasant climates in the country.

Hakodate has a recent history, as it only developed in the nineteenth century, becoming a port open to foreigners. It was the refuge of the last supporters of the shogun, who for a brief time proclaimed it the Republic of Ezo.

An Unusual Heritage

The landscape of the city is strongly marked by this time. The city is proud of its old red brick warehouses, now a favorite meeting spot among teens for its many restaurants. There is also a historical district of western-style houses and wooden churches. The whole place exudes a Meiji era atmosphere.

The city is obviously known for its ultra-fresh sushi, especially salmon, and for its local version of ramen: shio-ramen.


Hakodate is also famous for its landscapes, and the panoramic view from Mount Hakodate overlooking the city. You can visit by cable car. The flowery landscapes of the park that surrounds the Goryokaku fortress are beautiful in the spring.

Close to Nature

Twenty kilometers north of Hakodate is the (quasi) Onuma National Park and mountain lakes. It is easy to reach by car or by train via direct JR line. On foot or by bicycle, it is pleasant to walk between the different lakes. The beautiful nature on offer is probably the main advantage of this northern island.

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