My blog site hANnaeYTHING turned 1 this month! In connection with this, i am sharing a travel blog of my recent trip to Japan. One travel blog per day for the 7 cities that i explored for 10 amazing days. I am also excited to share that this month, i have lots of giveaways for lucky followers. It is a way of expressing my gratitude for the support and love i received on my first year of blogging. I will give details about the mechanics on a separate post in my Instagram and Facebook page.
I hope you are as excited as i am to share one of the best trips of my life. 7 awesome cities and 2 wonderful seasons in 10 amazing days of travel.
It was my fourth time to visit Japan and i am always amazed how each city offers different kind of thrill. I have already visited Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Hakone and Yokohama, needless to say Japan is my favorite travel destination for the past 3 years. I am excited to share a new travel blog about my awesome day at Hakodate. It is one of the main cities of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island.
Upon arrival at Narita International Airport, we bought JR East South Hokkaido Railpass. Since our journey to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto from Tokyo is around 6 hours via shinkansen ride, the superexpress train of Japan, we took our first Japanese lunch at the airport. Authentic Tonkatsu meal shared with my cousin who welcomed us at Tonkatsu Wako located inside Narita International Airport. As always, japanese cuisine excites my taste buds. What i look forward to at the japanese restaurants in Japan is their house tea. Unlimited tea goodness! i don’t know if it is just my taste buds but Japanese tea is truly exquisite even the most common green tea that they serve for free.
Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto is the last shinkansen station. To reach Hakodate, local train ride is needed. Train stations shut down operation at exactly 12 midnight and will resume 6:00 am the following day. Those who miss the train will be forced to ride a taxi which is very expensive or stay at 24-hours food chains while waiting for 6:00 AM.
We finally took our well-needed rest at Toyoko Inn to get ready for a day of exploring Hakodate the next day. Toyoko Inn is just a few meters away from the station which is always our main consideration in choosing for a place to stay. This is actually a new discovery for us. Searching for hotels in the internet, the most common that travelers recommend are Sunroute hotel, Flexstay or Smile Hotel. Toyoko Inn is a no-fuss business hotel that offers a comfortable place to sleep mostly to businessmen or travelers. They offer breakfast buffet which starts at 7:00 AM – 9:30 AM and lets you leave your bags at the concierge even after you check out. Check out time is 10:00 AM. This is good for travelers who wish to roam around the city prior to their next destination which is what we mostly did on this trip.
Woke up to a different feel at Hakodate.
I usually drink a cup of joe at the room before going down to eat breakfast. Looking out at the window, it is a peaceful city and i am looking forward to see what is in store for us.
Our first stop of the day was the Hakodate Morning Market Square which offers almost everything you need. This is actually just less than a minute walk from our hotel. They sell the freshest and biggest crabs, shrimps, fish and oysters. They are open only from 6:00 AM to noon.
For our Hakodate tour, we bought an all-day pass for unlimited tram ride within the city.
For our early lunch, we head to Hakodate Lucky Pierrot, home of the best burger in the city. They also serve hot meals and sell novelty items. There are around 4 Lucky Pierrot shop in Hakodate.
Before exploring Fort Goryokaku, we stumbled upon a two storey restaurant just below the Goryokaku Tower where i had the chance to satisfy my sweet tooth craving Milkissimo. Hokkaido Hakodate Gelato DA 41 N. The concept of the store is that real gelato meets 41 degrees north latitude. Capital of Italy, Rome and Hokkaido’s Hakodate, the two towns are connected at 41 degrees north latitude; one being the gelato source region and the other the home of gelato’s basic ingredient, milk. So many flavors to choose from and it is heavenly especially on the cold Hakodate weather.
Just around 100 meters lies Fort Goryokaku. It is a massive, star shaped fort of Hakodate and the main fortress of the short-lived Republic of Ezo. It is designated as Japan’s special historic site. It is blessed with more than 1,000 cherry trees making it one of Hokkaido’s best cherry blossoms spot. Since we went there on the last few days of winter, what we enjoyed watching was the snow-capped mountains that you can see at the fort.
From Fort Goryokaku, there are a few spots that you can take a photo of the Goryokaku Tower. You also has an option to go up the tower to view the whole star-shaped fort. I recommend going up to the tower when it is the cherry blossom full season to have an awesome view of the fort.
From Fort Goyokaku, we head to Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse. It is the first commercial warehouse at Hakodate. Inside the brick warehouse are specialty stores and restaurants. Tried their famous catch cake and black coffee. It was a perfect combination of smooth and sweet catch cake (made of Hokkaido’s milk which is the one of the best in the world) and the strong black coffee.
Outside the brick house is Bay Hakodate. Took time to relax at the bay side to get ready for a long stroll at . There are restaurants and coffee shops with the view of the bay too.
From Kamenori Red Brick Warehouse, we walked further to Motomachi. It is a neighborhood full of historical buildings. Many foreign looking buildings remain in the area today. Among the most famous are the Russian Orthodox Church, the Old British Consulate, the Chinese Memorial Hall, the prefectural government’s former branch office building and the old Hakodate Public Hall. It is located at the foot of Mount Hakodate and several tourists are seen roaming around the area.
One of the most photographed view of Hakodate is this dramatic uphill street that will lead your eyes down the bay view. This spot is truly picture perfect. On night time during winter (December-February), this is also one of the photographed spot since the tree lights and the iconic buildings will be lit with lights to create a dramatic view and that is an event called Hakodate Illumination.
Within the vicinity of Motomachi is where the Mt. Hakodate Ropeway is located. The best time to got there is before sunset around 5:00 PM (check the weather forecast) so that you can catch the day view of Hakodate, catch the sunset and catch the night view.
The weather at Hakodate was ranging at 2-11 degree celsius. It was really cold especially for me coming from a tropical country. I have to put on layer of clothes not to mention heat tech inner wear (from Uniqlo).
With the very cold weather, we ended our day at the famous Hakodate Ajisai Ramen. If you only go to one ramen restaurant while in Hakodate, you should go to Ajisai. The main one is at the corner of the Goryokaku Park approach. There is also a branch at Kurenai, Hakodate Bay Bishoku Club in the Bay Area. Its specialty is shio ramen, with a light but flavorful clear salt broth.
Went back to our hotel after a beautiful day at Hakodate. Slept like a baby and looking forward to another day in a different city.
Can’t wait to share our next stop!Stay tuned to my next travel blog!♥