Hakodate Christmas Fantasy has a variety of amusing events.
Hakodate Christmas Fantasy is a popular event celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017. Held annually from December 1st until the 25th, the event attracts many tourists to Hakodate.
The highlight of this festival is the huge Christmas tree installed on a raft in the harbor. It is lit up everyday at the 6pm light-up ceremony. The lights turn red, green, blue, and white, in a cycle and the tree is lit up until midnight (until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, and from December 22nd to the 25th). Fireworks are set off at the light-up ceremony to liven-up the atmosphere of the event.
"Soup Bars" by popular restaurants in the city are open at the venue. It is a fun experience to drink hot soup while watching the Christmas tree in the severe cold of the outdoors.
During this event, trees along nearby streets, churches and historic buildings are decorated with illuminations. Walking along the illuminated streets will make you feel romantic. Come to Hakodate in winter!!
A video from Wild Hokkaido!, full of Mt. Hakodate’s attraction.
NHK WORLD is an international broadcasting service by NHK, Japan's public broadcasting organization. The service sends out an image of present Japan and Asia to the world. Did you know that there is a program featuring Mother Nature of Hokkaido as well as tourist information called "Wild Hokkaido!"on NHK WORLD?
An eighteen minute-long program, Wild Hokkaido! Mt. Hakodate, broadcast in April, 2017 is available on the Internet. In this episode, host Charlotte Kate Fox, an American actress popular in Japan, introduces a lot about the mountain's nature abundant in plants and birds. She also experiences "Dosanko trekking" on horseback in the forest on a highland where Mt Hakodate is seen afar. Dosanko is a kind of horse indigenous to Hokkaido. They are calm in nature.
Check out Tourism Promotion Video for Hakodate City !
A video packed with Hakodate's attractive features has been completed. Lots of popular tourist attractions are introduced in this video with impressive images shot with a drone. In addition, the video shows you different ways to enjoy Hakodate in each season, such as cherry blossom viewing in Spring, outdoor events in Summer, changing colors of the leaves in Autumn, and a snow scene in Winter.
Checking this video will enable you to build up an image of your travel to Hakodate. Come to Hakodate and have a wonderful experience.
Hakodate Transit System Map: A convenient item for your Hakodate travel.
If you have information about the local public transportation, you will feel confident about traveling by yourself. Here is a guide map in English with concisely compiled information about transportation in the Hakodate area.
It contains information about Hakodate's urban area. This includes the tram and bus routes running through Hakodate's city center, fares, timetables, and how to use them. It also gives you information about economical free passes. You can obtain the map at tourist information centers as well as download it as a PDF.
==>PDF (front : Information)
==>PDF (back : Map)
==>PDF (Part1 Fare and time table of Tram and shuttle bus)
==>PDF (Part2 Tram/Bus Access Chart)
==>PDF (Part3 How to ride a tram and a bus)
==>PDF (Part4 Information)
Fly to Hakodate from Narita Airport with a direct service of an LCC.
The LCC (Low Cost Carrier) Vanilla Air has come into service between Tokyo (Narita) and Hakodate since 2017. A trip from Tokyo to Hakodate has become very easy.
It takes about 1hour and 40 minutes between Narita and Hakodate. The one-way fare varies with the season. It begins around 5,000 yen or more.
You can easily fly to Hakodate with a direct flight after entering Japan at Narita. Also, you can return to your country from Hakodate via Narita. If you come to Hakodate after staying in Tokyo, there are different ways to go to Narita from Tokyo.
Directions to and from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station of the Shinkansen (bullet train).
It is about 18 kilometers from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station, the terminal of the Shinkansen (bullet train), to Hakodate Station. It is convenient to take the Hakodate Liner, a JR access train, to go sightseeing in Hakodate's city center.
Rapid and local trains operate a total of 13 shuttle services a day. Their operation is in line with the departure and arrival of the Shinkansen trains. It takes from 15 to 22 minutes between Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station and Hakodate Stations. The fare is 360 yen.
Furthermore, there are shuttle buses bound for Hakodate Station, Goryokaku (park), Yunokawa Hot Springs, Hakodate Airport and Lake Onuma. For more information, visit Tourist Information Center in a train station building.
HAKODATE FREE Wi-Fi service has begun.
Hakodate has begun to offer FREE Wi-Fi service in the Motomachi area where popular sightseeing spots are located.
HAKODATE FREE Wi-Fi can be accessed in the Bay area and the Motomachi area.
Find the area sign for "HAKODATE FREE Wi-Fi."
Hachiman-zaka, Motoi-zaka, and Nijukken-zaka slopes and Motomachi churches as well as Kanemori Red Brick Warehouses are located in these areas.
Follow the steps for using the service on the spot on your smart phone or tablet to access Wi-Fi. See leaflets for the areas and instructions on how to connect to the Wi-Fi.
Kumamoto earthquakes do not affect Hakodate.
There were massive earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu in the southern part of Japan, in April 2016. We are grateful to have received heartfelt concern and aid from countries all over the world. The number of tremors and their intensity has decreased gradually.
The distance between Kumamoto and Hakodate is about 1,350 kilometers; Hakodate did not feel tremors from the said earthquakes. To put it in perspective, the distance between Kumamoto and Taipei (about 1,240 kilometers), and the distance between Shanghai and Beijing (about 1,070 kilometers) are shorter compared to that between Kumamoto and Hakodate. In visiting Hakodate, you can rest assured that you will be safe and secured from the tremors brought about by earthquakes in Kumamoto.
Japan National Tourism Organization is providing information about the situation of Kumamoto and the earthquakes that hit it. It is also showing the transportation service on its website (English).
The Shinkansen bullet train extended to Hokkaido. Discount tickets launched.
Japan’s superexpress train, the Shinkansen bullet train came to Hokkaido on March 26, 2016. You can travel comfortably from Tokyo to Hakodate by the Shinkansen.
Taking the Hokkaido Shinkansen, Hayabusa, from Tokyo Station, you will arrive at the Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station in about 4 hours on the fastest service. From the Shinkansen Station, it takes 15 to 20 minutes to get to Hakodate Station by the new access train Hakodate Liner.
==>Information about Hokkaido Shinkansen
Following upon the advancement of the Shinkansen, a discount ticket called the JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass has been launched for foreign visitors to Japan. It is a free pass that can be used from Tokyo through the Tohoku area and Hakodate to Sapporo. It is valid for any 6 days of your choice during the 14-day period from the date the pass is issued. It costs 27,000 yen if purchased in Japan, while 26,000 yen if purchased outside of Japan.
==>JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass
Here is a note for customers using the conventional JAPAN RAIL PASS.
The Tram One-Day Pass is convenient when visiting Hakodate
Hakodate has a tram network. You can use it to get to the major sightseeing spots of Yunokawa, Goryokaku, the Morning Market, the Bay Area, Motomachi, and Mt. Hakodate Ropeway.
A tram fare is typically between 210 to 250 yen for adults. You pay it when you get off. At 600 yen, the One-Day Pass is worthwhile if you plan on taking three or more trips in a day.
One-Day Passes are sold at some hotels and at the information center at Hakodate Station. You can also buy them from the driver before you alight. The pass comes with an illustrated route map with some English descriptions.
Hakodate is one of the most attractive cities in Japan
Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka are listed as major sightseeing places in Japan. However, Hakodate is also well worth a visit.
An annual survey by a Japanese think tank, Brand Research Institute, Inc. asks 30,000 consumers to select attractive cities, towns, and villages from 1,000 of those. Hakodate has consistently been ranked top beside Kyoto and Sapporo. In 2015, Japanese people considered it Japan’s most attractive city!
Hakodate has a beautiful night view and delicious food. No fewer than 20 locations are rated by the Michelin Guide Hokkaido, which is a lot for one city. There are many places to see. You can enjoy Hakodate’s nature throughout the year, with cherry blossoms in spring, autumn leaves in fall, and snowscape in winter.
Hakodate has many drugstores, electrical appliance stores and 100-yen shops, too. When traveling in Japan, please consider visiting us!
==>News release（in Japanese）
How to get to Mt. Hakodate, the night view spot.
Begin your sightseeing by going to Mt. Hakodate and check out the view that the Michelin guidebook has given three stars. You can get there by cable car, bus, taxi, rental car, or on foot.Here are some tips about the means.
The cable car is the most popular method. It runs every 5 to 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (9 p.m. during winter), and takes only 3 minutes. It is closed for a few weeks in late fall for maintenance - check the schedule if you visit then. An operation may be restricted or cancelled due to strong winds. Click here for the operation.
There is a well-maintained road to the top of Mt. Hakodate. It takes about 20 minutes; longer if it’s busy. Private cars (including rental cars) are not permitted from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (4 p.m. to 9 p.m. in late fall) to prevent congestion. It is closed during winter due to icy road.
If the weather is good and you are feeling a little adventurous in the daytime, you can walk. A well-maintained path will lead you to the observatory through rich wildlife in about an hour. Click here for the map.
Fly to Hakodate for less with a Japan Fare.
Japan Fares are discounted fares available to all foreign travelers who fly to Japan. They can purchase domestic flights for only 10,800 yen (including consumption tax) per section.
For example, after spending time sightseeing in Tokyo, you can fly to Hakodate for only 10,800 yen. It’s a 1 hour 20-minute flight from Haneda Airport.
Check the airlines’ websites for conditions, restrictions, purchasing and others.
Have your wedding photographs taken in romantic Hakodate.
Hakodate is a popular place for wedding photography, especially among couples from other Asian countries who visit the city before their weddings. Your beautiful photos, taken by a professional photographer, can be given to you in an album or saved on a DVD. You can be a prince and princess in scenes featuring a mixture of mysterious, traditional Japanese and stylish western cultures. You can also take advantage of the beautiful location: cherry blossoms and young leaves in spring, a brilliantly shimmering sea in summer, colorful leaves in autumn, and pure white snow in winter.
A coordinating service can take care of costumes and transport to locations, and provide a photographer, a hairdresser and an interpreter. They can also assist with accommodation, other sightseeing trips and meals. Why not take home some special memories of you two in romantic Hakodate?
Hakodate Morning Market is a great place for tourists.
The morning market in front of Hakodate Station is a popular sightseeing place in Hakodate. It was initially an open-air market for local people to buy fresh fish and vegetables. It has now become an amusement spot for tourists to buy souvenirs or eat delicious food. When you visit the market, be sure to try squid fishing. Catching a squid swimming around in a tank and eating it then and there is a really interesting experience.
Morning Market Square was opened in April 2014 after a full renovation. It has a farmers’ market with fresh local produce and a food court in which you can enjoy some of Hakodate’s specialties. Free wi-fi is available, and some stores accept UnionPay card or electronic money such as payWave and Pay Pass.
Why don’t you come to Hakodate in spring to see cherry blossoms?
The cherry blossom is one of the most appreciated flowers in Japan. Cherry blossoms bloom in spring here. Varying according to years, they are at their best from the end of April to late May. First blooms Yoshino cherries with pretty pale pink petals, and a little later, Yamazakura cherries with double pink petals. You can savor cherry blossoms for a long period in Hakodate. In Goryokaku Park and Hakodate Park, you can casually enjoy cherry blossom viewing while taking walks or going for picnics under the trees. After sunset, the trees are lit up, showing different beauty from in daylight.
Winter in Hakodate is romantic. Let’s enjoy the illumination and snow.
We usually have the first snowfall in November, and the cityscape is decorated with snow in winter. Some illumination events that match the white snowscape add to a romantic atmosphere. In December, a huge Christmas tree is lit up in a brilliant way in Christmas Fantasy, and some fireworks are set off at the lighting-up ceremony every day. Until the end of February, Hakodate Illumination decorates the trees along the streets and historic buildings with lights. In February is Path of Light, where wax candles are put along the streets and wrap them up with fantastic light. Illumination reflected on accumulated snow is strikingly beautiful. Visit Hakodate in winter.
Foreign students studying in Hakodate report their recommending spots.
Loving Japan, wanting to know about Japan, these foreign students have come to study at universities in Hakodate. Visiting attractive spots in Hakodate, they made a report of them. They are from China, Korea, Australia, etc., and enjoyed cherry blossoms in spring, snow in winter, soft ice cream, local hamburgers, and a squid fishing pond for the first time. Those pleasures in Hakodate are shown along with the pictures of their full smiles.
Guidebooks useful for sightseeing in Hakodate compiled.
Free guidebooks useful for traveling around Hakodate include "Hakodate Convenience Guidebook", "ROMANTIC HAKODATE", and "Recommended Routes in Motomachi and Bay Area (HAKODATE CALENDAR)". "Hakodate Convenience Guidebook" features such things as transportation, money exchange, climate, and tourist information centers. "ROMANTIC HAKODATE" introduces sightseeing spots in Hakodate. "Recommended Routes in Motomachi and Bay Area" can be used while walking. Those guidebooks are available at tourist information centers and accommodations in the city, or downloadable from this site.