- June 28th, 2017
[Motomachi Religion Area in Hakodate] Chuch Group Goes Well with Temple and Shrine group, So That Creates Good Scenery
- Motomachi Religion Area
- Look of Motomachi Religion Area
- List of Activities
- List of accommodations
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).
There are a lot of restaurants at the Motomachi, and famous restaurants such as Carl Raymon Museum (カール・レイモン 歴史展示館) that is famous for sausages and Gotoken Head Office Restaurant Sekkatei (五島軒本店 レストラン雪河亭) open a business. I visited the Gotoken Head Office Restaurant Sekkatei to eat curry and rice, and it was tasty.
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 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. Read More
Curry and Rice of Gotoken
Restaurant Sekkatei (レストラン雪河亭) is a long-established Western-style restaurant at Gotoken Head Office (五島軒本店) in Suehiro-cho, Hakodate city, and was founded in 1879. Russian meal and French meal were served originally, but curry and rice was added their’s menu lineup at that time, too. The curry and rice had won popularity, and it has become a synonym for Gotoken now. 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 Religion Area
In Hakodate 19 slopes, Popular slopes are concentrated in the Motomachi Religion Area. The Nijukken-zaka Slope is an asphalt-paved slope with 20 ken in width. “ken” of Nijukken is old basic unit, and 20 ken are a road with about 36m in width to convert from ken to meter. The origin of the name is like Shizunai Nijukkendouro Sakuranamiki (静内二十間道路). There are the Higashi Betsuin Shinshu Sect Otani School Hakodate Betsuin Temple that is well-known for a large building and Gotoken (五島軒) that is well-known for the curry and rice along the slope.
The Higashi Betsuin Shinshu Sect Otani School Hakodate Betsuin Temple is a Jodo‐Shin sect temple estblished in 1641, and was rebuilt in 1915. The large building that is famous as the Japan’s first concrete temple catch people’s eyes. Visitors can have a look.
The Daisan-zaka Slope is a stone paved slope chosen as one of “the 100 Best Roads in Japan”. The stone paved road goes well with roadside trees. There are the Catholic Hakodate Motomachi Church, the St.John’s Church Hakodate, the Orthodox Church and the Myofukuji Temple along the slope. In an autumn, fall foliage is beautiful. A part of the narrow slope is named “Chacha-Nobori Slope (チャチャ登り)”, and the Chacha means “Old Man” in Ainu language, and the Nobori means “Going up” in Japanese. People like a bending down old man must go up the slope, and it means the slope is very steep. By the way, here is a photogenic place for newly‐married couples.
The Yahata-zaka slope is a stone paved slope with an ocean view, and is one of the best photogenic spot in the 19 slopes of the Hakodate. NIKKEI STYLE says that it wins the first place in “Must Visit Bset Slope in Japan”. I think that it is a wonderful result to win Sannen-zaka Slope (三年坂) in Kyoto prefecture and Oranda-zaka (オランダ坂) in Nagasaki prefecture, most famous slopes. Here is also popular as a shooting place, and the slope used by Japanese TV commercial “Charmy Green” is called “The Slope of Charmy Green (チャーミーグリーンの坂)”, too. Japanese movies “Little DJ” and “The Night of Whirlwind Restaurant” use here as a shooting place, and Love Live! Sunshine!!, a popular anime, uses here as a motif.
The Orthodox Church is the oldest Greek Church in Japan, and has been designed as an important cultural property. It was built as a chapel for Russian consulate in 1858. But it was destroyed by a fire in 1907. Current Holy Resurrection Cathedral (主の復活聖堂), a byzantine architecture building and a Russian building, was rebuilt in 1916. Because a tone of a bell is beautiful, it was chosen as one of “100 Best Soundscapes in Japan”. This church is also called “Gan Gan Dera (ガンガン寺)”, and it means the beautiful tone. As for entering the building, admission fee is JPY 200. The buildings is lit up in the early evening.
In the Hakodate, the St.John’s Church Hakodate started spreading their sect in 1874. The shape of the church is very cool, and goes well with the downtown of the Hakodate. I thought that this building had been since a very long time ago, but it was built in 1979, so it is modern design. The shape of a roof from the top is a corss, so I think that it is an elaborately designed building. A building designer is Mr. Haruo Komukai (小向春夫). There are a pipe organ at the church with stained-glass windows. Visitors can have a look from May 1 to November 3.
The Catholic Hakodate Motomachi Church is the origin that Mr. Eugène-Emmanuel Mermet-Cachon, a French missionary, spreaded their sect in 1859. Current church made of bricks was built as a Gothic cathedral in 1924. Visitors can have a look.
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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