Julie likes surprises.  This year for our anniversary I decided to surprise her with a trip to Hakodate, a city located on the Northern island of Hokkaido.

Believe it or not, there is a train you can catch in Noheji that will take you to Hakodate.  How is this possible?  The Seikan Tunnel that links Honshu and Hokkaido underneath the Tsugaru Strait.  At 53.85 km, it’s the longest undersea tunnel in the world.

We arrived at the station at around 8:00 on Friday night, ate some tempura for a late dinner, and then went back to our guesthouse.  Here’s the view from our room:

We spent most of Saturday walking around the city.

Russian Orthodox Church. One of several old churches (including Roman Catholic and Episcopalian) in the same area. These vestiges of Western culture and architecture stem from the Kanagawa Treaty which opened up Hakodate to trade with the U.S. in 1854.

Eastern harbor

For lunch we decided to find some fresh sushi down by the harbor. It was probably the best we’ve had since our trip to Otaru (also in Hokkaido).

From left to right: squid, king salmon, and scallops. The squid sushi was easily the best we've ever had.

View from the Goryokaku Tower overlooking the star-shaped Goryokaku Fort.

Goryokaku Fort/Park. In spring this place is bursting with cherry blossoms.

Squid boats on the Western shore. The lanterns are used at night to lure squid closer to the surface. The owner of the guesthouse said we'd find many cats in this section of the city and we did. In fact, we probably found more cats than people in the neighborhood.

Raise the squid lantern.

In the evening we feasted on a Hokkaido specialty: soup curry.

Hakodate is famous for having one of the best night views in Japan. The owner of the guesthouse was nice enough to drive us up with mountain to see it. He also took this picture.

All in all, a lovely anniversary weekend.



One Response to “Hakodate”

  1. kotonii Says:

    I remember going to Hakkodate with my office my first year. Oh, the memories. What a nice place to go for an anniversary! It looks like you two had so much fun! And that soup curry looks so delicious; I’m so hungry right now!

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