General Information of Hakodate/函館の概要

Population : 290,756 as of August, 2007
Tatal Land area : 678 km2
Location : Southern tip of Hokkaido, 144 degree 40 minutes of east longitude, 41 degrees 46 minutes of north latitude

Almost same latitude as that of Rome, Barcelona, New York and Chicago

Major Industries: Tourism & Fishery

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. About five million people visit the city every year.

In summer it's cooler than other part of Japan and it's not so cold in winter compared to other part of Hokkaido and it doesn't have much snow like Sapporo or Otaru.

Hakodate is well known as a first international port that opened to foreign countries after 200 years national seclusion policy(1633-1858). After opening its port, western culture flowed into the city. So in the old area of the city you can find many western style buildings built in early 20th century. Those buildings endow the city with an exotic ambience and attract many people.

In addition to that, the view from Mt. Hakodate at night is superb and it is the highlight of the visit to Hakodate for many tourists.

Food is also important point of travel. Hakodate is covered on three sides by water and you can enjoy fresh and excellent seafood. There are many sushi restaurants here. Squid sashimi, or thinly sliced row squid, is best in Japan.

If you are not good at seafood, don't worry. Hokkaido is Japan's food producing region and you can taste good meat, vegetables and dairy products, too. Lamb barbecue is one of its specialties and beef is also good.

What pleases you more, they are offered reasonable price!

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Ice cream of Ice118/あいす118のソフトクリーム

When my friends come to Hakodate, I always take them to this ice cream shop, Ice 118. It is located in the site of Hakodate Milk Factory you can taste delicious ice cream while enjoying the vast view of ranch and ocean.

The photo below is a new menu, Anmitsu Soft.

Vanilla and green tea mixed ice is coated by brown sugar syrup and under the ice cream seaweed gelatin cubes and gyuhi or shiratama dumplings are placed. It costs 350yen and I liked it. When I visited this shop, I could see calves in the nearby pasture. They were so cute.

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Tag : ソフトクリーム, scenic place

Chinese Community Hall/中華会館

Kombu, or kelp seaweed produced in the Southern Part of Hokkaido was exported to Shanghai, China through Nagasaki. Then kombu was spread to all over China.

At the beginning of trading at Hakodate port, one forth of exporting products was sent to China and they were kombu, dried squid, dried sea cucumber and dried abalone.

The building in the photo was built as a community hall for chinese living in Hakodate in 1910 inviting Chinese capenters and palnning directors.

Unfortunately it is closed to public.

Address: 1-12 Omachi, Hakodate
Nearest tram stop is Omachi.(大町)

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Tag : 西部地区 China

Milky Soft of Kyuchayatei/旧茶屋亭のミルキーソフト

I tried an ice cream named "milky soft" at Kyuchayatei(旧茶屋亭). You can find this shop on the same street where Old Post Office Meijikan is in the Western district of Hakodate. I ate green tea taste ice cream. It costs 300yen. This shop has a ticket machine and you can choose what you want. Its menu is written in Japanese, English and Chinese.
ticket machine

Green tea taste wasn't so strong and a wooden disposable spoon was offered.
ice cream

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Tag : ソフトクリーム

Encounter with Red moo-moo/レッドモーモーに遭遇

If you walk around city of Hakodate, especially at sightseeing spots, I'm sure you can find easily white and black cow pattern taxis. They are so eyecatching. Among them, there is only one red and white, so called "Red Moomoo" patterned taxi. I once read an article in a magazine or something, the owner of Moomoo taxi company said, "If you find the Red Moomoo, something good may happen."

Today, I found the Red Moomoo! I was happy to see it. May something good will come to me!

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Tag : Taxi, Transportation