- June 27th, 2017
[Motomachi Park in Hakodate] Fine View Can Be Savored at Old Center of Hokkaido
- Motomachi Park
- Look of Motomachi Park
- List of Events
- List of Activities
- List of accommodations
Motomachi Park (元町公園) is a park at the foot of Mt. Hakodate (函館山) located in the southern part of Hakodate city, and is built on the hillside with a fine view. Suehiro-cho Stop (末広町駅) of Hakodate Streetcar is relatively close to the park. Hakodate Magistrate Office (箱館奉行所) and Hokkaido Development Commission (開拓使) used to be built here. The Motomachi Park is well-known as a place naming after the name of the Hakodate, and Mr. Masamichi Kono (河野政通), a vassal of Mr. Masasue Ando (安東政季), built Usukeshi-Kono-kan (宇須岸河野館), a small fort, around here in 1454, and the shape of the building was like a box, so around the land was called “Hako-date”. * The box means “Hako (箱)” and the building means “Yakata (館)” in Japanese, and the Yakata has some different readings such as the Yakata, the Kan, Tachi and Tate, so “Date” is a voiced sound. Edo Shogunate decided to open Hakodate Port together with Shimoda Port (下田港) in 1854, then the Hakodate energize exchanged with other countries. In the later Edo period, around here turned into area under direct control of the shogun, and it used to be the political and diplomatic center of the Hokkaido. It is said that here is closely related to history of the Hokkaido. Admission free. There are Motoi-zaka slope (基坂), Motomachi Religion Area (元町宗教エリア), Former Public Hall of Hakodate Ward (旧函館区公会堂), Former British Consulate (旧イギリス領事館) and Former Soma Residence (旧相馬邸) around the Motomachi Park, too.
Hakodate Illumination (はこだてイルミネーション) is held from December to February, and Light Garden (ひかりのガーデン) is held only in a day, mid February, and Hakodate World Music and Dance Festival (はこだて国際民俗芸術祭) is held between 7days in early August.
Mt. Hakodate (函館山) is a range of mountains with 334 m in height in the west side of Hakodate city, and is general term of 13 mountains. Another name is Mt. Gagyu (臥牛山). The Mt. Hakodate used to be an island originally, but a sandbar grew on the sea, and the downtown of the Hakodate was built on the sandbar. A view of the Hakodate downtown has been famous since old days, and is one of the 3 best night views in the world together with Hongkong in China and Napoli in Italy. “A View from Mt. Hakodate” was given 3 stars in Michelin Green Guide Japon 2011. It features that world people rate “The View from the Mt. Hakodate” highly. In addition, it is also well-known as one of the 3 best night views in Hokkaido together with Mt. Tengu in Otaru and Mt. Moiwa in Sapporo. After all, the night view is most popular. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Read More
Motomachi Religion Area
Motomachi Religion Area (元町宗教エリア) is between a ropeway station and Motomachi Park (元町公園) at the foot of Mt. Hakodate (函館山) located in the southern part of Hakodate city, and different religions, example for a church group such as Orthodox Church (ハリストス正教会), Catholic Hakodate Motomachi Church (カトリック元町教会), St.John’s Church Hakodate (函館聖ヨハネ教会) and Hakodate Church (日本基督教団函館教会), or a temple group such as Myofukuji Temple (妙福寺) and Higashi Betsuin Shinshu Sect Otani School Hakodate Betsuin Temple (東別院大谷派函館院), or Funadama Shrine (船魂神社), are built along Nijukken-zaka Slope (二十間坂), Daisan-zaka Slope (大三坂), Hachiman-zaka Slope (八幡坂) and Hiyori-zaka Slope (日和坂). Japanese historical buildings suh as Old Soma Residence (旧相馬邸), Hakodate City Museum of Local History (市立函館博物館郷土資料館) and Barber Sato (佐藤理容院) are built along stone pavements, so those go well with views from the top of the slopes. The area is the center of Motomachi Sightseeing along with Motomachi park (元町公園). Read More
Former Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
Former Public Hall of Hakodate Ward (旧函館区公会堂) is a Western-style 2-story wooden building at the foot of Mt. Hakodate (函館山) located in the southern part of Hakodate city, and is built beside Motomachi Park on the hillside with a fine view. Suehiro-cho Stop (末広町駅) of Hakodate Streetcar is relatively close to the building. A meeting hall for local people destroyed by fire was rebuilt in 1910, and has been designed as a nationally important cultural property. The appearance of the symmetrical colonial-style building colored with blue-gray color and whitish-yellow color is very beautiful, and catches people’e eyes. Not only colorness but also detailed sculptures are fine, so building techniques mixed Japanese-style with Western-style are worth seeing. Admission fee is JPY 300. Photography is allowed. There are Motoi-zaka slope (基坂), Motomachi Religion Area (元町宗教エリア), the Motomachi Park (元町公園), Former British Consulate (旧イギリス領事館) and Former Soma Residence (旧相馬邸) around here, too. Read More
Former British Consulate
Former British Consulate (旧イギリス領事館) is a Western-style 2-story brick building at the foot of Mt. Hakodate (函館山) located in the southern part of Hakodate city, and faces Motoi-zaka Slope (基坂) and Former Soma Residence (旧相馬邸), and is nearby Motomachi Park (元町公園) and Former Public Hall of Hakodate Ward (旧函館区公会堂). Suehiro-cho Stop (末広町駅) of Hakodate Streetcar is relatively close to the building. The consulate was also opened as French Consulate in 1859, and was the 3rd oldest foreign consulate after United States Consulate and Russia Consulate in the Hakodate. Old buildings were destroyed by fire several times, and the current building built in 1913 was restored as a memorial building in 1992. Rose Garden and Afternoon Tea have a good reputation, and here is popular with British fans. Admission fee for Consul’s Office and Historical Exhibition Room is JPY 300. Photography is allowed. Read More
By the way, Express Hakodate-go (高速はこだて号) and Hakodate Limited Express New Star-go (函館特急ニュースター号), express buses, run between Sapporo and the Hakodate. Unfortunately, the express bus does not run between New Chitose Airport and the Hakodate. Besides, Rent-a-car can be rented around Hakodate Station, Hakodate Airport, the Goryokaku Fort and Hakodate Ferry Terminal.
Hakodate (函館) that about 260,000 people live is the 3rd largest port city in Hokkaido, and is a regional hub city of the Southern Hokkaido area. The Hakodate became incorporated with Toi town (戸井), Esan town (恵山), Todohokke village (椴法華) and Minami-kayabe town (南茅部) in 2004, and most of Kameda Peninsula (亀田半島) has changed to the Hakodate. It is one of most popular tourist cities in the Hokkaido, and about 5 million people visit here. The downtown of the Hakodate from Mt. Hakodate toward former Goryokaku fort is developed on a large sandbar between the seas, and a unique seashore landscape is very popular. Although a lot of tourists think the center town of the Hakodate is around Hakodate Station and the Mt. Hakodate, it is around Hakodate Streetcar Goryokaku Koen-mae Stop (函館市電五稜郭公園前駅). The Hakodate is also well-known as a city with a lot of slopes, and there are 19 slopes with its name such as Hachiman-zaka slope (八幡坂), Daisan-zaka slope (大三坂) and Motoi-zaka slope (基坂), so around the Mt. Hakodate has a lot of slope lands, and the Hakodate has a lot of narrow roads. As for a climate, the Hakodate is wamer than other cities in the Hokkaido because it is located of the Southern Hokkaido, and it does not snow hard. Read More
Look of Motomachi Park
Old Hokkaido Branch Office of Hokkaido Government (旧北海道庁函館支庁庁舎 * Motomachi Tourist Information Office), Old Colonial Commission Archive (函館支庁書籍庫), Statues of the 4 Hakodate Greatest People (函館四天王像), a public restroom and benches are built at the site. As for the Four Hakodate Greatest Peoples, they are Mr. Ichiuemon Imai (今井市右衛門), Mr. Bunuemon Hirata (平田文右衛門), Mr. Kumashiro Watanabe (渡辺熊四郎) and Mr. Tokizo Hiratsuka (平塚時蔵), and used their own funds on developing the Hakodate, so Mr. Tamemoto Tokito (時任為基), a politician, named them Four Hakodate Greatest People. Mr. Tokito Saburo (時任三郎), a famous actor, is his great-grandchild. The park is well-kept, and seasonal flowers are beautiful. A lot of tourists sometimes take a rest on the way when they stroll through the Motomachi. The site is not large, so it takes about 30 minutes to look around on foot.
The Old Hokkaido Branch Office of Hokkaido Government is a Western-style wooden building built in 1909. The old building was destroyed by fire. Light Mint green colored appearance reminds me of Meiji High Collar. The building is Hokkaido municipally designated tangible cultural property, and is used as the Motomachi Tourist Information Office at present, so everybody can enetr for free. Hakodate City Museum of Photographic History (函館市写真歴史館) used to be opened on the 2nd floor, but it is closed down now.
The Old Colonial Commission Archive is a brick archive built to protect administrative documents from fire in 1880 because a lot of the fire occurred in the Hakodate in the old days. Year of manufacture is engraved on the surface of the bricks. The building is Hokkaido municipally designated tangible cultural property. Unfortunately, it does not open to the public. Only the appearance can be seen.
Atmosphere of Motomachi Park Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||A pay parking lot is provided.|
|Business hours||Open for 24 hours|
|Regular closing day||Open all year round|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||86 040 497*85|
List of Events
At the Motomachi park, the events are held in a winter or a summer.
List of accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the downtown of the Hakodate. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
South Part of Hakodate Downtown
North Part of Hakodate Downtown
A page of Hakodate is here
By the way, Club Tourism (クラブツーリズム), a Japanese tour travel agency, provides various types of tours such as day trip tours or ordinary tours. In the case of bus tours, tourists do not drive their cars themselves, so they can savor alcohol. Choosen tourist attractions are national parks such as Rishiri and Rebun, Shiretoko, and popular tourist places such as Furano and Biei, and some activities such as hiking and fruit picking are also enjoyed depending on seasons. If you are interested in tour trips, you should visit the club tourism's website for details.
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