My second day journey in Hokkaido is continued. The next city I visited was Hakodate. The train journey from Lake Toya to Hakodate takes about two hours journey. It’s the southern part of Hokkaido, a port city. If you take JR train from Tokyo to Sapporo, you will reach first Hakodate.
How To Get Here ?
If you go to Japan via Tokyo and have Japan rail pass. You can take train to Hakodate for approximate 6 hours. This city is located at the southern part of Hokkaido. You may also fly to Hakodate airport from Tokyo itself, else if you fly to New Chitose airport, you can take JR train to Hokadate with approximate time of 3 hours journey.
After arrived in Hakodate, the first thing I look into is the tourist information center. Most of the city in Japan, have tourist information center at the train station. From here, you can get the map, asking for direction and having some discount coupons and brochures for attractions in the city. The interesting thing was when I wanted to purchase the day pass. Initially, I planned to purchase the day pass which can be used for both streetcar and bus which will cost me about 1000 Yen. However the staff in tourist information center insisted that it would be better for me just to purchase the day pass for streetcar only, which later I found it’s right as most of the tourist spots can be reached via the streetcar. The day pass for the streetcar only will cost you 600 Yen. The day pass itself looks like small passport with the good map inside. The map contain the route of the streetcar and interesting places for each streetcar station. In addition to the recommended streetcar day pass, the staff there also recommend me to visit Fort Goryokaku (Goryokaku koen mae) which also later being proven as very interesting and recommended place to visit.
From Hakodate station, I went to Horaicho station which is just a few stations away and still in the city part where my guest house is located. There was big supermarket nearby the guest house selling the daily need include ready to eat food with affordable price. The couple who own the guest house was very helpful even with limited English spoken. There was a pleasant place at forth floor where you can view the surrounding include the sea nearby. The guest house itself also provide computers for internet browsing for people, and also coffee, tea, with cereal and milk for the breakfast for free for all guests even my booking voucher stated no breakfast served. You may also use microwave should you take with you food purchased outside.
As I arrived early, same as before, I was not able to check in first until 3 PM, so I just put my bag in the guest house and started my journey immediately. As it’s nearly lunch time, I decided to visit Hakodate morning market first. Hakodate, as a port city, it’s famous for its fresh seafood especially the Giant snow crabs which you can find a lot in this city. The location of the Hakodate morning market itself is nearby Hakodate JR station, hence for the street car, you have to stop at Hakodate eki mae station. From Hakodate eki mae station, you just walk strait to the direction of JR station but go to your left side and walk strait. You will find a building with people selling seafood. You can find the market behind surrounding this building. For having your seafood meal, including the famous Hokkaido crab, you can just order from one of many restaurants inside here. Most of the restaurant here serve the seafood donburi, which is a rice with seafood on the top. You can find sashimi or sushi as well other types of Japanese food include the ramen in this building. The Hokkaido crab, you can choose the live crab and ask the staff to boil it for you. The price of the meal will depend on the seafood choice you choose, which varies from about 1000 to 2000 Yen or more. It’s quite challenging for me to choose the restaurant to have the lunch as most of them are quite interesting.
Finally i chose one restaurant to have my donburi seafood lunch. Seat next to me is a group couples of local Japanese travelling for holiday to Hakodate. Meanwhile waiting for my order to come, I notice a small plate of snack in brown colour ordered by the group. It was actually squid, which taste nice. If you drink sake, it’s suitable side dish.
Next destination was Goryokaku Fort which can be reached through streetcar stop at Goryokaku Koen-Mae. The shape of the Goryokaku Fort is star shaped which can be observed through the observatory tower. It has different scenery for different season and wonderful view during sakura time.
From there, I took streetcar went to Juigai to visit the Kanemori warehouses (Red brick warehouse). Currently the warehouses are being used for commercial purpose where you can find shops, souvenirs as well restaurants inside the warehouses.
Not far from there on the top of hilly part is the Old Public hall, a recommended place to visit in Hakodate. The building of the old public hall is an old style European building. The entrance has been closed for visitors, hence I just observe from the surrounding of the building, with the magnificient view of Hakodate from the top.
We will continue our Hakodate journey on next article.