Motomachi, a tourist site you must go to in Hakodate

I took a walk in Motomachi, a well-known tourist site in Hakodate, Hokkaido. I will introduce the must-sees such as old churches and beautiful scenery.

There are many tourist sites in Hokkaido, but the southernmost Hakodate has grea seafood and hotsprings, and it is also the first place that opened up their harbor after 250 years of isolation. This is a unique history about this area.

So there are many half-Japanese, half-Western buildings and churches that were built at the end of the 19th century, and the city has a certain elegance that is unlike any other area in Japan.

Today, I took a walk in Motomachi, an area that has that kind of elegance and is designated as the Hokkaido Heritage.

How to get to the Motomachi area in Hakodate

To go to the Motomachi area, you get on the streetcar from Hakodate station, and get off at Suehirocho. Motomachi is located at the foothills of the Hakodate mountain, so you should head for the mountain.

When you walk up the hill called Hiyorizaka from Suehirocho, you will find a Japanese cafe called Hana Kanro. It is a very traditional cafe that was built in 1921 and partly renovated but in the exact same spot as back then. You can eat typical Japanese sweets here!

These neatly layed stone pavements are one of the fascinating things about Motomachi.

Kyu Hakudate-ku Kokaido

When you turn right from the street that Hana Kanro is on, and walk about three minutes, you will see the Kyu Hakodate-ku Kokaido. This was built in 1910 in the Western colonial style.

You can take a tour inside with only 300 yen, and even wear a rental Western style dress that was worn in society back then and have pictures taken inside with 1000 yen.

A great view from the Motomachi Park

There is a big park called the Motomachi Park across from the Kokaido.

Amazing view!

Minatogaoka Street which is also called the Soft Ice Cream Street

This is a well-known tourist spot in Motomachi. Taking a walk with delicious soft ice cream, made with Hokkaido’s fresh milk, is just plain awesome.

The oldest place: Usukeshi no Yakata.

Take a picture of the Hakodate Harbor from Hachimanzaka

A three minute walk from Usukeshi no Yakata, will take you to the Hachimanzaka.

You can see the beautiful scenery of the Hakodate Harbor that is often used in Hakodate city guides from here.

The night view after sunset.

Catholic Motomachi Church

When you walk past Hachimanzaka, you will see the Catholic Motomachi Church.

This wooden church was built as a symbol of freedom to believe and propagate Christianity, since it has been banned until the opening of the harbor. This is one of the oldest churches, along with ones in Yokohama and Nagasaki.

Saint John Church

When you go up the hill for about five minutes with the Catholic Motomachi Church to the right, you will see a unique building. This is the Saint John Church.

This church looks like a cross when you look down from the sky, so if you saw the night view from the Hakodate Mountain, you will be able to find this building for sure.

Orthodox Church

When you look behind from the Saint John Church, there is the Orthodox Church with an emerald green roof. It has a bell that rings loudly on Sunday mornings, so it is known as the Gangan Dera (Bang Bang Temple) in the neighborhood.

The slope is very steep, but the small streets around it are beautiful stone pavements. It’s great if you take the time to explore.

How was the article? Hakodate Motomachi has many great places that are all gathered up near each other, so I think it will probably be highly satisfying for tourists. Please refer to this article for sight-seeing in Hakodate!

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Written by Ayaka

Born and raised in Hakodate. I drive around Sapporo often too. I love fashion, sweets, and beautiful scenery. I work at a hotel in Hakodate.