Winter Trip to Hakodate [Day 1] ~Hakodate’s Morning Market, Bay Area, Motomachi, and more~
I visited Hakodate for 3 days and 2 nights over the winter. There was no end to things I wanted to do, but I was more than satisfied with being able to take the photo I wanted of Hakodate in the winter being both “sunny” and “snowy.”
This article will introduce the things that I did on my first day in Hakodate, including visiting the Hakodate morning market, the bay area, the Motomachi church, and foods around Hakodate!
Dates of Visit: January 28th-30th, 2017
Departing from Haneda Airport to Hakodate!
I had a morning flight with AIR DO (a Sapporo airline) from Haneda Airport to Hakodate!
There was a chance that the flight would have to turn around back to Haneda Airport due to snow removal at Hakodate Airport, but thankfully we arrived safely!
There was a service offered called “Hakodate Hands-Free Sightseeing” that, for just 600 yen, takes your luggage to your hotel in Hakodate, so I was able to start my sightseeing right away without going to the hotel.
After about 20 minutes by bus from Hakodate Airport, I arrived at JR Hakodate Station.
Hakodate Morning Market
First off, I went to the Hakodate morning market, located right near Hakodate Station.
Each of the shops in the Hakodate morning market has its own hours, but most are open from around 6am to 2pm. There are also many shops open around the clock.
A Delicious Seafood Donburi for Breakfast!
I hadn’t eaten much since the morning, so I decided to have my breakfast at the Hakodate morning market since I was already there.
Hakodate’s morning market is famous for its seafood donburi!
Thanks to my preliminary research, I knew that “Kikuyo Shokudo” was famous for its seafood donburi, so I headed over there immediately.
Business Hours: 6:00 am - 1:30 pm (March through November 5:00 am - 2:00 pm)
The walls inside were covered with autographs from celebrity visitors.
I ordered the Okonomi Donburi, which comes with three toppings of your choice, and made sure to get the B-set that comes with Hakodate’s famous squid sashimi. (Mini Donburi price 1,960 yen)
For my toppings, I chose the restaurant’s specialties; uni, squid, and scallop. This restaurant is famous for its original bowls.
You can choose either regular or mini size for your donburi.
I’m relatively small, so I went with the mini size.
Walking Around the Bay Area
After I visited the Hakodate morning market, I walked to the popular tourist spot, the bay area.
Here are a few of the photos I took along the way.
This is the ship Mashu-Maru of the Hakodate Seikan Renrakusen Memorial Museum. It’s currently used as a museum display, and I’ll be visiting it in more detail on my 3rd day.
Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse
I soon arrived at the bay area’s landmark, the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse!
The bay area faces Hakodate Bay and Hakodate Port, so it’s easy to capture the feel of the area.
The Motomachi area is home to a variety of consulates and churches.
Additionally, Motomachi is located at the foot of Mt. Hakodate, so there are a lot of slopes and beautiful scenic spots.
I’ll start off with lunch though.
“Rich Duck Curry” at Gotoken, Enjoyed Even by the Emperor and Empress
“Gotoken Restaurant Yukikawatei” is a long-standing yoshoku (western-style food) restaurant, founded in 1879, and it offers a wide range of dishes, from casual yoshoku to French and Russian course meals.
In 1989, the emperor and empress came to visit this restaurant. During that visit, they ordered this same “rich duck curry.”
Rich Duck Curry 2,376 yen (tax incl.)
The rich duck curry is sweet, and it has a refined flavor to it.
They also have a variety of other curry dishes available.
They also sell ready-made curry, a popular Hakodate souvenir.
Address: 4-5 Suehirocho, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Otani Hongan-ji Hakodate Betsu-in
This is a temple for the Otani sect of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, rebuilt in 1915.
The biggest draw to this temple is the fact that it’s Japan’s first reinforced concrete temple. It’s been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan.
Address: 16-15 Motomachi, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Catholic Motomachi Church
The original church building was made in 1859. It was rebuilt in 1924 after burning down in a large fire.
The cathedral’s altar was given as a gift by the Pope.
There is also a kindergarten on premises.
Address: 15-30 Motomachi, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Hakodatesei John Church
The Hakodatesei John Church was founded in 1874. The current version of the building was constructed in 1979.
From above, the church’s roof is an impressive-looking brown cross shape.
The interior, where the church’s organ and stained glass windows can be seen, is available for visitors from early May through early November.
It also hosts Sunday worships and concerts.
Address: 3-23 Motomachi, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Hakodate Orthodox Church
Established in 1860, this was Japan’s first Russian Orthodox cathedral.
The sound of the church’s bells from the bell tower is marked as one of “Japan’s 100 Sounds.”
Photography inside the cathedral is forbidden, but you can go in to see it for yourself. (200 yen, irregular holidays)
Address: 3-13 Motomachi, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward is a western-style building that was constructed in 1910. It has been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan.
The building is beautiful, with blue, grey, and yellow paint on its outside walls.
The interior is just as gorgeous as the outside.
The building also offers a popular service where you can change into dresses and look around. (There are also clothes for men and children)
Address: 11-13 Motomachi, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Motomachi Park is located right near the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward.
The Former Hakodate Branch Office of Hokkaido Government is now utilized as a tourist information center for Hakodate City’s Motomachi.
Former British Consulate of Hakodate (Port Opening Memorial Hall)
Built in 1913, this building was used as Hakodate’s British Consulate until 1934. It is currently open to the public as a port opening memorial hall.
There’s a café on the hall’s grounds, where you can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea set.
Both the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward and the Former British Consulate have admission fees of 300 yen, but you can also purchase a dual ticket for 500 yen if you plan on going to both.
Address: 33-14 Motomachi, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
The Beautiful Hilly Roads of Motomachi
“Chacha” means “old man,” and the area was thusly named because most people bend over at the hip to climb the steep slopes.
You can see an amazing view of Hakodate, including the churches, from the top of the slopes.
This famous slope is often used on the covers of guide books and the like.
The top of the hill is the best location to look from, and from there you get a great view of the memorial hall, port, and moored Mashu-Maru ship of the Hakodate Seikan Renrakusen Memorial Museum.
I took this photo looking up at Mt. Hakodate from the bottom of the slope.
There was even a streetcar running right in front of me.
Evening Scenery, Night View
Later I wandered around the bay area again.
Joseph Neesima was a Christian educator and is famous for being the founder of Doshisha English School (later known as Doshisha University). Incidentally, his wife was Nijima Yae, who was featured as the protagonist of NHK’s 2013 taiga drama “Yae no Sakura” and played by Haruka Ayase.
Briefly Check in at the Hotel
This time, my lodging in Hakodate was at La Vista Hakodate Bay.
I chose this hotel because it’s located in the bay area, the central hub for travel in Hakodate, and because it’s famous nation-wide as a “hotel with great breakfast.” (I’ll introduce the breakfast I had in my 2nd day’s article.)
It was rather tough to take the picture I wanted here since there were so many tourists.
Dinner is Hakodate’s Famous Shio Ramen!
There was a group of shops called the “Hakodate Bay Gourmet Club” located right near the La Vista Hakodate Bay, so that’s where I had dinner.
This time, I went to “Hakodate Menchubo Ajisai.”
Hakodate is famous for its shio ramen, and “Ajisai,” a group with its main restaurant in Goryokaku, is one of the most famous places to get it.
After dinner, I returned to my hotel room, and thus ended the first day of my trip to Hakodate.
The weather was mostly sunny, but it was a cold day with strong winds.
Birth place: Tokyo
While living outside of Japan for a while, I began appreciating what Japan has to offer.