Whale Monument/鯨族供養塔

Whale monument

At the end of the year and during the New Year holidays, in southern part of Hokkaido including Hakodate, some families prepare whale soup. It consists of chopped blubber and various vegetables. It's one of the seasonal specialties here.

This whale monument was built in 1957 by 83 year-old Tasuke Amano with support of five whaling companies. Tasuke Amano worked as a captain and a harpooner of a whaler. For 26 years of his fisherman's life, he killed more than two thousand whales. Among numerous whales he caught, there were some parents and kids. As he spent his retirement and went through his family loss, he came to feel sorry more and more for whales. He finally decided to build this monument to console the souls of whales.

The figure placed on top models a right whale, which was then exposed a risk of extinction.

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Tag : Monument

Motomachi Catholic Church/元町カトリック教会


Motomachi Catholic Church was built by French missionaries in 1877, after the Hakodate port was opened to foreign trade. This church also caught fire twice, so present building was constructed in 1924. When it caught fire in 1920, a wooden alter made in Switzerland was gifted by Pope Benedict XV as a consolation. You can see it inside. The admission is free, but donation is highly appreciated. Please take your shoes off before entering. No photos and no videos.

Tag : Church France

Episcopal Church/聖ヨハネ教会


Episcopal Church of Hakdoate dates back to 1874. A British evangelist, Denning started to teach Christianity in Hakodate and the first church was built in 1878. But it suffered fires several times. Today's building was built in 1921 and renovated in 1979. When you look down at this church, you'll see this building has a cross-shape. If you are going to visit Mt. Hakodate in daytime, please try to check its shape with a bird's-eye view.

Most of time, this church isn't open to public. But sometimes, for example, when it holds a bazaar, you can enter the church. It's pretty simple, but you'll feel the place is where to pray.

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Tag : Church, UK

Russian Orthodox Church/ハリストス正教会


This church is the first Orthodox church built in Japan. Local citizens gave a nickname Gan-gan dera, which meant "Ding Dong Temple". The name came from Its melodious peal composed by six bells. You can listen to it on Saturdays at 17:00 and on Sundays at 10:00 when masses are held. On weddings and funerals bells are rung.

To enter inside, you are requested to donate 200 yen. And you are supposed to take your shoes off.

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Tag : Church, Motomachi, Russia

About me

Hello, my name is Akiko. I'm a government certified guide living in a city next to Hakodate. Hakodate is my hometown where I grew up and spent most of my life. I love my hometown and I'm proud of it. So I hope this blog will be some help for people who are interested in Hakodate. If you need a guide, please have a contact sending me a message to aquitito*gmail.com. Please change * into @ when you send me emails.

Basic Guide Fee
4 hours : 25,000yen ~
8 hours : 30,000yen ~
The fee varies depending on the number of guests and other conditions. Additional charges such as traffic and admission fee, etc. will be added separately.  

*Guide Interpreter is a profession certified by the government using foreign languages to introduce Japanese culture, history and society.

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