Yesterday I spent the night at Hotel Banso in Hakodate, a great onsen hotel. The baths are huge and were exactly what I needed after a rainy day driving.
View of Onuma park with mount Komagatake - a dormant volcano- in the back
I woke up early and went to Onuma park, 30 minutes away from Hakodate. It’s a really wonderful place - lots of tiny islands on two lake.
There are a lot of bridges between the little islands so you can go for great walks for 2-3 hours. Or you can also rent paddle or motor boats. It was very windy today so we stuck to walking. I was joined by two local people, ans we had a great time exploring the meanders of the park.
My fellow walkers!
For a less windy day!
On the park's main square we saw a pumpkin contest - this is the winner, nearly 300 kg!
After a quick ramen lunch, I drove to Hakodate city, where I visited the old motomachi district, a part of town with strong foreign influences. Hakodate was the first Japanese port opened to foreign trade. It became very important on an international level and as a result the motomachi district still bears the signs of that time: a British consulate, a handful of churches including a Russian orthodox one, “fusion” architecture - very pretty and colourful houses with Japanese and European features. It’s a wonderful place to wander and get lost.
View of Hakodate from motomachi - with the Russian chruch in the foreground
The streets of Motomachi
Hakodate is also very famous for the night view from its mountain. However when I was there, the summit was covered by clouds. My initial plan was to hike up, but sadly I might have to do it next time I come. I’ll try tomorrow morning if the weather is better.
Motomachi town hall and mount Hakodate
For my last night in Hokkaido, I checked into Daikokuya Ryokan. A traditional ryokan with great onsen. My room is exactly what I needed - calm, peaceful colours, and enough room for a pre-onsen yoga session followed by what I’m sure will be a wonderful dinner.
My wonderful room at Daikokuya Ryokan