ROL Cruise recommends…
Enjoy stunning cherry blossoms
Hakodate is a wonderful place to witness Japan’s iconic cherry blossom season. The most popular place in the city is the unique star-shaped Fort Goryokaku. This citadel was built near the end of the Edo period but is now open to the public and is popular all year-round. It contains a western-style fortress, art gallery and a 107m tower from where you can view the beautiful cherry trees surrounding the park. You can also hire a boat to ride around the moat or buy cherry-flavoured soft ice-cream as well as sampling the many food stalls surrounding the park.
Climb Mount Hakodate
For stunning views of the city below, many people ascend neighbouring Mount Hakodate. A short hike perfect for beginners, the views at the top are immense and most popular at sunset. If hiking isn’t for you then you can take a cable car to Mt. Hakodate Observatory, where you’ll see the sweeping view of the surrounding sea and mountains.
Journey to stunning Onuma Park
Like something from a dream state, Onuma Park is a short trip north of Hakodate but for those who prefer to escape the city, it really will deliver. This National Park made up of floating islands feels otherworldly, especially with mountains towering in the background. Covered in snow in the winter months and filled with green leaves in summer, whenever you visit it’s sure to take your breath away.
Sample fresh seafood dishes
For morning risers, a trip to the morning food market in the centre of the city is a must. Sample the fresh catches prepared for you (some still alive in tanks) and try something new. Weave between the stalls and see what takes your fancy, from fresh seafood to luxury fruit and local sweets, you can even pick up some edible souvenirs to take home with you.