Hokkaido Attractions: Things To Do in Goryokaku Tower, Hakodate, Japan
The Goryokaku Tower is one of the most famous attractions in Hakodate. Especially in spring, when the Goryokaku Park turns into a beautiful sakura-filled destination, you wouldn’t want to miss the view.
Where is Goryokaku Park located?
The Goryokaku Park and Goryokaku Tower are found at the Goryokaku Area in Hakodate in Hokkaido. To get here, take the Hakodate Bus and get off at Goryokaku Koen Iriguchi Bus Stop. From there, it takes a 7-minute walk towards Goryokaku Park.
What makes the Goryokaku area so special?
Aside from its charming scenery, the Goryokaku Area is a historic place with a cultural significance to Japan. During the Edo Period, the Tokugawa Shogunate established Hakodate as a port town for foreign commerce. The government then planned to build an office for the magistrates, protected by a fort against battles. European Studies professor Ayasaburo Takeda designed the fort, the star-shaped citadel, and was completed in 1864.
In 1914, the Goryokaku Park was opened for leisure purposes which has become a park. In 1952, it was designated as a special historic site that makes it a remarkable part of Japan’s history.
What can you see or do around Goryokaku?
Explore the Goryokaku Tower
This 107-meter tall tower provides the best view of the star-shaped fort. Whatever season you go, you’ll be fascinated with the beautiful view! If you come here when it’s spring or winter, you’d definitely get a picture-perfect shot by the observatory deck.
Have a nice coffee date at the Atrium
Get yourself some me-time at the Atrium, where you could enjoy a warm cup of coffee surrounded by nature! This glass-walled plaza houses a cafe, gift shop, food and beverage facilities, and more that you could check out while in the area.
Take Instagram-worthy photos the Goryokaku Park.
If you’re visiting during spring, you surely wouldn’t want to miss this spot. Cherry blossom trees decorate the whole park, making it a scenic spot perfect for your picture-taking moments! Don a cute OOTD and have the cherry trees be your best background!
See the Hoshi No Yume Illumination
At night, the moat around Goryokaku Fort lights up during the Hoshi No Yume Illumination. It’s a much-awaited event during winter as 2,000 lights illuminate the beautiful star, which is a must-see view from the observation deck.
When’s the best time to visit Goryokaku?
Anytime’s the best time to see Goryokaku. But if you want to go here to take nice photos, spring or winter would be the most ideal. Make sure to check their website for seasonal events they hold every year!
However, due to the pandemic, the Goryokaku Tower is temporarily closed as of January 14, 2021. Stay tuned to their website for their reopening schedule!
Rates and Other Information
As of February 2021, here are their admission fees:
|Gen Ad||Group (30 or more pax)||People with disabilities (must have a certificate)|
|Adults||900 yen||810 yen||450 yen|
|Junior High/High School students||680 yen||610 yen||340 yen|
|Elementary School students||450 yen||410 yen||230 yen|
For buses, a parking fee of 1000 yen is collected. You may park at the Hakodate Performance Arts Center or Hakodate Goryokaku Tourist Parking for those using private cars.
Have you been to Hakodate before? What other tourist destinations are you eyeing to visit in the city as soon as the pandemic is over? Share your travel wishlist with us!
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Also read: Japan Budget Travel Guide: Exploring Japan On A Shoestring