Culture & History
Winter views steeped in history
Goryokaku Fort is a five-sided, star-shaped fortification that was designed in 1855 and completed in 1864. It was the first fort in Japan to be built in the Western style. The Tokugawa Shogunate had its last stand against the pro-imperial forces of the Meiji Emperor here — a decisive defeat in the Boshin War that led to the Meiji Restoration of 1868. In 1914, the fort grounds were turned into a public park. During the snowy Hokkaido winter, the fort is lit up in an illumination called Hoshi-no-Yume. Nearly 2,000 lights are strung along the exterior walls as visitors stroll along the glowing pathway. Hoshi-no-Yume takes place from December to late February, and the lights are on from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
How to get there
Goryokaku Fort is best accessed by tram or bus from Hakodate Station to Goroykaku Koen-mae, followed by a 10-minute walk.