Goryokaku Fort lit up like a "dream of stars"
Goryokaku Fort in Hakodate was the first fortress in Japan to be built using Western-style techniques. It is built in a distinctive large star shape. Get a full view of the fort from the viewing deck of the adjacent Goryokaku Tower. This newly renovated observation point draws visitors year-round, but the most popular time to visit is during the Hoshi-no-Yume event from the beginning of December to the end of February.
During the event — literally translated as "dream of stars" — the fort is illuminated from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every evening. It is at its most beautiful in midwinter when heavy snow blankets the frozen moat. More active visitors should bundle up and walk the fort's 1.8-kilometer perimeter for a closer look at the fortifications and the more than 2,000 light bulbs.
How to get there
You can travel to Hakodate from Honshu by air, rail, and sea. Goryokaku Tower is best reached by tram from Hakodate Station in the direction of Yunokawa. The ride to Goryokaku-Koen-Mae Station takes about 17 minutes. From there, the fort and tower are 15 minutes by foot.
Held from early December to late February.
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