Hakodate (map) is 3 1/2 hours south of Sapporo by train. It was Japan's first port opened to foreign trade (in 1854) bringing a notable foreign influence - some attractive European buildings have been preserved.
|Hakodate - Center of Squid Fishing|
|Fishing boat has powerful lights to attract the squid|
|Fattest seagulls we've ever seen|
|Morning Fish Market|
|Giant live crabs at the Morning Market|
|Ramen number 4 - Hakodate Ramen has a clear, strong broth|
|Red Brick Warehouses, early 1900s|
|Russian Orthodox Church, established 1861|
|Japanese Snow Monkeys have their own onsen in winter|
|Easy to get around Hakodate on the tram|
Hokkaido's only Fedual Castle is at Matsumae (map), 2 hours by train and bus further south from Hakodate. The 250 different species of cherry trees in the Castle and Temple grounds result in a prolonged flowering so it is a prime Cherry Blossom viewing spot.
|Three of the 250 species of cherry trees planted at Matsumae|
|Matsumae Temple with its Bell and Cherry Tree|