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Monday, August 11, 2014

Hokkaido Winter 2013 北海道冬季之旅 - Mt Hakodate 函馆山

Visited 12.02.2013


The view from Mt Hakodate has been named as one of top three cities' night view in the world - alongside Hong Kong and Naples. Mt Hakodate stands at 334 m high and from the summit, Hakodate city sits on a well defined "hourglass" shaped land, bounded by Hakodate bay on the left and Tsugaru Straits on the right.


Reached Hakodate later than plan (as we missed an earlier train from Sapporo to Hakodate) and skies had already started to darken when we check in to our hotel for the night. Original plan was to made our way up by late afternoon, in order to capture the transition from day to night. Fortunately, weather was promising on our only night spent in Hakodate (and last night in Hokkaido as well) - the most important factor that affects the scenery enjoyed from the viewing platform on Mt Hakodate.

Royce Chocolate takes on a different packaging in Hakodate!
Made use of the streetcar (to Jujigai), followed by ropeway to reach the observatory. Trembled when the gush of chilly wind blew onto our faces when we stepped outdoors, but we were immediately welcomed by the stunning night view which looked exactly the same as what I have seen in books! City lights looked like millions of diamonds that sparkled brilliantly under the dark skies, bringing a smile to every visitor's face. To enjoy the panoramic view indoors, you can also settle your meal in the restaurant here. By far, this is best city night view I have seen in Japan (have been to Mt Moiwa in Sapporo and Mt Inasa in Nagasaki on separate occasions).

Conclusion: Undoubtedly, Mt Hakodate is a must visit attraction in Hakodate especially when weather permits!

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Mt Hakodate 函馆山
http://www.334.co.jp/eng/
Opening hours: 1000 - 2200 hrs (25 Apr - 15 Oct); 1000 - 2100 hrs (16 Oct - 14 Apr)
Ropeway carriage departs every 10 minutes normally.
Ropeway fares = 1,200 yen (round trip); 660 yen (one way)

Tip: Download 10% discount coupon from HISCoupon app.


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How to get there?

(1) Streetcar:
- From Hakodate JR Station, transfer to streetcar at Hakodate ekimae stop.
- Take the streetcar #2 (heading towards Yachigashira 谷地頭) or #5 (heading towards Hakodate Dokku-mae 函館どっく前), alight at Jujigai 十字街.
- Approx 5 - 10 mins walk to ropeway station.

(2) Local bus:
- Board Mt Hakodate bus from bus stop #4 outside Hakodate JR Station.
- Bus reaches Mt Hakodate summit directly.
- Fee = 400 yen (adult), 200 yen (child)
Bus schedule: http://www.334.co.jp/jpn/access/location/location2.php 

(3) Twinkle Bus Hakodate:
- Night Bus route covers Mt Hakodate sightseeing.
- Operating period: 1 Apr - 30 Sep
- Fee = 700 yen (not inclusive of ropeway ticket)
More information: http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/travel/twinkle.html

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Commemorative stamp: 

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