Hakodate winter trip Part 2: Motomachi Area full of historical buildings

函館ハリストス正教会 アイキャッチ画像


I traveled to Hakodate, which is in the north of Japan, and is the largest city in southern Hokkaido, for three days and two nights. Overall I was satisfied with the trip, because I was able to take photos of winter Hakodate in both sunny and snowy conditions. In this article, I will write about Motomachi area as part of Day 1.

[Visit Places (series of articles)]
* Day 1: Hakodate Morning Market and Bay Area
* Day 1: Motomachi [This article]
* Day 1: Motomachi and Bay Area (Evening and Night View)
* Day 2: Old Fort Goryokaku
* Day 2: Tropical Botanical Garden and Trappistine Convent
* Day 2: Bay Area (Night View with Snow)
* Day 3: Kitajima Saburo Museum and Mashu-maru
* Day 3: Hachiman-Zaka Slope and Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse (Evening View)

[Travel Date]

[Main Part]

Now I moved to Motomachi area from Bay area.

Characteristic of Motomachi area

Hakodate was one of the places along with Nagasaki and Yokohama, which opened a port to trade at the end of the Edo period (around 1860) after a closed-door policy for more than 200 years. Hakodate was designated as a foreign settlement and consular offices and churches were built around Motomachi area. Another feature of Motomachi area is that there are 19 slopes in Motomachi area. I will walk around such a Motomachi area.

Before strolling, I will have a lunch.

Gotoken Main Restaurant

I visited Gotoken Main Restaurant for a lunch.Hakodate Gotoken Main Restaurant

Gotoken Main Restaurant is a western food restaurant, which was opened in 1879. Visitors are able to enjoy a variety of western cuisine from casual dishes to full course menu.

In addition, the imperial couple visited the restaurant in 1989.

Here is “Rich duck curry”, the imperial couple ordered.Hakodate Gotoken Main Restaurant Rich duck curry1

As the name suggests, it had a rich atmosphere.Hakodate Gotoken Main Restaurant Rich duck curry2

There was a variety of spicy for curry.""

This curry was very mild and had an elegant taste.

Churches in Motomachi

After lunch, I started to walk around Motomachi area. Several churches with different religions were concentrated in a small area and I visited these churches.

Higashi Honganji Temple Hakodate Branch

To begin with, I visited Higashi Honganji Temple Hakodate Branch.

Higashi Honganji Temple Hakodate Branch was a Buddhist temple built in 1915.Higashi Honganji Temple Hakodate Branch1

This was the first Buddhist temple with reinforced concrete in Japan.

I found this reinforced concrete temple went with sunny sky and snowy ground.Higashi Honganji Temple Hakodate Branch2

A photo behind the temple.Higashi Honganji Temple Hakodate Branch3

Motomachi Roman Catholic Church

Then, I visited Motomachi Roman Catholic Church.Hakodate Motomachi Roman Catholic Church1

Motomachi Roman Catholic Church was originally founded in 1877. It was burned down in a fire and then rebuilt in 1924.Hakodate Motomachi Roman Catholic Church2

A kindergarten is also located on the site.Hakodate Motomachi Roman Catholic Church3

Hakodate St. John’s Church

After I left Motomachi Roman Catholic Church, I moved to Hakodate St. John’s Church.Hakodate St. John’s Church1

This church is that of the Anglican Church founded by an English priest who visited Hakodate in 1874. The existing building was completed in 1979.

It features the impressive cross-shaped roof.Hakodate St. John’s Church2

Hakodate Orthodox Church

There was Hakodate Orthodox Church near Hakodate St. John’s Church.Hakodate Orthodox Church1

This church is that of the Orthodox Church in Japan founded in 1860 by the Russian Consulate.Hakodate Orthodox Church2

The existing building was built in 1916.Hakodate Orthodox Church3

Hakodate Orthodox Church4

Hakodate Orthodox Church5

Western-style houses in Motomachi

Then, I moved a few blocks to see western style houses in Motomachi area.

Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward

First, Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward.Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward1

Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward was built in 1910.

Now it is open to the public as a cultural facility.Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward2

Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward3

Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward4

Motomachi Park

I also stopped by Motomachi Park. Motomachi Park used to be a place where there were a magistrate’s office and a branch office of Hokkaido government.

The former branch office of Hokkaido government is now used as a tourist information center.Hakodate Motomachi Park

Former British Consulate of Hakodate

This is Former British Consulate of Hakodate.Former British Consulate of Hakodate1

The building was used as the Former British Consulate of Hakodate until 1934. Then, it was renovated and has been open to the public as a memorial hall since 1992.Former British Consulate of Hakodate2

Former British Consulate of Hakodate3

Slopes in Motomachi

As I mentioned earlier, Motomachi is surrounded by 19 slopes. I will post some photos of slopes in Motomachi area.

Chacha-nobori Slope

From the top of Chacha-nobori Slope, visitors are able to see a magnificent view with Hakodate Orthodox Church (on the left side) and Hakodate St. John’s Church (on the right side).Hakodate Chacha-nobori Slope

Hachiman-Zaka Slope

Hachiman-Zaka Slope is one of the most famous tourist spots in Hakodate along with night view in Mt. Hakodate.

The best photo spot is from the top of Hachiman-Zaka Slope, from which visitors are able to see Hakodate Bay and Seikan Ferry Memorial Ship “Mashu-maru” moored at the Hakodate port.Hakodate Hachiman-Zaka Slope1

I took another shot with a different lens.Hakodate Hachiman-Zaka Slope2

Motoi-Zaka Slope

Motoi-Zaka Slope is another famous slope in Motomachi area.

I took photos from the bottom of Motoi-Zaka Slope.Hakodate Motoi-Zaka Slope1

With a city tram.Hakodate Motoi-Zaka Slope2


That’s it for the article about Motomachi area as part of Day 1.

Plase note: visitors are not allowed to enter into some chuches or some facilities are closed during winter. So, perhaps, it may be better to visit this area in su mer rather than in winter 🙂

In the next article, I will write about evening and night view in Motomachi and Bay Area.


[Related Link]
Hakodate Official Travel Guide
Former British Consulate of Hakodate


  1. Beautiful photos! Hakodate IMO is the prettiest city in all of Asia, maybe in all of the world. Haven’t traveled enough to make that assessment but it will be hard to beat it. Very unique since it was the Euro architecture in places, the cobblestone streets but the view from Mt Hakodate is simply amazing.

    And the people are really nice as well, great seafood, pretty waters, what with the Pac Ocean and Sea of Japan surrounding it and the charm of still having streetcars. Ahhhhh, I could live there but not sure I could handle the cold winters. I would love to go back again one day and try to find the yakitoriya-san who was kind to my friend (Jpnse) and I and allowed us to stay overnight in his shop and then his yasashii wife brought us breakfast the next day, while we touring Hokkaido on motorcycles.

    Stay beautiful, Hakodate! Aishiteru yo!

    1. Hi Clemente21,

      Thank you for your comment. I understand how you love Hakodate. Perhaps, hospitality is the most powerful selling point along with scenery and food for Japanese tourism, though we are not necessarily fluent in English. Anyway, I was pleased to see you had a wonderful experience in Hakodate 🙂


  2. Hi Kosu san,
    Lovely photos!
    I visited Hokkaido in MAY 2018…but unfortunately missed not Hakodate (only covered Sapporo, Furano, Asahikawa & Otaru).

    May plan a winter trip to Hakodate after seeing above photos..will check out your blog further.


    1. Hi Ben,

      Thank you for your comment. Hokkaido is relatively large, so I think it was wise to focus on Sapporo, Furano, Asahikawa & Otaru, if this was your first time to visit Hokkaido. Then, as a second visit to Hokkaido, I would definitely recommend Hakodate 🙂

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