Hokkaido Trip 2006 Day 4: Hakodate

(Updated: October 27, 2013 with high resolution photos and updated descriptions)

On February 24, 2006, I took the train from Sapporo at 7 am and arrived at Hakodate at 10 am.

Hakodate was one of the three port cities in Japan to be open to foreign trade in the mid 19th century along with Kobe and Yokohama. However, while the other two cities have prospered, Hakodate seems to be in decline.

My impressions of this town is that it is overrated, the brochures make it seem better than it really is.

It seems like your typical North American mid-size city with the city centre hollowed out, like with gas stations and parking lots almost everywhere, and no pedestrian life that is present in almost every other city of Japan. Also most of the good stores are located in areas which you can only reach by car.

Although the city is lousy, the view from Mt. Hakodate was incredible.

Arrival via the limited express train from Sapporo, JR Hokkaido has a lot of interesting looking trains.