|— Core city —|
|函館市 · Hakodate|
Hakodate seen from Mount Hakodate
Location of Hakodate in Oshima, Hokkaidō
Location of Oshima in Hokkaidō
|- Total||677.89 km2 (261.7 sq mi)|
|- Density||428/km2 (1,108.5/sq mi)|
|- Tree||Onko (Japanese Yew)|
|- Bird||Varied Tit|
|Website||City of Hakodate|
4-13 Shinonome-chō, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaidō
Hakodate was founded in 1454, when Kono Kaganokami Masamichi constructed a large manor house in the Ainu fishing village of Usukeshi (the word for bay in Ainu). The mansion is said to have included a barricade and looked like a box from the distance giving the area its name, box mansion.
After his death, Masamichi's son, Kono Suemichi, and family were driven out of Hakodate into nearby Kameda during Ainu rebellion in 1512 and little history was recorded for the area during the next 100 years. There was constant low level conflict in the Oshima peninsula at the time with the Ainu as armed merchants like the Kono family established bases to control trade in the region. This conflict culminated in an uprising from 1669 to 1672, led by Ainu warrior Shakushain after which the Ainu in the region were suppressed.
Hakodate flourished during the Hoei period (1704–11) and many new temples were founded in the area. The town's fortunes received a further boost in 1741 when the Matsumae clan, which had been granted nearby areas on the Oshima Peninsula as a march fief, moved its Kameda magistracy to Masamichi's house in Hakodate.
In 1779, the Tokugawa shogunate took direct control over Hakodate, which triggered rapid development in the area. Merchant Takadaya Kahei, who is honoured as the founder of Hakodate port, set up trading operations, which included the opening the northern Etorofu sea route to the Kuril island fisheries. He is credited with turning Hakodate from a trading outpost into a thriving city. A Hakodate magistracy was established in 1802.
Hakodate port partially opened to foreign ships for provisioning in the following year and then completely to foreign trade on 2 June 1859 as one of three Japanese open ports designated in the 1858 Treaty of Amity and Commerce signed with the U.S.
A mariner in Perry's fleet died during a visit to the area and became the first U.S. citizen to be buried in Japan when he was interred in Hakodate's cemetery for foreigners.
British merchant, naturalist and spy, Thomas Blakiston, took up residence in Hakodate in the summer of 1861 to establish a saw milling business and in doing so acquainted the city with western culture. He stayed in Hakodate until 1884, during which time he documented the local natural environment, equipped the local meteorological station and ran guns to the Boshin War rebels.
As one of few points of Japanese contact with the outside world, Hakodate was soon host to several overseas consulates. The Russian consulate included a chapel from where Nicholas of Japan is credited with introducing Eastern Orthodox Christianity to Japan in 1861 (now the Japanese Orthodox Church). The Orthodox church is neighbored by several other historical missionary churches, including Anglican and Catholic.
Hakodate also played a central role in the Boshin War between the Tokugawa shogunate and the Meiji Emperor which followed Perry's opening of Japan. Shogunate rebel Enomoto Takeaki fled to Hakodate with the remnants of his navy and his handful of French advisers in winter 1866, including Jules Brunet. They formally established the Republic of Ezo on December 25. The republic tried unsuccessfully to gather international recognition to foreign legations in Hakodate, including the Americans, French, and Russians.
The rebels occupied Hakodate's famous European-style Goryōkaku fort and used it as the centre of their defences in southern Hokkaidō. Government forces defeated the secessionists in the Battle of Hakodate in 1869 and the city and fort were surrendered to emperor. Military leader, Hijikata Toshizō, was one of those slain in the fighting.
In 1878, Isabella Bird reported of the city in her travelogue:
The streets are very wide and clean, but the houses are mean and low. The city looks as if it had just recovered from a conflagration. The houses are nothing but tinder… Stones, however, are its prominent feature. Looking down upon it from above you see miles of grey boulders, and realise that every roof in the windy capital is “hodden doun” by a weight of paving stones.
Hakodate was awarded city status on August 1, 1922. The city escaped most of the ravages of World War II. Areas around Hakodate-yama were fortified and access restricted to the public. Many prisoners of war were interned in Hakodate and historians record a total of 10 camps. The city was subjected to two Allied bombing raids on 14 and 15 July 1945. Around 400 homes were destroyed on the western side of Hakodate-yama and an Aomori-Hakodate ferry was attacked with 400 passengers killed.
Hakodate's size nearly doubled on December 1, 2004 when the town of Minamikayabe, from Kayabe District, the towns of Esan and Toi, and the village of Todohokke, all from Kameda District, were merged into it.
Hakodate is located in the centre of Kameda peninsula.
The city is overlooked by Mount Hakodate (函館山 Hakodate-yama ), a lumpy, forested mountain whose summit can be reached by hiking trail, cable car, or car. The night view from the summit is renowned in Japan as one of the best in the country, and one of the top three in the world along with Hong Kong and Naples. An obscure local nickname of the bumpy mountain is Gagyūzan (Mount Cow's Back), alluding to the way the mountain resembles a resting cow.
The former Goryōkaku fort is now used in as a public park and is popular in Hokkaidō for hanami (cherry blossom viewing). Since April 2006, the park has also featured the tall, white Goryōkaku Tower. Resembling an air traffic control tower, the structure offers a panoramic view of the park, including mainland Japan across the Tsugaru Strait on clear days.
The city is known for Hakodate Shio Ramen, which uses sliced squid in place of chāshū (Char siu, 叉焼 or 焼豚: traditionally barbecued pork but usually a thinly sliced braised pork when used as a ramen topping). On a similar note, Hakodate's city fish is the squid. Every year (August) the city gets together for the Hakodate Port Festival. Hordes of citizens gather in the streets to dance a wiggly dance known as the Ika-odori (Squid Dance), the name of which describes the dance appropriately. The glowing lights of squid-catching boats can be seen in the waters surrounding the city.
Hakodate Airport is located in Hakodate.
The lights from squid fishing boats, seen from Hakodate.
Orthodox Christian Church in Hakodate
Rebels in the north
The Republic of Ezo (蝦夷共和国 Ezo Kyōwakoku) was a short-lived breakaway state of Japan with its capital at Hakodate.
After the defeat of the forces of the Tokugawa Shogunate in the Boshin War (1868-1869), a part of the Shogun's navy led by Admiral Enomoto Takeaki fled to the northern island of Ezo (now known as Hokkaidō). On 25 December 1868, the Ezo Republic declared its independence, and elected Enomoto as its president.
However, Imperial forces soon consolidated their hold on mainland Japan, and in May 1869 dispatched a fleet to Ezo. With no prospect of victory, Enomoto decided to destroy his arms, and on 18 May 1869, the Republic surrendered without a fight and accepted the Meiji Emperor's rule. Enomoto was sentenced to a brief prison sentence, but was freed in 1872 and accepted a post as a government official in the newly renamed Hokkaidō Land Agency.
Hakodate is the north of Japan.Hakodate is the largest city in southern Hokkaidō. As one of the first cities in Japan to be opened to trade, like Yokohama and Kobe, there are some signs of foreign influence in Hakodate, notably architecture. Hakodate was also the capital of the short-lived Republic of Ezo (see box) in the aftermath of the Meiji Restoration.And also,Hakodate was chosen as the town that Japanese want to visit.There are many tourist attractions in Hakodate.
Hakodate Airport (函館空港 Hakodate kūkō, HKD) is 20 minutes by bus (¥300) from the train station. JAL and ANA offer nonstop service to Hakodate from Tokyo (Haneda), Osaka (Itami) and Nagoya (Chubu); Air Do (ADO) also flies the Tokyo route and offers slightly cheaper fares. If you go to Tokyo International Airport,be careful about airlines.Get on the plane from Tokyo to Hakodate.(100min)There are turboprop flights to several other cities in Hokkaidō, as well as daily Korean Air service to Seoul. Public transport from the airport is limited, although JR offers scheduled buses to Hakodate Station approximately every 20 minutes (20 min., ¥300).
Sapporo's busier Chitose Airport, 2-3 hours to the north by train, also offers a fairly convenient alternative.
JR trains run from Honshu to Hokkaido via the Seikan Tunnel. With a total length of 53.85 km (33.49 mi), the Seikan Tunnel is currently the world's longest railway tunnel - although in 2018 the Gotthard Base Tunnel, under construction in Switzerland, will surpass it by about 5 km. The Seikan Tunnel also claims the title of the world's longest undersea tunnel, with a 23.3 km (14.5 mi) section under the waters of the Tsugaru Strait.
Currently, the fastest way to reach Hakodate by train from Tokyo is by a combination of Shinkansen and Limited Express trains, transferring between the two at Hachinohe station. The one-way trip lasts about 6 hours and costs almost ¥19,000. If you have a 7-Day Japan Rail Pass, you will save about ¥9,000 off of the total cost if you travel round-trip using this method.
The Shinkansen is inching slowly towards Hakodate. An extension of the Shinkansen from Hachinohe to Aomori will open in December of 2010, which will slightly reduce the the Tokyo-Hakodate travel time to about 5 1/2 hours. Eventually by 2015, the bullet train line will be extended from Aomori under the Seikan Tunnel to the new Shin-Hakodate station, north of the city center; this is expected to hack the Tokyo-Hakodate travel time to about 4 hours.
A popular way to reach Hakodate is by overnight sleeper train. The Hokutosei (北斗星) sleeper train departs daily from Ueno Station in Tokyo. The ride to Hakodate takes 11 1/2 hours. The Cassiopeia (カシオペア) sleeper train also runs from Ueno to Hakodate a few times a week, but its cabins are more expensive than the Hokutosei. Both trains eventually continue to Sapporo.
The Nihonkai (日本海) overnight train from Osaka and Kyoto in Kansai runs as far as Aomori, from which you can connect to a limited express train for the run to Hakodate (Journey time from Osaka is 17 hours). Note that the more expensive Twilight Express (トワイライトエクスプレス) overnight service does not stop in Hakodate.
Hakodate can also be reached using the Seishun 18 Ticket, as the ticket is valid on limited expresses between Kikonai and Kanita across the Seikan Tunnel. See Seishun 18 Ticket for a sample itinerary.
Trains to areas outside of Hakodate leave infrequently (compared to areas like Tokyo where trains come every few minutes) so plan ahead.
Hakodate's main ferry terminal is 4 km from the center and reachable on buses 1 and 19; a direct shuttle is also available between the ferry terminal and train station.
Seikan Ferry  and Tsugaru Kaikyo Ferry  operate ferry services from Hakodate's port to Aomori with multiple departures daily. One way fares are cheapest on the Seikan Ferry at ¥1500 for a carpet space. The Tsugaru Kaikyo ferries are more expensive: one way fares are ¥2700 for second class (carpet space), ¥5000 for first class and ¥6000 for special class. Note that first and special classes are only offered on specific departures and offer better amenities, such as a room with bed. Travel time on all services is approximately 3 hours, 45 minutes.
Tsugaru Kaikyo also operates to Oma on the remote Shimokita Peninsula, with two daily round-trips. ¥2200 for second class; ¥3000 for a reserved seat. Travel time is 1 hour, 40 minutes.
Cars and motorcycles can also be carried on the Hakodate-Oma ferry, and on some of the Hakodate-Aomori ferries.
Hakodate has a useful two-line streetcar network connected to the train station. Fares work similarly to medium-distance buses in other cities: take a ticket when you board, then pay as you get off based on the number on your ticket. If you are going to take the streetcar more than twice in one day, it is advisable to buy a one day pass from the driver when you get off (600 yen). A combination bus/streetcar pass is also available (one day 1000 yen, two days 1700 yen). Each pass comes with a map of the stops. Children are half off of those prices.
The streetcar's one-day pass can also be bought at the tourists information center inside the JR Hakodate station. When purchasing a one-day pass, make sure to check out the attached list of discount shops since it may come handy in your tour. (As of December 2007, a 10% discount was provided for the Hakodate ropeway and the Goryōkaku tower).
There are two routes of steet car, namely, the number 2 route, and the number 5 route. Both routes runs from the same Yunokawa until it branches out in Jujigai.
Route map of street car route #2 is as follows. Note that the
first three stations are different from route #5.
Yachigashira(谷地頭), Aoyagi-chō(青柳町), Hōrai-chō(宝来町), Jūjigai(十字街), Uo ichiba-dōri(魚市場通), Shiyakusho Mae(市役所前), Matsukaze-chō(松風町), Shinkawa-chō(新川町), Chitose-chō(千歳町), Shōwa-bashi(昭和橋), Horikawa-chō(堀河町), Chiyodagai(千代台), Chūōbyōin Mae(中央病院前), Goryōkaku Kōen Mae(五稜郭公園前), Suginami-chō(杉並町), Kashiwagi-chō(柏木町), Fukabori-chō(深堀町), Keibajo Mae(競馬所前), Komabashako Mae(駒場車庫前), Shiminkaikan Mae(市民会館前), Yunokawa Onsen(湯の川温泉), Yunokawa(湯の川)
Route map of street car route #5 is as follows. Note that the
first three stations are different from route #2.
Hakodate Dokku Mae(函館ドック前), Ōmachi(大町), Suehiro-chō(末広町), Jūjigai(十字街), Uo ichiba-dōri(魚市場通), Shiyakusho Mae(市役所前), Matsukaze-chō(松風町), Shinkawa-chō(新川町), Chitose-chō(千歳町), Shōwa-bashi(昭和橋), Horikawa-chō(堀河町), Chiyodagai(千代台), Chūōbyōin Mae(中央病院前), Goryōkaku Kōen Mae(五稜郭公園前), Suginami-chō(杉並町), Kashiwagi-chō(柏木町), Fukabori-chō(深堀町), Keibajo Mae(競馬所前), Komabashako Mae(駒場車庫前), Shiminkaikan Mae(市民会館前), Yunokawa Onsen(湯の川温泉), Yunokawa(湯の川)
Additionally, there is the はこだて 電車・バス沿線名所・史跡マップ (hakodate densha, basu ensenmeisho, shiseki mappu), the map of interesting places to visit in Hakodate by streetcar and bus. It is free and has a physical map of all the stops as well as many of the attractions. The Hakodate Guide Map is also provided free of charge at both the JR Tourist Information Counter and in the Museum of Photographic History's Tourist Information located in front of the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward.
Hakodate's signature fish is squid and its signature dish is Hakodate shio rāmen(not to be confused with shioyuu ramen), a version of the ubiquitous noodle dish prepared with — you guessed it — squid stock instead of the usual pork. Nearby Mori-machi is also reputed to have Japan's finest ika-meshi, rice-stuffed squid.
There are two main drinking districts in Hakodate, Daimon, which is close to the station, and Goryōkaku, in particular Hon-Cho. Foreigners seem to be more catered to in the Goryōkaku area.
|Routes through Hakodate|
|Sapporo ← Oshamambe ←||N S||→ END|
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HAKODATE, a town on the south of the island of Yezo, Japan, for many years regarded as the capital of the island until Sapporo was officially raised to that rank. Pop. (1903) 84,746. Its position, as has been frequently remarked, is not unlike that of Gibraltar, as the town is built along the northwestern base of a rocky promontory (1157 ft. in height) which forms the eastern boundary of a spacious bay, and is united to the mainland by a narrow sandy isthmus. The summit of the rock, called the Peak, is crowned by a fort. Hakodate is one of the ports originally opened to foreign trade. The Bay of Hakodate, an inlet of Tsugaru Strait, is completely land-locked, easy of access and spacious, with deep water almost up to the shore, and good holding-ground. The Russians formerly used Hakodate as a winter port. The staple exports are beans, pulse and peas, marine products, sulphur, furs and timber; the staple imports, comestibles (especially salted fish), kerosene and oil-cake. The town is not situated so as to profit largely by the development of the resources of Yezo, and as a port of foreign trade its outlook is indifferent. Frequent steamers connect Hakodate and Yokohama and other ports, and there is daily communication with Aomori, 56 m. distant, whence there is rail-connexion with Tokyo. Hakodate was opened to American commerce in 18J4. In the civil war of 1868 the town was taken by the rebel fleet, but it was recovered by the mikado in 1869.