Our last stop before heading home was to this prominent landmark of Hakodate. Hakodate Port, opened in 1859, was one of Japan's first international ports, alongside Nagasaki and Yokohama. During those days, flourishing trade businesses increased the demand of warehouses near the bayside. Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse, the first commercial warehouse in Hakodate, was constructed then. The bustling trade port has become a scene of the past and the bay area has been transformed into an entertainment district. These warehouses have stepped down from their original function (for goods storage) and converted into shops and restaurants.
Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse is made up of three areas:
(1) Bay Hakodate: Houses Hakodate Music Box Museum, operated by the same company (Orgel Doh) who owns Otaru Music Box Museum. The rest are mainly souvenir shops.
(2) Kanemori Aka-renga Soko (金森洋物館): Spent most of my time in this area. Whole array of souvenirs can be found here. Some of us may be familiar with Pastry Snaffle's, which has two branches in Singapore currently (in Plaza Singapura & Bedok Mall). This famous cheese cake confectionery brand originated from Hakodate and has several shops/cafes in Hokkaido - one of them is located in this warehouse. Ironically, my first encounter with Pastry Snaffle's cheese cake was in Singapore (not in Hokkaido where it originated from) and I liked it alot - as I am a fan of rich and creamy cheese cakes! Hope to visit their cafes next time in Hokkaido...
Pastry Snaffle's: http://www.snaffles.jp/english/
(3) Hakodate History Plaza (函館ヒストリープラザ): Houses Hakodate Beer Hall, Hakodate Roman-kan (shop selling glass crafted products) and other wagon shops.
All in all, Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse is quite a touristy place - you can find repetitive items sold in different stalls. After doing your shopping in these warehouses, I will recommend visitors to take a leisure stroll along Hakodate Bay - enjoy the sea breeze and at the same time, admire these historical monuments once again.
Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse 函館金森赤レンガ倉庫
How to get there?
(1) By streetcar.
Take 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. Walk towards Hakodate Bay.