Goryokaku

Goryokaku
The Goryokaku is a star-shaped fort that has been designated as a special historic site. The Goryokaku Tower Observatory commands a panoramic view of the fort.

Related story.
What to see in Goryokaku.
View of the Huge Star-Shaped Fortress from the Adjoining Goryokaku Tower

Enjoy a Bird's-Eye View of the Huge Star-Shaped Fortress from the Adjoining Goryokaku Tower Observatory

The Goryokaku is a western-style fort completed almost 150 years ago. A magnificent panoramic view of the entire star-shaped estate and surrounding moat unveils itself to visitors from the observation platform of the 107-meter Goryokaku Tower, which stands adjacent to the fort. The moat is surrounded by some 1,600 cherry trees, making the Goryokaku one of Hokkaido's top cherry blossom viewing spots in springtime. In summer the moat is fringed with lush greenery, which turns into a blazing scene of crimson foliage in the fall that is then blanketed with snow in the winter, creating an extremely beautiful vista for all seasons.

View of the Huge Star-Shaped Fortress from the Adjoining Goryokaku Tower

Hakodate Magistrate's Office (Bugyosho) - Showcasing Traditional Japanese Architectural Mastery

In the center of the star-shaped fort that dominates Goryokaku Park stands the Hakodate Magistrate's Office, a restored building that was once used as a government office run by samurai. While visitors are free to contemplate its statuesque dignity from the outside, it is also possible to go inside and explore the rooms. Don't miss the opportunity to see the craftsmanship showcased in the exquisite Japanese-style architecture of this building, in addition to the wonderful wood-fragranced entrance and expansive tatami rooms.

View of the Huge Star-Shaped Fortress from the Adjoining Goryokaku Tower

Stop for a Breather at the Goryokaku Tower Atrium

Make sure you also stop in at the Goryokaku Tower Atrium for a short break after taking a leisurely stroll around Goryokaku Park. Take a seat on one of the benches in the light-filled indoor atrium and gaze out through the glass façade at the cherry trees dotted around the park. With a take-out stand offering light meals on the 1st floor and a takeout gelato shop on the 2nd floor, be sure to grab yourself a coffee or gelato and park yourself on one of the benches for some time out.

DATA 1Goryokaku Tower

Access from
Hakodate Sta.
  1. 120 minutes by tram to the "Goryokaku Koen-Mae" tram stop
  2. 215 minutes on foot
Hours
April 21 - October 20; 8:00 am - 7:00 pm, October 21 - April 20; 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Address
43-9 Goryokaku-cho, Hakodate
Phone
0138-51-4785 To call from abroad to Hakodate
Entrance Fee
840 yen (adults) * Tower Observatory admission fee. General entry is free
URL
http://www.goryokaku-tower.co.jp/ (Japanese)

DATA 2Hakodate Magistrate's Office

Access from
Hakodate Sta.
  1. 120 minutes by tram to the "Goryokaku Koen-Mae" tram stop
  2. 220 minutes on foot
Hours
April - October; 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, November - March; 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Address
44 Goryokaku-cho, Hakodate
Phone
0138-51-2864 To call from abroad to Hakodate
Entrance Fee
500yen(adults)
URL
http://www.hakodate-bugyosho.jp/index.html (Japanese)