Walking tour of Hakodate

Hakodate Travel Blog

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Foreigner's Cemetery

Today was HOT! I came up to Hokkaido to escape the heat but I think it followed me. Aside from the heat, I had an amazing day today. I did a walking tour that the National Geographic: Traveler Japan recommended it. The walk took me about five to six hours (I stopped for food along the way…a couple of times) and 5.6km (3.5 miles). I started my walk around 9:30am and ended around 4:00.

 

I took a taxi from the train station to Hakodate Dokku-mae and then walked southwest on the Uomi-zaka street to the Foreigners Cemetery. According to the sign posted outside of the cemetery, most of the foreigners who died in Hokkaido were buried here along with some Christian Japanese citizens.

Foreigner's Cemetery
Two members of Admiral Matthew Perry’s crew are also buried in the cemetery. The cemetery was lovely and it overlooks the bay. I spent about ten to fifteen minutes enjoying the view, and walking through the cemetery.

 

The next two buildings I could have skipped. I do not know if it was too early in the morning and they were closed or if all there was to see was the outside. The Old Russian Consulate and the Chinese Memorial Hall were unimpressive, as I could not get inside to see them.

 

The Soma Company Building was the next stop on my tour and I took a quick photo as I walked passed. The guidebook said it was one of the most photographic buildings in Hakodate so I had to take a picture of it.

Foreigner's Cemetery
The wooden green building is an impressive site and it made me forget that I was in Japan for a couple of minutes. I walked up the hill and entered the Motomachi District of Hakodate. This is where one can see the colonial influence in Hakodate.

 

By this point, it was hot and I was starting to feel rather disgusting so I decided to stop for a bit of tea/lunch at the Old British Consulate. The Old British Consulate is a white building with blue trimmed windows. If you have a chance to walk around it, I suggest doing that. There is a lovely gazebo that is shaded by trees, it offers a great view of a fountain and some flowers. Inside the consulate there is a gift shop, a small museum, and a tea room. I sat for forty-five minutes while I ate lunch and enjoyed a cup of tea.

 

After my tea, I climbed up the rest of the hill and reached the Old Public Hall.

Soma Company
Talk about an impressive building, it was built in 1910. The Old Public Hall is a huge grayish/blue Victorian style building with yellow trim along the windows. There is a self-guided tour that you can take through the building. I thought the tour was fun and for 1,000 yen you can dress up in a Victorian style gown and have your picture taken. It was fun to see the Japanese girls dress up and have their boyfriends take pictures of them.

 

The church area was next on my tour and I stopped at the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The Russian Orthodox Church was striking with its rounded design. The Roman Catholic Church looked like a normal church to me.

 

After the Church District, I walked along the Ice Cream District.

Old British Consulate
I made the name up but that is what it is, rows and rows of people trying to sell you ice cream. I was still full from lunch so I did not stop to have any ice cream.

 

Hakodate is famous for its view from the top of Mount Hakodate-yama. The way to travel to the top of the mountain is via cable car and that was my next stop on the walking tour, Mount Hakodate Cable Car Station. I have a horrible fear of heights and I almost chickened out three times before I bought my ticket to go up the mountain. It was worth it! The cable car ride is fast and smooth and it offers a great view of the two ports. The view from the top of the mountain is beautiful. I was able to see the hourglass shape of Hakodate. This is a must do for anyone who is in Hakodate.

 

Once I was down the mountain I walked for fifteen minutes to reach the waterfront.

Old British Consulate
Just a reminder, the day was HOT! I decided to cool off by taking a 40-minute cruise around the harbor on the Bluemoon. The tour was all in Japanese and I did not understand most of it. Even if I understood it I don’t think I would have been too impressed with the tour. There was not much to see but it did cool me off a bit.

 

Once I was down the mountain, I walked to the Red Warehouse area. Here I stopped for a sweet strawberry dessert at Snaffle’s and then I continued on my walk to Hakodate Beer where I stopped for drink. I finished my walk at the train station where I caught a train for Sapporo before starting on my next journey to Rishiri Island.

 

I thought Hakodate was an amazing city to visit and if I have the chance I am going to visit there again. I would love to do the walking tour in cooler weather and I also want to see Goryokaku (Five Corner Fort). This fort was built by the Shogun to defend Japan from foreigners. I didn’t have time to visit it on this trip but I would love see it on my next visit

Kana says:
I'd love to go there some time!! :)
Posted on: Aug 19, 2007
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Foreigners Cemetery
Foreigner's Cemetery
Foreigners Cemetery
Foreigner's Cemetery
Foreigners Cemetery
Foreigner's Cemetery
Soma Company
Soma Company
Old British Consulate
Old British Consulate
Old British Consulate
Old British Consulate
Flowers at the Old British Consula…
Flowers at the Old British Consul…
Old Branch Office of the Hokkaido …
Old Branch Office of the Hokkaido…
Old Public Hall
Old Public Hall
Old Public Hall
Old Public Hall
View from the Old Public Hall
View from the Old Public Hall
Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
Going Up
Going Up
Hakodate!
Hakodate!
Closer view of the city
Closer view of the city
On top of Mount Hakodate-yama
On top of Mount Hakodate-yama
Another view of Hakodate
Another view of Hakodate
A huge crab
A huge crab
Squid
Squid
Hakodate
photo by: tj1777