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January 2020

Hakodate, Japan: Vacation You Never Knew You Needed

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  • Hakodate, Japan: Vacation You Never Knew You Needed
  • Hakodate, Japan: Vacation You Never Knew You Needed

    Despite being a major city of Hokkaido, Hakodate exhibits country life that is best savored by blending with the locals at the bustling market or exploring the endless array of lightly-trafficked roads dotted by quaint local-run restaurants and shops, and historical Western-style buildings. The city is draped in scenic, untouched landscapes that give you a more positive sense of life and surrounded by the sea that supplies the most delicious seafood. If you wander far and stay long enough, you will find that Hakodate is a vacation you never knew you needed—off the beaten path but otherwise a well-paved course to get closer to Japanese culture, cuisine, and scenery.

    Getting to Hakodate

    • By air

    Recommended airline: Japan Airlines (JAL)

    Manila (MNL) ➜ 4 hrs. ✈  Tokyo Haneda (HND) ➜ 85 mins. ✈ Hakodate (HKD)

    JAL Sakura Lounge

    JAL Sakura Lounge, Tokyo Narita Airport

    Beat airport boredom at JAL Sakura Lounge, available both in Manila and Tokyo airports, equipped with state-of-the-art amenities for privacy and comfort, such as free Wi-Fi, power outlets, USB ports, and buffet dining. Tokyo Haneda and Narita airports have more amenities like a sleeping area, kids room, and business center. The Haneda lounge, however, is under renovation and will re-open in April 2020.

    Eligibility: JMB Diamond, JMB Sapphire, JGC Premier, and JAL Global Club member (+1 companion); First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class, and Economy Class (Flex Y Fare) passengers
    Website: www.jal.co.jp/en/inter/service/lounge/

    Also read: JAL Sakura Lounge at Manila NAIA Terminal 1

    • By train

    Covered by JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass and Japan Rail Pass

    Tokyo Station (take Tohoku Shinkansen, approx. 3 hrs.) ➜ Shin-Aomori (take Hokkaido Shinkansen, approx. 1 hr.) ➜ Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto (take Hakodate Liner, 15 mins.) ➜   Hakodate Station

    Getting around

    The main mode of transport in Hakodate is the tram, which can take you to the city’s major attractions such as Motomachi, Goryokaku, Hakodate Bay, and Yunokawa-onsen. Buses and taxis can get you to spots outside the city center. There are also car rental kiosks at JR Hakodate Station.

    Where to stay

    Hakodate Danshaku Club Hotel & Resorts

    The hotel offers an indulgent stay with spacious and cozy nooks designed with a bedroom that adjoins a living room, in-room kitchen, and a balcony.

    The bathroom has a high-tech bathtub situated next to a wide window that offers a view of the quaint neighborhood as well as Mount Hakodate.

    Hakodate Danshaku Club has partner restaurants at Hakodate Morning Market where you can dine using the hotel’s coupon. 

    Address: 22-10 Otemachi, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
    Website: danshaku-club.com/en/
    Price range: ¥8,000 – ¥19,000 / USD 75 – 150

    Read on below to discover all the lovely places in Hakodate City!


    By Rei Leaño

    Where to Go in Hakodate, Hokkaido

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