The latest timetable of Hokkaido Shinkansen (bullet train)
These are the latest timetables of Hokkaido Shinkansen and Hakodate Liner (Revised on March 16, 2019).
==>The Shinkansen bullet train extended to Hokkaido. Discount tickets launched
==>Directions to and from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station of the Shinkansen
How to ride trams and buses in Hakodate
The use of trams and buses is very convenient for sightseeing in Hakodate. The following are instuctions of how to ride trams and buses.
Get on the bus/tram from the rear door and take a numbered ticket with the stop-number on it. Press the “want-to-get-off button” after your destination has been announced. Look at the fare display located at the front of the bus/tram. Confirm your numbered-ticket number and you will see your fare displayed in the column under your ticket number. Put the exact fare into the fare box when you get off.
==>How to Take the Tram Hakodate
==>How to ride a tram and a bus
If you have a one-day or two-day pass, which allows you to get on and off of buses or trams as many times as you want during the set period, just show your pass to the driver. You can purchase the pass at hotels and at the Tourist Information Center, as well as directly from the driver. Tram-limited passes and tram and bus passes are available.
==>The Tram One-Day Pass
How to hire English- or Chinese-speaking tour guides in Hakodate
When touring Hakodate, it is reassuring to travel with a well-informed tour guide.
Hakodate Goodwill Guide Association dispatches tour guides. Available languages are English, Chinses and Korean. Estimated cost is 5,000 yen for about 4 hours for up to 4 people.
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, National Government Licensed Guide Interpreters and Hokkaido Tour Guide-Interpreters will introduce professional tour guides for foreign visitors. You can directly contract to a qualified tour guide posted on the Hokkaido Interpreter Association's website (in Japanese only). Profiles in languages that can be supported are posted on the introduction page of each guide. Estimated cost is 18,000 yen for about 4 hours for up to 10 people.
Experience Japanese clothing at Hakodate Airport
GRANDIR, a rental Japanese clothing shop, is located on the second floor of Hakodate Airport's domestic terminal.
You can choose your favorite kimono from a variety of colorful kimonos in the shop and get dressed up (5 to 10 minutes required). You can take pictures in the airport building or on the observation deck.
You can rent a kimono at the reception desk of "Minami Hokkaido Bussankan." (Fee includes help to get dressed) The rental fee is 3,000 yen for women and 2,000 yen for men for 40 minutes. Business hours are from 9 to 6 o'clock.
The influence of the earthquake occurred on February 21
Hakodate observed seismic intensity 3 due to the earthquake in central Hokkaido on Feb. 21. There is no influence on transportation and tourist facilities in Hakodate. There are several cancellations on Limited Express between Hakodate and Sapporo of Feb. 22.
==>JR Hokkaido train service information
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 2018, 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）
Road closed for winter in Hakodate
Some roads near tourist spots are closed for vehicles in Hakodate in winter due to the road surface freezing. (Pedestrians can pass.)
Trail to Mt. Hakodate
11:00 on November 12, 2018 to 11:00 on April 15, 2019 (Schedule)
Near Cape Tachimachi
November 20, 2018 to March 31, 2019 (Schedule)
Chachanobori Slope, Hiyori-Zaka Slope(Partially)
December 10, 2018 to spring of 2019
Time to be determined.
Contact: HAKODATE Tourist Call Center
0138-23-5440(English only available)
==>Northern Road Guide, for your safety and comfort
Come and enjoy the Hakodate Public Ice Skating Rink!
Why not enjoy skating experience at Hakodate public ice skating rink which is only 10 minutes away from Hakodate station by bus!
Beginner’s area will be set up during 13:00-15:00, February 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and the special set price is 500 yen.
==>How to wear skate shoes (YouTube) ==>PDF
The influence of the earthquake occurred on September 6
The earthquake was occurred in the central part of Hokkaido on September 6, 2018.
Roads and buildings in Hakodate were not damaged by the earthquake. Traffic and electricity troubles caused by the earthquake were restored.
There is no problem for sightseeing now.
(Night view on September 14, 2018)
The year-end and New Year holiday schedule for major tourist facilities
Here is the year-end and New Year holiday schedule for major tourist facilities in Hakodate. Please make use of it to spend New Year holidays in Hakodate.
Regionally limited discount pass “JR Tohoku – South Hokkaido Rail Pass”
JR Hokkaido and JR East are launching a “JR Tohoku – South Hokkaido Rail Pass.” It is valuable for foreign tourists traveling in the South Hokkaido and Tohoku areas.
This rail pass allows you to take JR trains (including Shinkansen and limited express trains) in the South Hokkaido (including Sapporo, Hakodate and New Chitose Airport) and Tohoku areas. Recommended for tourists who arrive at Hakodate Airport and New Chitose Airport by airplane and travel inside these areas.
It is less expensive than the existing “JR East – South Hokkaido Rail Pass” because it limits the area it can be used in.
Advance purchase discounted price（sales outside Japan) : 19,000 yen (adults)
Regular price (sales within Japan) : 20,000 yen (adults)
==>JR Tohoku - South Hokkaido Rail Pass
==>JR Rail Pass for East Japan and Hokkaido
Prayer spaces for persons of all religions are available in Hakodate
Prayer spaces, especially for tourists and business travelers from Islamic countries, are available.
A Prayer Room is in the airside area on the second floor of Hakodate Airport International Terminal. A direction mark indicating north, south, east and west is posted on the ceiling. Anyone can use this Prayer Room for spiritual activities including worship.
Contact: 0138-57-8881 (Information Counter at Hakodate Airport)
There is a prayer space inside Hakodate University Bay Area Satellite (Suehirocho 22-17). Prayer mats are prepared in the space partitioned by gender, and the direction of Mecca is shown on the wall. Facilites are also available to wash hands and feet before worship. Open on Saturdays and Sundays except for on national holidays from 10:00 to 17:00. Free of charge.
Contact: 0138-21-4110 (Hakodate University Bay Area Satellite)
Why not make good use of the Tourist Call Center?
If you need help for getting tourist information on Hakodate, feel free to contact us either before you come visit Hakodate or even after you are already here in Hakodate!
Bay Area parking lot information for Summer 2018
Heavy traffic congestions are expected in the summer tourist season around the Bay Area centering on Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse.
Refer to this map if you travel by car. It is a parking lot information map from Hakodate station to Motomachi-centered sightseeing area. You can easily find parking lots and number of car spaces along with main landmarks (Valid until the end of September 2018).
Hakodate is the best place for lovers!
Hakodate with its harbors, slopes, churches, Western-style buildings and its spectacular night view, abounds with a romantic atmosphere, making it one of the best places to visit with your loved one. We would like to introduce to you some recommended walking courses and hot spots so that the two of you can make some unforgettable times together.
Tips for Vegetarians
Useful tips for vegetarians when staying in Hakodate, are compiled here.
Foreign-language edition of “Hakodate Travel Guide”
A free guide in foreign languages was completed. It compiles information about the history and culture of Hakodate as well as sightseeing spots into a 16-page full-color A5 booklet.
This was created for overseas guests, based on the Japanese edition that was top-ranked in the 2016 popular pamphlet ranking of national cities, towns and villages. It has a lot of vivid photos of Hakodate's attractions.
You can obtain a copy of this pamphlet at information centers in Hakodate. You can also read it on the Internet.
HAKODATE TRAVEL GUIDE
==>PDF (2 pages per image)
==>PDF (1 page per image)
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)
“Hakodate Buffet,” an experience-based program for tourists to enjoy Hakodate
"Hakodate Buffet" is an experience-based program intended for those who visit Hakodate from the areas* below. There are some courses that make staying in Hakodate more enjoyable.
*Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Thailand
・Dress up in Japanese kimono and stroll around Hakodate
・Enjoy the greatness of Komagatake, spending time with horses at the farm
Going to the following menu pages, you can book a program with the travel agency in your area. There are two ways: to book a desirable program as a single item, or to order an item together with a train pass, JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass.
Menu page of Hakodate Buffet
==>For residents of Singapore
==>For residents of Malaysia
==>For residents of Indonesia
Special site for Tohoku Buffet
==>For residents of Singapore
==>For residents of Malaysia
==>For residents of Indonesia
Snow activities in Hakodate city/suburb area
There are lots of exciting wintery activities to in Hakodate.
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!!
==>Hakodate Christmas Fantasy Official Website
==>Hakodate Christmas Fantasy (within this site)
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.
Click here to see the video.
==>Wild Hokkaido! Mt. Hakodate
Click here to go to the website of the program
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.
==>Tourism Promotion Video for Hakodate City in Hokkaido
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.
==>Vanilla Air (Website specially set up for Hakodate)
==>Directions to Narita Airport 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.
==>Means of transportation from the Shinkansen (bullet) train stations
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.
==>HAKODATE FREE Wi-Fi Guide map
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
==>Information about Japan 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.
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.
==>Hokkaido for 10,000 yen!
==>JAPAN AIRLINES（oneworld Yokoso/Visit Japan Fare）
==>ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS（Experience JAPAN Fare）
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 Bridal Location Photography Association
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.
==>Hakodate Morning Market
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.
==>Enjoy 4 Seasons / 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.