The picturesque streets of the historic Motomachi district in Hakodate are a perfect blend of East and West. This port town has a rich history and was one of the first ports in japan to welcome foreign trade in the late 19th century. As a result, it became a melting pot of cultures, attracting entrepreneurs from Russia, China, and the West. Today, the streets of Motomachi are a testament to this vibrant history, with well-preserved Western-style residences, former administrative offices, and places of worship.
One of the highlights of Motomachi is the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward. This beautiful building offers stunning views of Hakodate Bay from its balcony and provides a glimpse into the city’s past. The area’s historic buildings are also illuminated at night, creating a magical atmosphere that transports visitors back in time. Additionally, Motomachi is known for its delicious Hokkaido soft-serve ice cream. Visitors can indulge in this creamy treat while exploring the charming streets of the district.
To get to Motomachi, visitors can take a tram or bus from Hakodate Station to Suehiro-cho. From there, the district is easily accessible on foot. As you wander through the streets of Motomachi, you will encounter the confluence of cultures that have shaped this unique neighborhood. The Western-style residences stand in contrast to the traditional Japanese architecture found in other parts of the city, creating a harmonious blend of architectural styles.
Motomachi is home to three churches that are worth visiting. The Russian Orthodox Church, founded in 1860, features distinctive green onion domes and is a striking sight against the backdrop of Hakodate Bay. Nearby, you will find the Motomachi Roman Catholic Church and Hakodate St. John’s Church, both dating back to the 19th century. These churches are not only places of worship but also architectural gems that showcase the influence of Western culture in Hakodate.
In addition to its historic buildings and churches, Motomachi is also a bustling neighborhood with shops, cafes, and restaurants. If you’re a food lover, you’re in for a treat. Motomachi is known for its wide variety of culinary delights, including Hokkaido’s famous soft-serve ice cream. Head to Minatogaoka Street, where you’ll find an array of shops offering this delectable treat in various flavors. From classic vanilla to adventurous options like squid ink, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
While exploring Motomachi, don’t miss a visit to Motomachi Park. This serene green space offers a break from the bustling streets and provides panoramic views of the city. It’s a great spot to relax and take in the beauty of Hakodate. If you’re visiting in the evening, stay until nightfall to see how the historic buildings of Motomachi are illuminated. The soft glow of the lights adds a touch of enchantment to the already picturesque streets.
If you have more time to spare, consider combining your visit to Motomachi with a trip up Mt. Hakodate. The ropeway station is just a short walk away, and a three-minute cable car ride will take you to the top of the mountain. From there, you can enjoy breathtaking views of Hakodate and the surrounding area. It’s a perfect way to cap off your exploration of this charming port town.
Another nearby attraction worth visiting is the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse. These former commercial warehouses have been transformed into a stylish shopping and dining complex. Here, you can indulge in delicious local cuisine, shop for unique souvenirs, and soak in the atmosphere of this historic area.
In conclusion, a visit to Motomachi in Hakodate is like stepping back in time. The district’s picturesque streets, well-preserved historic buildings, and cultural landmarks offer a glimpse into Hakodate’s past as a thriving port town. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply want to indulge in delicious food, Motomachi has something to offer. So take a stroll through this charming neighborhood and immerse yourself in the harmony of East and West.
Address And Maps Location:
Moto-machi, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido