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
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
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
Price range: ¥8,000 – ¥19,000 / USD 75 – 150
Read on below to discover all the lovely places in Hakodate City!
By Rei Leaño