January 11, 2018

Goryokaku Park in Hakodate, Japan

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    In 1854, Hakodate was one of the first ports to open to international traders. As part of the treaty, the Goryokaku Park, a star-shaped fort, was built in 1866 to protect the office and its people from other adversaries. It was Japan’s first and largest Western-style fort and was modeled after European citadels. The traditional fortress shape of the park was designed so that attack from any direction could be met with more firepower while minimizing blind spots.

    During the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Goryokaku Fort became the last battlefield in the war between the Shogunate rebels and the Imperial forces. You can learn more about the war’s history in the Hakodate Magistrate’s Office located inside the park.

    Today, Goryokaku is open to the public as a park and is famous for cherry blossom viewing. The best time to visit Goryokaku Park is during spring (April to May), especially during the cherry blossom period. Over 1,600 Someiyoshino cherry blossom trees come into full bloom and cover the whole park. Walk along the tracks full of cherry blossoms petals or eat traditional Japanese food under the fully blooming cherry blossom trees.

    Beside the park is an observation tower where you can fully appreciate the star-shaped fortress.

     

    Address:

    43-9, Goryokaku-cho, Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan

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