Hakodate Night View 函館山の夜景

Night views from Mount Hakodate
Night views from Mount Hakodate

Peak views of land and sea, including a star-shaped Western fort

Mt. Hakodate offers sweeping panoramas of Hakodate and the surrounding bay, sea, and mountains. During the day, you'll have fantastic views of the star-shaped Western martial outpost of Goryokaku Fort, the foreign settlement of Motomachi, and the rest of the city. At night, Hakodate sparkles like a jewel box.

Don't Miss

  • The view 30 minutes after sunset
  • The historic buildings of Hakodate, illuminated at night

How to Get There

Hakodate Station can be reached via both rail and air.

You can ascend Mt. Hakodate by ropeway, bus, or on foot. From the Jujigai tram stop, it's a 10-minute walk to the Mt. Hakodate Ropeway Station. Alternatively, you can take a bus up the mountain, departing from Hakodate Station, or hike to the top in about an hour.

The sun sets over the hills as the lights of Hakodate city come on

Location, location, location

Mt. Hakodate towers over the city, Hakodate Bay, and the Tsugaru Strait. During the day, but especially after dark, the views from the Mt. Hakodate Observatory will take your breath away.

Blue hour, the hour after the sun sets, is the best time to see the view from Mt. Hakodate

A magical experience

Watching the sun slowly sink below the horizon and the lights come on across the city is a magical experience. To add more luster to the scene, the city has installed warm, orange-colored street lights and illuminated its historic buildings.

The lights of the city look their best about 30 minutes after the sun has set, but be aware that the crowds will be biggest at this time of day.

The view from Mt. Hakodate across Motomachi in the day

Make the ascent on your own

If you're feeling energetic, climbing up to the summit of Mt. Hakodate is an option. It's an easy climb on well-maintained paths from the Mt. Hakodate Information Center and takes about an hour.

Views for all seasons

You can enjoy the view from Mt. Hakodate throughout the year. As the seasons change, so do your perspectives on the city. Spring brings seas of clouds, summer has mists that cast a mysterious veil, autumn's clear air sharpens detail, and the city gleams under a covering of snow in winter.

Between June and December, look out for the lights of the squid fishing boats.

Foreign influences at the mountain's foot

Hakodate is a port town that was one of the first to open up to foreign trade after Japan's long period of isolation ended in the second half of the 19th century. At the foot of the mountain are many of the places where foreign traders and other outsiders took up residence, Motomachi . There's also the oddity of star-shaped Goryokaku Fort , the country's first Western-style fortress.

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