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October 20, 2017 - Hakodate in 18 hours - Part Two
In Part one of this mini-series, I introduced the city by starting off with the Morning Market and ending with Mt. Hakodate. A little information on where I stayed.
Hakodate is a rather convenient city with most hotels located within a ten minute walk from the train station. I stayed at a business hotel located three minute walk to the train station which was really convenient. And with most of the tourist landmarks in close proximity to each other, you can walk or take the tram. There is also a convenient bus network from the train station. Do inquire from the bus terminal at the train station.
So let's get started on the journey. One of the first stops is the Hakodate Meijikan, which is a historic red brick buidling built in a western-style architecture. A former post office, it is now home to a museum, and various shops. This is a great place to soak up some history and a chance to relax as there is also a sitting area on the ground floor.
Right next to the former post office is the Red Brick Warehouses.This is one the few top tourist destinations in the city. It was really neat to see all of the warehouses in its original form. Today it is home to more souvenir and duty free shops, cafes, and restaurants. I guess lucky for me there weren't too many around.
The waterfront contains a famous coffee shop, and also Lucky Pierrot, a local hamburger chain.
Another place I visited was the Motomachi area, where there was a collection of 1800s period western style architecture buildings. Some of these buildings were built in this style due to the influences the west with respect to the economy, religion, and culture. Like other cities that opened up to the west as a Port City (i.e. Kobe and Yokohama), the city has a very unique mix of Japanese and western influences.
One amazing view in Motomachi is the Hachiman-saka Slope. This road slopes all the way down to the harbour, giving an incredible perspective of the road. In the winter and summer, and at night is when the view is best as the gas lamps provide a warm glow.
Motomachi also is home to many temples and churches. Due to the western influences, numerous churches of western religions opened up. However, with Japan still in its tight eastern routes, there is a Buddhist temple within the Honganji sect as well.
So there you have it, a two part series on Hakodate. I would highly recommend staying more than two days. I did not get a chance to see Goryokaku which would be another half day trek.
Thank you do much for reading. I will have upcoming travel reports from other parts of Hokkaido and back to Honshu in the near future.