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Hakodate is located on the southern end of Hokkaido. After the end of Japan’s long isolationist policy, Hakodate become open to American ships in 1854 and open to general trade in 1858. It is also the site of Japans first western style fort, called Goryoku, built in the shape of a five pointed star. Hakodate also served as the capital of Hokkaido for two years from 1869 to 1871. Although its importance has declined somewhat in recent years, it still serves as a sea port and transit area to the main island of Honshu and also as a trading port to other parts of Japan and the world. It is the third largest city in Hokkaido, has many places to visit and a population of approximately 287,637 people. Major industries include fishing, ship building and food processing.

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Located on a peninsula with two bays cutting in at each side, the city of Hakodate stretches in a north-west to south-east direction. Hakodate main station and Hakodate pier are both approximately located
Hakodate Night View.

Hakodate Night View.

in the center of the city. Most of the historical sections of the city are near the southern end. Also located at the southern end of the city is Mt Hakodateyama. It rises well above the city and offers a spectacular view over the city and surrounding ocean. It is said to be one of the most beautiful views in the world.The northern area of the city is the most modern area and offers the best shopping. What remains of the first western style fort built in Japan and and the last hold-out of the Tokugawa Shogunate sammurai warriors, named Goryoku fort, can also be seen in this area. Hakodate offers a small tram system and
Hakodate Street Car.

Hakodate Street Car.

bus network to get around the city. The trams are a very convenient way to see most of the sights in Hakodate and are reccomended. (Click here for a full Hakodate Streetcar / Tram Map. *** MAP WILL OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW ***)