Old Fort Goryokaku4

五稜郭Goryokaku

Great view of the star-shaped fort!

The Goryokaku is a western-style fort completed almost 150 years ago, designated in Japan as a special historic site. Its neighbor the Goryokaku Tower features an Observatory which commands a panoramic view of the entire beautiful star-shaped estate and surrounding moat.

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

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.

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

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.

Stop for a Breather at the Goryokaku Tower Atrium

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.

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