Winter Trip to Hakodate [Day 2] ~Goryokaku, Hakodate City Tropical Botanical Garden, Trappistine Monastery, and Night Views and Snowy Landscapes~
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 my 2nd day in Hakodate!
I’ll be introducing Goryokaku, Hakodate City Tropical Botanical Garden, Trappistine Monastery, and some night views and snowy landscapes.
Dates of Visit: January 28th-30th, 2017
A Lavish Breakfast at La Vista Hakodate Bay
I mentioned this in my day 1 article as well, but my hotel had great ratings for its breakfasts, so I was looking forward to trying it.
Additionally, their breakfast is available only to guests!
Breakfast is at the “North Banquet Hall” on the hotel’s 2nd floor.
Breakfast is available starting at 6:20am.
It’s a buffet-style breakfast, and I was surprised by how much variety there was.
The buffet is all-you-can-eat, including vegetables, grilled fish, and fresh seafood!
Their famous seafood donburi corner allows you to make your own donburi with as much tuna, sweet shrimp, squid, ikura, tarako, and other seafoods as you want.
Most of the dishes available are Japanese, but they also have western style dishes and bread available as well.
As you can see, there are plenty of things available to try, but since I have a medium body type this is about as much as I can eat.
As I expected, it was delicious; no wonder it’s so popular!
Morning Walk (Around Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse)
I went for a light stroll near hotel after my breakfast.
Next, I got onto a streetcar and headed to Goryokaku.
I got off at the Goryokaku stop, and after about 10 minutes of walking I arrived. I started off going to Goryokaku Tower.
After buying a ticket, I headed to the observation deck.
These pictures are of the view of Goryokaku from Goryokaku Tower.
I’m sure this view would turn out as a great photo no matter the season, but Goryokaku's characteristic star shape is particularly gorgeous in the winter snowscape.
Address: 43-9 Goryokakucho, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Goryokaku Park (Special Historic Site of Goryokaku Ruins)
Goryokaku Park (Special Historic Site of Goryokaku Ruins) is built on the remains of the star-shaped fort, and it has been designated as a Special Historic Site of Japan.
During the spring, the park is full of blooming cherry blossoms, and the moat is lit up during the winter.
Hakodate Magistrate’s Office
The Hakodate Magistrate’s Office was the Edo shogunate’s head office. It was dismantled after the Hakodate War, then restored and reopened for visitors in 2010.
I’d come all this way, so I went ahead inside.
The below pictures are of the interior.
The building was made with a lot of rare materials that aren’t often seen used in modern architecture.
The reception hall is 72 tatami mats in size after opening the sliding doors.
Address: 44-3 Goryokakucho, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Yakitori Bento for Lunch at Hasegawa Store
Hasegawa Store is a convenience store that exists mainly in Hokkaido’s Hakodate City. I’m sure you’re thinking, “You’ve traveled all the way out there, and you’re going to a convenience store?!” but the yakitori bento here are famous and often featured in guidebooks!
By the way, “yakitori” in Japan is usually made with chicken, but the yakitori bento here is made with pork.
You fill out your order form, then give it to the clerk. (English forms are also available)
The staff will start to prepare the yakitori for the bento after the order is received.
There are a lot of different varieties available, but this time I went with their most popular one, their “Yakitori Bento (Small) with Tare Sauce” (490 yen).
My hot yakitori bento was finally ready!
It usually comes with 4 skewers, but this day I was lucky and got one extra!
It was really delicious for such a cheap cost!
Hasegawa Store Goryokaku Shop
Address: 4-14 Goryokakucho, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
I once again got on the streetcar and headed to the final stop, “Yunokawa.” My next destination was Yugura Shrine, just a short walk from that stop.
Address: 2-28-1 Yunokawacho, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Hakodate City Tropical Botanical Garden’s Monkey Hot Springs
After about a 15-minute walk from Yugura Shrine, I arrived at the Hakodate City Tropical Botanical Garden.
The main attraction here are the mountain monkeys. Every year, from December through Golden Week in May, you can see the monkeys entering and enjoying the hot spring.
The botanical garden keeps around 90 monkeys on the grounds.
You can also feed the monkeys for a fee.
The monkeys seemed to be split into several groups, and there ended up being a bit of a scuffle over the food thrown in near the boundaries between the groups. (lol)
On the topic of monkeys in hot springs during the winter, “Jigokudani Monkey Park” in Nagano is famous for the same thing, but I didn’t make the trip since it seemed tough to get to.
The monkeys’ hot spring in the Hakodate City Tropical Botanical Garden is located around the heart of Hakodate, so it’s easy to get to.
Address: 3-1-15 Yunokawacho, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
The Trappistine Monastery is a women’s monastery established in 1898 by 8 French nuns. Although you can’t enter the monastery itself, the front yard, museum, and shop are open to the public.
The monastery’s beautiful construction is worth visiting.
Address: 346 Yunokawacho, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
I Climbed Mt. Hakodate for the Night View, But…
There are many beautiful views to take in when you’re in Hakodate, but the most famous of them is probably the night view from Mt. Hakodate’s observation deck.
First off, I headed up to the summit from the Mt. Hakodate Ropeway’s Sanroku Station.
There are mountain buses and taxis available for going up Mt. Hakodate, but since the roads are closed in the winter, the only option I had was the ropeway.
By the way, apparently the ropeway also shuts down in the case of strong winds.
The sun set at around 4:45 this day, and the night view was supposed to be available at around 5:15. I arrived at 4:15, and it was already packed with people.
Everyone else also seemed to be looking for the night view, so the front row was tightly packed. I decided to stand in the second row for a while.
It began to snow, and even more people arrived… It wasn’t turning out to be a great time for pictures, so I gave up on getting shots of the night view from Mt. Hakodate and left. :(
Mt. Hakodate Ropeway
Address: 19-7 Motomachi, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Conveyor Belt Sushi at Marukatsu Suisan
The same as the first day, I decided to finish up my day with a restaurant in the “Hakodate Bay Gourmet Club” group next to La Vista Hakodate Bay.
This time, I went to “Hakodate Marukatsu Suisan Main Store.” It’s a conveyor belt sushi restaurant operated by a fishmonger.
Since it’s a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, you can take sushi that’s rotating along the belt, but you can also order specific pieces using a tablet.
Since I’m proud of my medium body type, I went with the “Special Five-Piece Set,” shooting for quality over quantity.
And, of course, just 5 pieces was a little sad, so I added on the “Bluefin Tuna Three Ways.”
Address: 12-10 Toyokawacho, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Hakodate at Night with Snowfall (Bay Area)
I was disappointed that I couldn’t get my night view from Mt. Hakodate, but I was still glad that I could witness the snowy scenery I wanted from this trip.
Birth place: Tokyo
While living outside of Japan for a while, I began appreciating what Japan has to offer.