Last Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Head to Hakodate

One of Hokkaido’s Best Locations

Donny Kimball
10 min readMar 26, 2023

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In addition to Hakodate’s night views from Mount Hakodate of the bay area, the western style buildings in Hakodate Goryokaku Park are one of the best reasons to come to the port city
This story was originally published on donnykimball.com and has been syndicated here on Medium

Hakodate… Hakodate… That’s right! I did actually go there last year for 2022’s cherry blossom season!

Somehow, I totally forgot to write about my adventures up in Hokkaido’s third biggest city. How the hell did that happen? Anywho, while I am a bit baffled how I managed to screw the pooch in regards to recounting my adventures, know that Hakodate is definitely someplace that’s worth documenting. So, seeing as cherry blossom season is again now upon us, allow me to present you with my ultimate area guide to the city of Hakodate.

For those of you already not in the know, I’d first like you to make a mental memo that Hakodate can be found in southern Hokkaido on the Oshima Peninsula (that part that sticks out towards northern Honshu). Historically, it was one of the first port cities that were opened to international trade following the end of Japan’s several hundred years of self-imposed isolation. As a result, Hakodate has been the recipient of far more foreign influence than many other parts of Japan. All throughout the city, you’ll find hints to this legacy in Hakodate’s historical buildings.

At least as far as I am concerned, there are two primary reasons why one would want to visit Hakodate. These are the cherry blossoms that blanket the western-style fortress of Goryokaku and the night view from the top of Mt. Hakodate (a vista that is considered to be one of the top three evening glimpses of Japan). Of course, these are not the only places with appeal in Hakodate but this pair of allures that I’d wager are worth traveling all the way there for. Remember, Japan has so much that you’d need several lifetimes to see it all so there’s a lot of competition for your time.

All things considered though, Hakodate is a great addition to any trip and this is even more the case during the spring. While there are indeed a number of places further up in Hokkaido that might compete for limited stints in Japan, Hakodate is a great add-on if you can budget for an additional day. When I was visiting Hakodate, I made my excursion after again experiencing the cherry blossoms at Hirosaki Park down in Aomori. Should you miss the main season in the rest of Japan and want to give these…

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Donny Kimball

I'm a travel writer and freelance digital marketer who blogs about the sides of Japan that you can't find in the mainstream media. https://donnykimball.com/