函館山 Mount Hakodate (Hakodate-yama)
- Nature / Scenic spots (Mountain / Valleys)
- Around Hakodate
- Travelko Rating
the pivot of Hokkaido sightseeing and historical illusion
Hakodate is a city of the proud of history. Among many changes of history, one of the most dramatic one is the civil wars at the end of Edo period --- （1603-1867 ）--- in other words, the end of Samurai Era,---and the final stage of the drama took place in Hakodate. And, needless to say, as a symbol of the Hakodate City, Mt. Hakodate has faced the document moment.
On those days, not only the domestic threat but the pressure of invasion from Russia was a serious concern of Edo Government. For that reason, as well as star-shaped citadel named Goryokaku, Mt. Hakodate faced several artificial changes. The most noteworthy construction was making its top flat so that the army could keep the 360º scenery toward the Inlet of Hakodate. On later days, as the days of conflict was over, the flat top gave the mountain a unique observation place.
Personally, as a Sapporo resident, I am very proud of various sightseeing places, however, the breathtaking scenery from Mt. Hakodate, especially the night view, is the one I admit with a top quality in Hokkaido. Uniquely symmetry coastline of Hakodate City created the honourable screen of starry view, and Mt. Hakodate fortunately locates at the position which the visitors can see as if they were standing at the horizon!
Ropeway is the simplest way to go up the mountain, and street car access is easily available. Regular fee for adult ride of the ropeway is 1,200 JPY. Yet using the city bus tour including the mountain tour is supposedly the best choice, as Hakodate itself has a lot of places to visit, especially if you are the fun of history learning.
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World-class night view!
Hakodate has a longer history in Hokkaido, it is the first harbor opened for the Western countries in Japan together with Yokohama and Nagasaki at the end of Tokugawa era (in 1859), so I like Hakodate with an exotic atmosphere different from any other cities in Hokkaido.
In Hakodate, I believe Mt. Hakodate is the most popular tourist site, “must see” spot. It is said that the night view from Mt. Hakodate is one of the world Top Three night views, along with Hong Kong and Naples. Actually the second edition of Michelin Green Guide Japan introduced the view from Mt. Hakodate as three stars (highest class). The night view of Hakodate city features the sexy silhouette which is narrow land approached by the both sides of the sea, Hakodate Bay and Tsugaru Strait that connects the Sea of Japan to the Pacific Ocean, and the buildings, houses and roads are concentrated in the narrow area which emit countless lights in the darkness.
You can use Ropeway connecting Sanroku station to Summit station at the elevation of 334 meter in 3 minutes, the maximum speed is 7m/s, and the capacity of gondola is 125 people, as the largest in Hokkaido. You can enjoy the view of Hakodate in four seasons, cherry blossoms in spring, green leaves in summer, colored leaves in autumn and covered with snow in clear and cold air in winter.
Mt. Hakodate is a heart of Hakodate citizens, and its top can be seen from anywhere in the city. It is nicknamed as “Gagyu Mountain” because it looks like “a cow lying on its stomach”, Tachimachi gape is at the left side of the cow seen from the city which represents the nose of the cow.
There is a nice restaurant in Summit station where you can enjoy more relaxed time, Restaurant Genova serves fresh local seafood and local beef for lunch or dinner, if you want the window side table for nice view, only three tables available for set dinner, you are recommended to reserve as early as possible.
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