Enjoy Exploring Hakodate by Tram
Table of Contents
- Hakodate Tram Route Maps
- Yunokawa Onsen: A Hot Spring Area Close to the Airport
- Goryokaku Koen-Mae: Enjoy the View from the Tower
- Hakodate Ekimae: Enjoy Seafood at the Morning Market
- Jujigai: Visit the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse
- Yachigashira: The View from Cape Tachimachi
- Ride the Tram and Enjoy Hakodate!
Hakodate Tram Route Maps
The places introduced below are marked on the route map. (Enlarge the map.)
Yunokawa Onsen: A Hot Spring Area Close to the Airport
A trip to Japan wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a famous onsen (hot spring) resort, which will refresh both the body and mind.
Yunokawa Onsen, one of Hokkaido’s three major hot springs, is located in Hakodate. From the airport, it’s only a 5-minute drive to the resort and a 10-minute drive to the Yunokawa Onsen tram stop.
Travelers arriving at Hakodate Airport should spend their first night at Yunokawa and tour Hakodate the next day, riding the tram from Yunokawa or Yunokawa Onsen tram stop.
By staying at a ryokan (Japanese inn), visitors can experience a traditional Japanese atmosphere. It might also be fun to stay at a modern hotel and take in the ocean view.
Since many ryokan and hotels offer a bathing plan for day-trippers, this is an attractive destination to casually enjoy and relax at a hot spring.
Goryokaku Koen-Mae: Enjoy the View from the Tower
The Goryokaku Fort, a historical site, should not be missed. Visitors can enjoy the star-shaped fort and scenery, which changes seasonally.
From the Goryokaku Koen-Mae tram stop, it is a 10-minute walk to Goryokaku Park. The white Goryokaku Tower will shortly come into view.
The city of Hakodate, including the star-shaped Goryokaku, Mt. Hakodate, and Tsugaru Strait, is visible from the observatory, 107 meters above the ground. The park’s scenery changes with each season.
Goryokaku played an important part in Japanese history and is also known as the place where Hijikata Toshizo, the Vice-Commander of the Shinsengumi, fought to his death. Historical materials are displayed on the second floor of the observatory, along with a statue of Hijikata.
Hakodate Ekimae: Enjoy Seafood at the Morning Market
Those who love seafood should not miss visiting the Hakodate Morning Market, also known as Hakodate Asaichi. It’s a 2-minute walk to the market from the Hakodate Ekimae tram stop. The market is held daily from 6:00 (January through April) to 5:00 (May through December). Please note that business hours differ by store. If you want fresh ingredients, head to the Asaichi first thing in the morning.
There are around 250 stores and eateries handling fresh fruit and seafood. The market is the perfect place to eat kaisen-don (seafood rice bowl) for breakfast or purchase high-quality ingredients.
Visitors should not miss the kaisen-don, which features local products such as sea urchins, scallops, and crab. The price is also affordable. Be sure to first browse around the market.
Jujigai: Visit the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse
The nostalgic Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse is one of the major sightseeing spots in Hakodate.
There are stores and eateries inside, located at a 5-minute walking distance from the Jujigai tram stop. It is also a spot frequented by locals that travelers should visit.
The warehouse has four facilities: Bay Hakodate, Kanemori Yobutsukan, Hakodate History Plaza, and Kanemori Hall.
Those interested in posting photos on their social media account should check out the view of the canal from Bay Hakodate, where a marvelous sight will appear at night.
Restaurants, cafes, variety stores, and clothing shops are located inside the warehouse. Local confections and items related to the warehouse that make perfect souvenirs are also sold here.
Yachigashira: The View from Cape Tachimachi
If you want to take in the ocean view, ride the tram (red line) from Jujigai to Yachigashira. From there, it is a 15 to 20-minute walk to Cape Tachimachi.
This is the perfect spot to enjoy nature. The cape is located southeast of Mt. Hakodate, at an altitude of 30 meters, looking down on Omori Beach. Fronting the Tsugaru Strait, it is surrounded by the ocean. On a clear day, the Shimokita Peninsula of Aomori Prefecture is visible in the distance.
Ride the Tram and Enjoy Hakodate!
Hakodate is one of a few Japanese cities that preserves a tram transportation network. They run every 8 minutes in the daytime, making these streetcars convenient for travelers. In Hakodate, there is no need to drive since the tram can be used for sightseeing. Also, first-time visitors should be able to find their way easily. Moreover, Hakodate is fit for sightseeing year-round. Visit the city and enjoy its port town atmosphere from the tram!