Fort Goryokaku in Hakodate Hokkaido 五稜郭
On our second day in Hakodate, we visited the Hakodate Morning Market late in the morning. The market, just a 3 minutes walk from our hotel, was full of fresh seafood. Fishes, crabs, clams, you name it. It is divided into 3 main areas, the indoor and outdoor market, a food street, and a food court area. In some shops, you can even buy the fresh seafood (crabs, clams) and get the stall owners to cook it for you on the spot. Freshness at its best.
Next, we found a restaurant and had breakfast. Breakfast was Salmon Rice and Seafood Rice. Each at ONLY 500Yen. Super cheap and incredibly fresh sashimi. Also ordered grilled clams for appetizer.
Next, we moved on to today’s main attraction, the Goryokaku Fort (五稜郭).
A little history about this place.
Goryokaku Fort was designed and built in the 1800s, the first western styled castle in Japan, and shaped like a 5 pointed star with more room for guns placement compared to a traditional Japanese fortress. It was years later when construction begin for the star shaped tower, which overlooks the fort from a 100 metres high.
We had been to many observation decks around Japan but this remains the most unique of them all.
Unfortunately, armed with only the iPhone without wide angle lens and due to heavy snowfall, these were the best we can managed. The star shaped fortress taken from inside the tower.
A miniature display of Fort Goryokaku. Look at the beautiful shape, surrounded by a similar star shaped river.
Taking a photo with the bronze statue of Hijikata Toshizo (土方歳三). Fans of japanese anime and manga will be familiar with this historical figure. He was the vice commander of Shinsengumi (新選組) during the Meiji Restoration (明治維新). Fans of Rurouni Kenshin, remember this?
The warring era is over and there are no walls surrounding Goryokaku anymore. A beautiful park is in place instead. This park is supposedly a popular choice for sakura viewings in spring. But in winter, the river was frozen, and the park is too icy and slippery for us to explore further.
After Hakodate, we next continued our journey to Sapporo, for the famous Sapporo Snow Festival.
Until next time. Hope you enjoyed reading
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