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Highlights of Hakodate
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One of the most popular sightseeing cities in Japan, the picturesque port city of Hakodate is surrounded by ocean and is rich in nature and history.
The southernmost city in Hokkaido, Hakodate was one of the first ports to open to foreign trade in 1859 and the impact of those early overseas influences can still be seen in the mixture of Western-style and Japanese architecture, old and new, to be found throughout the city.
One such example is the ruins of the extraordinary Goryōkaku ‘five-star fort’, built by the Tokugawa shogunate: its design was inspired by the fortifications of French military engineer Vauban. Goryōkaku Park, in the center of the fort, is one of Hakodate’s most popular places to enjoy the spring cherry blossom.
Also worth seeing are the ‘hourglass’ view of the city at night from the top of Mt Hakodate, and the Chūku Dogū (‘Hollow Dogū) figurine and other Jōmon period (1500-1300BC) finds at the Jōmon Culture Center. While, for a classic Japanese hot spring experience, head to nearby Yunokawa Onsen.
Most of the hotels in Yunokawa Onsen have hot springs, while in Hakodate, there is a range of accommodation including ryokans (traditional-style inns), bed and breakfast, and, most recently, in renovated historic buildings.
20 minutes by bus from JR Hakodate Station.
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