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Winter Trip to Hakodate [Day 2] ~Goryokaku, Hakodate City Tropical Botanical Garden, Trappistine Monastery, and Night Views and Snowy Landscapes~

Writer : kosu

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

La Vista Hakodate Bay
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.

North Banquet Hall
North Banquet Hall

Breakfast is available starting at 6:20am.

It’s a buffet-style breakfast, and I was surprised by how much variety there was.

A lineup of dishes made with Hokkaido-local ingredients.
A lineup of dishes made with Hokkaido-local ingredients.

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.

Plenty of types of bread!
Plenty of types of bread!

Most of the dishes available are Japanese, but they also have western style dishes and bread available as well.

Dessert, Drinks
Dessert, Drinks

There are so many options for dessert too! There are 3 types of juice available, as well as the Hokkaido specialty drink “Katsugen.”
The available milk is local milk from Hakodate.

Today’s Breakfast
Today’s Breakfast

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!

URL(Japanese)

Morning Walk (Around Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse)

I went for a light stroll near hotel after my breakfast.

Around Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse
Around Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse
Around Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse
Around Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse

Goryokaku

Next, I got onto a streetcar and headed to Goryokaku.

Goryokaku Tower

I got off at the Goryokaku stop, and after about 10 minutes of walking I arrived. I started off going to Goryokaku Tower.

Goryokaku Tower
Goryokaku Tower

After buying a ticket, I headed to the observation deck.

Goryokaku Tower
Goryokaku Tower
Left: Goryokaku Tower’s mascot, “Gota-kun” Right: Hakodate Sightseeing’s mascot, “Exo-kun”
Left: Goryokaku Tower’s mascot, “Gota-kun” Right: Hakodate Sightseeing’s mascot, “Exo-kun”
Goryokaku in a Beautiful Snowy Landscape
Goryokaku in a Beautiful Snowy Landscape

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.

View from Observation Deck
View from Observation Deck

Address: 43-9 Goryokakucho, Hakodate City, Hokkaido

URL(English)

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.

Goryokaku Park
Goryokaku Park

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.

Hakodate Magistrate’s Office
Hakodate Magistrate’s Office

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.

Hakodate Magistrate’s Office
Hakodate Magistrate’s Office
Hakodate Magistrate’s Office
Hakodate Magistrate’s Office
MiddleLargeFull
MiddleLargeFull

The reception hall is 72 tatami mats in size after opening the sliding doors.

Address: 44-3 Goryokakucho, Hakodate City, Hokkaido

URL(English)

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.

Hasegawa Store
Hasegawa Store
Hasegawa Store
Hasegawa Store

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).

Hasegawa Store
Hasegawa Store
Yakitori Bento (Small) with Tare Sauce
Yakitori Bento (Small) with Tare Sauce

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

Yugura Shrine

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.

Yugura Shrine
Yugura Shrine
Yugura Shrine
Yugura Shrine
Yugura Shrine
Yugura Shrine

Address: 2-28-1 Yunokawacho, Hakodate City, Hokkaido

URL(English)

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.

Hakodate City Tropical Botanical Garden
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.

Monkey Hot Springs
Monkey Hot Springs

The botanical garden keeps around 90 monkeys on the grounds.

It looks comfortable in there.
It looks comfortable in there.

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

URL(Japanese)

Trappistine Monastery

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.

Trappistine Monastery
Trappistine Monastery

The monastery’s beautiful construction is worth visiting.

Trappistine Monastery
Trappistine Monastery
Trappistine Monastery
Trappistine Monastery

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.

Mt. Hakodate Ropeway
Mt. Hakodate Ropeway

By the way, apparently the ropeway also shuts down in the case of strong winds.

Mt. Hakodate Ropeway
Mt. Hakodate Ropeway

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
Mt. Hakodate Ropeway

Mt. Hakodate Ropeway
Address: 19-7 Motomachi, Hakodate City, Hokkaido

URL(English)

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.

Marukatsu Suisan
Marukatsu Suisan

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.

Ordering with Tablet
Ordering with Tablet
Special Five-Piece Set
Special Five-Piece Set

Since I’m proud of my medium body type, I went with the “Special Five-Piece Set,” shooting for quality over quantity.

Bluefin Tuna Three Ways
Bluefin Tuna Three Ways

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)

Hakodate at Night
Hakodate at Night
Hakodate at Night
Hakodate at Night
Hakodate at Night
Hakodate at Night

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.