Tuesday 12 May 2015



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.

Matsumae Castle

Three of the 250 species of cherry trees planted at Matsumae

Matsumae Temple with its Bell and Cherry Tree

Cherry Blossoms falling on the path to the Temple