Hakodate is a port town located in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. Hakodate is famous for the night view from Mt. Hakodate, ramen, and a uniquely eclectic Japanese-Western culture.
Here are our recommendations for first-time Hakodate sightseers, as well as info on hotels and transportation in Hakodate.

1. Quick facts about Hakodate

Image: PIXTA

Hakodate is a port town in southwestern Hokkaido and is the hub city of the region. In addition to flights from Tokyo, the Shinkansen from Tokyo also reaches the city via the world’s longest undersea tunnel.
Hakodate rests on a key-shaped peninsula, and the view of the harbor and the city from Mt. Hakodate at the end of the peninsula is superb! The night view in particular is said to be one of the three best in Japan, and attracts crowds of domestic and international tourists all year round.
Historically, Japan held a policy of isolation for many years limiting trade with other countries, but once the country opened in the mid-19th century, Hakodate emerged as a leading trading center. With the opening of the port, Western culture quickly flowed into Hakodate from the latter half of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th.
This resulted in the construction of many unique, now historical buildings that are a mix of Japanese and Western architecture, and a food culture of international dishes prepared in a Japanese style.
The scenery, night view, unique architecture, culture, and cuisine serve to make Hakodate an attractive tourist destination.

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2. When is the best time to visit Hakodate?

Image: PIXTA

Recommended sightseeing season
Sightseeing in Hakodate is fun no matter the season. Tourist traffic is constant throughout the year, but peaks in late April and early May when cherry blossoms at Goryokaku Park and Hakodate Park are in full bloom, and from July through September when the city’s famous squid is in season.
Other notable times to visit are from the end of May to June when the vines at Goryokaku Park and Mt. Esan are in full bloom, in October when autumn leaves color the area, and in December when a huge Christmas tree is on display in the bay area.

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Image: PIXTA

When visiting Hakodate, in summer, you should wear clothes that you can put on quickly, while in winter, wear layers that are easy to remove.

Hakodate’s climate and what to wear
In summer, the daytime temperature is over 30°C, so it’s hot even with short sleeves. However, temperatures often drop below 20 degrees at night.
Also, note that the temperature at the summit of Mt. Hakodate is about 5 degrees cooler than in the c…

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