Romance in Hakodate



Hakodate is one of Hokkaido’s largest cities with a population of just under 300000. It has a number of draw cards and is a popular tourist destination for domestic travelers. It is known as a romantic city and it has a number of sights and attractions that have created this reputation. At the top of the list is its esteemed night view, which is in fact quite beautiful and is apparently rated as the third greatest in the world! The view is enjoyed from Mt Hakodate and its beauty is due to the fact that the city extends into and is bordered by both the Japan Sea and the Pacific Ocean. This creates a picturesque contrast of light and dark, sea against city. The view is accessed by cable car and the multi level lookout has several restaurants.

Hokkaido is well known for its seafood and Hakodate is no exception. It is particularly well know for its squid however its most delicious offering may in fact be the kaisen don or seafood bowl. This is essentially a bowl of rice topped with various sashimi and the combination of delicate textures and tastes is simply delicious. The fish marketare another attraction and are said to offer the best kaisen don. However raw fish in the early hours may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Hakodate is also an important historical town and a site worth visiting is the Goryokaku Fort. A huge pentagonal stone structure, which was the site of many important battles. Today soldiers have been replaced by Cherry trees and in spring the blossoming trees are a sight to behold.

Like many places in Hokkaido, Hakodate is well known for its Onsens and Onsen Hotels. Many of the hotels are Ryokan Style, with tatami matting and futon mattresses and bedding. The Ryokan is another Japanese experience not to be missed and is even better when there is an onsen and a significant other to share it with. Combine all these experiences into a day or two and it seems the locals might be right, Hakodate maybe Hokkaido’s city of romance. Of course for those without romance on the itinerary Hokkaido is a great city to visit and who knows what might happen at the top of the look out.


" Say I do" the view from the top. Photo (c)Tomo.Yun (

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Joel Westcot