Hakodate Port Festival, the biggest summer event, is held every year from August 1 to 5. The first day of the festival opens with a fireworks display by the Doshin (Hokkaido Shimbun), followed on the 2nd and 3rd by the Mikoshi (portable shrine) and the gorgeous Dashi floats (Note ①), along with the traditional “Hakodate Port Dance” and “Hakodate “Ika Odori” (Squid Dance)” parade “Wasshoi Hakodate”. Come and dance with the residents of Hakodate and enjoy this lively summer festival.

Note ①: In Japan, the portable shrine is the vehicle in which the gods ride during festivals and is carried on the shoulders of many people. Floats are also decorated vehicles for the gods to ride on, just like mikoshi.

※For the latest information, please refer to the “Hakodate Port Festival Official Website” at the bottom of this page.


【History of Hakodate Port Festival】



Hakodate Port Festival was first held in 1935 to cheer up the residents of Hakodate after the devastating Great Hakodate Fire of 1934, which destroyed one-third of the city, and to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the opening of Hakodate Port. The festival is usually held on August 1 with a fireworks display, followed by a parade on August 2 and 3, and a lineup of stalls from August 1 to 5, making it Hakodate’s most popular event.


【Wasshoi Hakodate! Everyone Sings, Dances, and Laughs in Hakodate Summer Parade!】



The parade on August 2 and 3 is usually so exciting that even the spectators along the streets start to dance as they parade through the city in their costumes and dance the “Hakodate Port Dance” and “Hakodate “Ika Odori” (Squid Dance)”. Mikoshi, the portable shrines (Note ①), that powerfully lead the parade and the glitteringly decorated floats (Note ①) are also attractions worth seeing of the Hakodate Port Festival.

Note ①: In Japan, the mikoshi is considered to be a vehicle for the gods to ride on during festivals, and is carried on the shoulders of many people. Floats, like the mikoshi, are decorated vehicles for the gods to ride.

Location ①:August 2 (tentative), Near Hakodate Station (parade)
Location ②:August 3 (tentative), Near Goryokaku Koen-mae Station (parade)


【Mari Menari “Ika Odori” (Tarian Cumi-Cumi)!】




The most exciting part of the parade on August 2 and 3 is the Hakodate “Ika Odori” (Squid Dance). With the theme of “squid,” a Hakodate specialty, the dance is popular for its easy-to-remember lyrics, melody, and simple choreography that can be danced by anyone.
The “Ika Odori” (Squid Dance) was created in 1980 by a group of residents’ volunteers, and in 1981, the group joined the Port Festival. The “Ika Odori Executive Committee” was formed by about 25 people, and with its simple choreography and dancing, the number of participants has been increasing year by year.
If you would like to see what kind of dance it is, or if you would like to try dancing yourself, why don’t you join the residents of Hakodate this summer? The last part of each day’s parade, the “Ika Odori” (Squid Dance), is open to the public, so why not pluck up the courage to jump in and join in?

About the Free Participation of the “Ika Odori” (Squid Dance)

August 2nd Jujigai/Matsukaze Route (1.4km, around 40 minutes)
Meeting point: Jujigai Ginza Street
☆ Free Participation of Children’s “Ika Odori” (Squid Dance)
Meeting time: Around 17:50 (approximately)
Target participants: Kindergarten and elementary school students (parents may accompany their children)
☆ Free Participation of “Ika Odori” (Squid Dance)
Meeting time: Around 18:50 (approximately)

August 3rd Chiyodai/Goryokaku Route (1.km, around 40 minutes)
Meeting point: Between Nakajima-cho intersection and Chiyodai tram stop road 
☆ Free Participation of “Ika Odori” (Squid Dance)
Meeting time: Around 19:10 (approximately)


【Fireworks Display】



The first day of the festival will feature the “Doshin (Hokkaido Shimbun) Fireworks Display,” the largest of its kind in Hokkaido (in case of bad weather, the event will be postponed to the 5th). The fireworks will be launched from Green Island in Hakodate Harbor and will last about one hour. In 2023, the program consisted of six parts, with wide starbursts, large fireworks, and set fireworks synchronized with the music, resembling a concert. The colorful fireworks that brightly illuminate the sea are truly impressive.

Main Viewing Locations
*From Wakamatsu Pier to Toyokawa Pier near Mashu-maru, the Seikan Liaison Ship Memorial Hall.
*The bay area where the Kanamori Red Brick Warehouse is located.
*Hakodate Port Suehiro Green Area (Hakodate West Wharf Square).
*The night view and fireworks can be enjoyed from the Mount Hakodate Observatory.

※The above viewing locations are based on information as of 2024. Please note that they may vary depending on the year, so be sure to check the latest information beforehand.

※Important Points※
※On the day of the fireworks display, vehicle access around the launch site will be restricted.
※As it can be windy and chilly by the seaside, it’s recommended to bring a jacket.
※Having a leisure sheet can be convenient for sitting and watching from the quay.


【Various Street Stalls】



During the annual Hakodate Port Festival, approximately 90 street stalls line the parade area, selling trendy gourmet items of the year. There are typical Japanese stalls such as yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancakes), takoyaki (octopus balls), shaved ice, cotton candy, goldfish scooping, shooting games, and water balloon yo-yo fishing. While enjoying the lively Hakodate Port Festival, let’s savor the street food delights of Hakodate!


【Hakodate Port Festival: Flower Tram】



In conjunction with Hakodate’s major summer event, the “Hakodate Port Festival,” the Hakodate City Tram operates a special Flower Tram.
It runs during regular schedule hours and also part of the Wasshoi Hakodate parade.
Don’t miss out on this summer-exclusive Flower Tram, running with festival music!
Operating Period: July 25th (Thursday) to August 5th (Monday), 2024
※Operation will be suspended in case of rainy weather.


【Public Transportation Notice during the Hakodate Port Festival】

Hakodate City Tram
Please check the official page for details (Japanese only).
Hakodate Bus
Please check the official page for details (Japanese only).


【More Information】

Date: August 1st (Thursday) to August 5th (Monday), 2024
The parade is August 2nd and 3rd (Friday and Saturday)
Operating hours: Varies depending on the situation. Please refer to the official website for more details.
Price: Free of charge
Inquiry: Hakodate Port Festival Executive Committee Secretariat (Hakodate International Tourism and Convention Association)