Hakodate abounds with natural beauty, historical buildings and delicious food. It is also famed for its abundance of hot springs, particularly the Yunokawa Onsen for a full body experience and the Ashiyu footbaths that are miniaturized hot spring baths designed for soaking one's feet. Also of interest is the Goryokaku fort. Enjoy a bird's-eye view of the huge star-shaped fortress and surrounding moat from the adjoining Goryokaku Tower Observatory. Shop along the Bay Area facing Hakodate Port, its row of old red-brick buildings have been converted into a unique mall. After browsing, have a tea break while taking in the harbor views.

Port: Hakodate
Experience

Hakodate

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  • Hakodate Museum and Hakodateyama Hill

    Take a journey through Northern Japan's epic past during this scenic and informative half-day museum tour of Hakodate.

    Depart the pier for the morning drive into Hakodate, and a visit to the Hakodate City Museum of Northern Peoples, which is located in an old bank on the Motoi-zaka slope leading away from the consulate. During your visit, you will view exhibits of valuable tools and ethnological materials that were collected over many years by Professors Osamu Baba and Sakuzaemon Kodama, and used by the Ainu people in their daily life. You will also learn about other races across Eastern Siberia and the Alaskan Islands.

    The highlight of your visit to Hakodate will be the view from the summit of Mt. Hakodateyama. A cable car will whisk you to the top in just a few minutes. Upon arrival, you will take in panoramic vistas and photo opportunities overlooking the city and harbor; considered by many to be among the world's most spectacular views.

    Following your museum visits, some time will be made for shopping in the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse area before re-boarding your coach for the return drive to the pier.

    Please note: This tour involves a 7-minute walk on an incline to the cable car terminus. The walk will be taken slowly, with sightseeing along the way.

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  • Hakodate Highlights

    Discover the historic beauty of Hakodate, gateway to Hokkaido, and perhaps the most interesting and appealing city on the island.

    Depart the pier for the drive to Hakodate. As Japan's first Western-style fortification and one of the first ports open to Western trade, many influences of Hakodate's Colonial heritage remain to this day. Upon arrival, you will visit the star-shaped fort, Goryokaku, which was built in 1864 to defend Hokkaido against invasion. All that remains now are the outer walls and interior, which is now a park open to the public. At Goryokaku Tower, you can take in panoramic views overlooking the fort and Hakodate City.

    Next, you will proceed for an outside visit to the Trappistine Convent, founded in 1898 by eight Catholic nuns from France, and managed by the Trappist Order. Many nuns reside here today as devout followers of the precepts of Benedict. Although the general public is not permitted entrance into the convent, you can view its exterior, along with the museum and garden displaying statues of St. Mary and St. Michael.

    Following your tour, you will rejoin your coach for the return drive to the pier and ship.

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  • Panoramic Hakodate

    Sit back and relax on this informative driving tour through Hakodate that takes in the key landmarks, including Mount Hakodate, an extinct volcano that looms over the city.

    After departing from the pier, you will begin a short orientation drive through Hakodate, one of the first ports that opened to foreign trade following Japan’s period of self-isolation, which ended with the Kanagawa Treaty of 1854. Hakodate has grown to become the island’s third largest city, even though its land is somewhat limited by mountains and the sea.

    The highlight of your tour is the panoramic drive to the top of Mount Hakodate, an extinct volcano now covered with forest. On a clear day, the summit offers spectacular sweeping views in every direction and is the best vantage point to see the urban sprawl below. You will experience the iconic view of the fan-shaped city of Hakodate surrounded by the three seas along all of its sides.

    Before returning to the pier, you will also have the chance to stretch your legs while pausing for photos in the Yahatazaka area.

    Please note: This tour requires minimal walking during photo stops. Tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair and are able to make their own way on and off transportation. Guests must be self-sufficient or if assistance is required, they should travel with a companion who can provide this. Weather appropriate clothing, adequate sun protection and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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  • Hakodate's Museums

    The scenic beauty and storied past of Northern Japan is yours to discover during this half-day museum tour of Hakodate.

    Depart the pier for the morning drive into Hakodate, and a visit to the Hakodate City Museum. Upon arrival, you will view a superb collection of artifacts representative of the indigenous people and culture of Northern Japan. Your tour will continue on to the Hakodate City Museum of Northern Peoples, which is located in an old bank on the Motoi-zaka slope leading away from the consulate.

    During your visit, you will view exhibits of valuable tools and ethnological material collected over many years by Professors Osamu Baba and Sakuzaemon Kodama, and used by the Ainu people in their daily life. You will also learn about other races across Eastern Siberia and the Alaskan Islands.

    Following your museum visits, some time will be made for shopping in the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse area before being transferred back to the pier and ship.

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  • Panoramic View From Mt. Hakodate

    Discover the splendid panoramic views and photo opportunities from Mt. Hakodate, gateway to Hokkaido, during a memorable visit to this dormant volcano.

    Depart the pier for the drive to Hakodate. As Japan's first Western-style fortification and one of the first ports open to Western trade, many influences of Hakodate's Colonial heritage remain to this day.

    Upon arrival in Hakodate, you will proceed to the end of the peninsula for a visit to Mt. Hakodate, which rises to a height of 1,096 feet and commands panoramic views and photo opportunities overlooking Hakodate City. Some say the view from Mt. Hakodate at night rivals those of Hong Kong and Naples.

    The mountain, a dormant volcano for two million years, is also known as Lying Cow Mountain, or Gagyu-zan, due to its shape. On its summit are monuments to Thomas W. Blakiston, who discovered that the Tsugaru Straits separate the characteristic Honshu fauna from Hokkaido fauna, and to topologist Tadataka Inoh, who published the first survey map of Japan.

    Following your tour, you will rejoin your coach for the return drive to the pier.

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  • Onuma National Park

    Cruise through the serene waters of volcanically formed Lake Onuma in its namesake national park, and then hike around its coast for a different perspective of its natural beauty.

    After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a scenic drive to Onuma Quasi-National Park, a beautiful landscape of forests and volcanically formed lakes.

    You will embark on a boat and cruise around the shimmering lake, which is typically calm and brilliantly blue. Being a volcanic lake, the water is relatively acidic and somewhat uninhabitable for marine creatures. Even so, you may be able to see waterfowl and white-tailed eagles soaring overhead.

    The most dramatic sight in the park will surely be Mount Komagatake, an active volcano that dominates the landscape to the north. Occasionally, smoke plumes from volcanic tremors can be seen spewing from the mountaintop, but significant eruptions are rare.

    You should have an excellent view of the graceful mountain while cruising the lake, and while walking on a nature trail through the park. Wildflowers should be abundant, as well as Japanese oak and birch trees, as you cross the bridges linking the small islands in Lake Onuma.

    Please note: Tour includes approximately 1-hour of walking on mostly gravel and cobbled surfaces, with a few steps. Onuma Park has several walking trails and one of them is wheel chair accessible; boat is also accessible. Tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair and are able to make their own way on and off transportation. Guests must be self-sufficient or if assistance is required, they should travel with a companion who can provide this. Weather appropriate clothing, adequate sun protection and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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  • Best of Hakodate From Above

    Take in Hakodate’s must-see attractions and natural beauty from atop an extinct volcano, while meandering through a historical district and from a soaring observation tower.

    After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a scenic drive to an aerial tram at Mount Hakodate. The tram will carry you nearly a half mile to the summit of forested Mount Hakodate, an extinct volcano. On a clear day, the views along the way and from the top of the mountain will be absolutely spectacular.

    Afterwards, you will stroll the cobblestone streets of Motomachi, a residential district at the foot of Mount Hakodate. When Japan’s era of isolation ended in 1854 and Hakodate harbor opened to the west, most foreigners lived in Motomachi. During a walk through the area, your guide will show you some of the highlights, including a Russian orthodox church and the former British Consulate.

    Continuing on, you will soon reach soaring Goryokaku Tower, a 350-foot-high observation point that offers sweeping views of Hakodate and the beautiful Yokotsu Mountain Range in the distance. If it is a clear day, you can see all the way across the Tsugaru Channel. The tower also provides the best vantage point to see Fort Goryokaku, a star-shaped citadel built in the 19th century to protect Hakodate. More than 1,600 cherry trees grace the banks of the surrounding moat.

    Please note: Tour includes approximately 1 hour of walking/standing with a few steps and some steep terrain to negotiate at Motomachi. This tour is not recommended for wheel chair guests or those with walking or mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing, adequate sun protection and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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  • Hakodate Highlights

    Gain a greater understanding of life in Hakodate by visiting a thriving marketplace, riding the tram to the city’s highest point and meandering through a historical neighborhood.

    After departing from the pier, you will travel through the picturesque streets of Hakodate, one of the first ports that opened to foreign trade following Japan’s period of self-isolation. Your first stop will be the Morning Market, which spans nearly four city blocks.

    The morning market is a wonderful place to observe daily life, as the locals bustle among hundreds of stalls, most featuring fresh seafood. During free time to explore at leisure, you can expect to see familiar items such as squid, salmon roe and mackerel, as well as more unusual ingredients like jellyfish, barnacles and dried fish. Locals also come here for fruit and spices.

    Continuing on, you will board an aerial tram that will carry you nearly a half mile to the summit of forested Mount Hakodate, an extinct volcano. On a clear day, the views along the way and from the top of the mountain will be absolutely spectacular.

    Before returning to the pier, you will also have the opportunity to stroll the cobblestone streets of Motomachi, a district at the foot of the mountains where most foreigners lived after Hakodate was opened to the west in 1854. During a walk through the area, your guide will show you some of the highlights, including a Russian orthodox church and the former British Consulate.

    Please note: Tour includes approximately 1-hour of walking/standing with a few steps and some steep terrain to negotiate at Motomachi. Amount of walking and level of exertion during free time is at guests’ discretion. This tour is not recommended for wheel chair guests or those with walking or mobility concerns.Weather appropriate clothing, adequate sun protection and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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  • Hakodate's History & Culture

    Enjoy an immersion into the history and culture of Hakodate through landmarks that reveal how the city transitioned from its 19th-century isolationist policies.

    After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a brief informative drive around Hakodate, one of the first ports that opened to foreign trade following Japan’s period of self-isolation, which ended with the Kanagawa Treaty of 1854. Hakodate has grown to become the island’s third largest city, even though its land is somewhat limited by mountains and the sea.

    Before long, you will arrive in Motomachi, the district at the foot of the mountains where most foreigners lived after Hakodate was opened to the west. As you stroll Motomachi’s cobblestone streets, you can’t help but notice the distinct styles of architecture.

    During a walk through the area, your guide will show you some of the highlights, including a Russian orthodox church and the former British Consulate.

    Next, you will visit Goryokaku, an urban park dominated by a 350-foot-high observation tower that offers sweeping views of the city and beyond. The tower also provides the best vantage point to see Fort Goryokaku, a star-shaped citadel built in the 19th century to protect Hakodate.

    A brief walk will then take you to the Hakodate magistrate’s office, a reproduction of the original that was constructed using traditional methods and materials. Once the diplomatic center of the region, the office holds a collection of revealing artifacts that detail the cultural evolution of Hakodate. After browsing the exhibits, you will return to the pier.

    Please note: Tour includes approximately 2-hour of walking/standing, with a few steps and some steep terrain to negotiate at Motomachi. Amount of walking and level of exertion during free time is at guests’ discretion. This tour is not recommended for wheel chair guests or those with walking or mobility concerns. Shoes must be removed to enter Magistrate’s office. Weather appropriate clothing, adequate sun protection and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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