Mount Hakodate in Hokkaido

When you’re in Hakodate (Hokkaido) then Mt. Hakodate with its awesome night view is without a doubt a highlight besides the star-shaped Goryokaku Fort and the Hakodate Morning Market.

Visited: May 5th and 6th 2012

Mount Hakodate Ropeway

Getting to the top of Mount Hakodate

Mount Hakodate (函館山)with its 334 m is not very high. A ropeway that will take you up to the mountain top. You can also take a bus (which I highly recommend for the night view).

Mount Hakodate Ropeway

I went there twice, once during the night and once during the day.

During the day I took the ropeway which looked very new and modern to me (compared to other ones I’ve seen in Japan).

View from Mount Hakodate

The ropeway also offers a great view already!

View from Mount Hakodate

Maybe you can make out some Western buildings and churches on this photo?
I’ve written about them here.

View from Mount Hakodate

And this is the famous view you get from Mount Hakodate.

Not very spectacular during daytime when it’s cloudy, but awesome at night!
There’s also an old fortress, Tsugaru Fort (津軽要塞) on the mountain. Actually the whole mountain used to be a fortress once. One of the old gun batteries is open for visitors, but I didn’t have the time to visit.

View from Mount Hakodate

There’s a huge observation platform offering almost a 360°C panorama.

View from Mount Hakodate

You can see the port, the station and the mountains in the background.
It offers a great view of the Tsugaru Straits.

Night view from Mount Hakodate

The really awesome thing is the night view, though.

It is very famous and considered to be not only one of Japan’s most awesome night views, but also in the world!
It is listed as one of the TOP 3 NIGHT VIEWS OF JAPAN along with Kobe’s Mt. Rokko and Nagasaki’s Mt. Inasa. I’ve seen the views at night at all those places and I can’t decide which one is the best, but surely they are all absolutely breathtaking!

Night view from Mount Hakodate

It was truly magical up there, yet freezing cold!


Night view from Mount Hakodate

It was also almost a full moon at that night. Truly breathtaking!


Tourist Information:
Opening Hours:
10:00-22:00 (Apr 25th – Oct 15th); 10:00-21:00 (Oct 16th – Apr 24th)
Entrance fee:
One way: 780yen (adult), 390yen (child)
Round trip: 1280yen (adult), 640yen (child)
Time required:
50-60 mins
19-7, Motomachi, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido 040-0054 // TEL: (+81)0138-23-3105
From Hakodate Sta. you can take the tram (get off: Jujigai, 5 mins, 210 yen) + 10 mins walk. You can also go by Hakodate Bus which takes about 10 mins. Or you can walk from the station in about 25 mins. From late April to mid November there are direct buses in the evening up to the mountain (which take about 30 mins and cost 400 yen.
Please note: Prices as well as opening hours / holidays are subject to change. Please make sure to follow the provided link to the official website to check out the latest updates.


    • Yes, there seems to be a hiking trail as well, but most people don’t access the mountain by hiking. Hiking will take about an hour from what I’ve heard, but I have no personal experience with this!
      There are a few trails on the mountain top as well, but when I visited it was far too cold and windy to explore the area. There is a fort or at least some ruins on the mountain and I would have loved to visit those.

  • 334m? That’s far from a mountain to me :hihi:
    All the mountains I’m used to are around 1500m~
    But that view is really wonderful *A*

    • I know, same here! :D
      In Japan that’s already quite high, especially if it’s a mountain so close to the ocean (=0m). That’s why you’ll get an awesome view although it’s not very high!

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