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Hakodate’s Hidden Gems: Several Great Sightseeing Spots for a Daylong Drive


Hakodate: One of the Hokkaido’s leading sightseeing spots.
A rich selection of guidebooks has been prepared for the many tourists who visit Hakodate every year.

However, many of them leave you unsure where exactly to go or in what order you should visit, and the ones who do suggest an itinerary mostly stick to the most standard, iconic spots.

That’s why I’ve put together this plan for a one-day drive through Hakodate, touring some sightseeing spots off the beaten path.
The plan is just about the same one I’ve used on one of my own day trips to Hakodate.

If you stick to the same order, you should be able to hit every spot in just one day, but there are a few spots where you’ll need to make reservations in advance, so be careful.

The drive mostly sticks to the outskirts of Hakodate, so there’s a decent amount of mileage involved. Remember to drive safely, and have fun enjoying what Hakodate has to offer!

1. Hakodate Carl Raymond House Motomachi
2. Hasegawa Store
3. Trappistine Convent
4. Carl Raymond Headquarters Factory
5. Hakodate Wine Vineyard Main Store
6. New Hakodate Hokuto Station
7. Hokuto Fishery
8. Trappistine Monastery
9. Michi no Eki Misogi no Sato Kikonai
10. Hotel Seabreeze (Hotel Umi no Kaze)
In Closing

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Autumn in Hakodate: sights and events rich in history and tastes

a statue -not quite Napoleon- but close

Once summer in Hakodate is gone, so is the heat; and a pleasant season begins. If you are going to visit Hakodate in autumn, it is a good idea to first go for a walk through the city, which you can expect to be imbued by the colors of the season. The leaves on the trees lining the streets and parks turn a vibrant shade of red.

How about a walk through the popular sightseeing areas and the western district? In the western district the Hakodate Orthodox Church is a well-known sight, but actually the area comprises many temples and shrines too that are also worth exploring.

Hakodate is fortunate to be surrounded by seas and mountains that both are sources of an abundance of delicious food. A gourmet event is held during the autumn’s harvest period. In addition, I will also introduce other charms of Hakodate in autumn, describe its climate and given some clothing suggestions.
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From New Chitose Airport to Sapporo by rental car: recommended locations along Lake Shikotsu

view of Lake Shikotsu

From New Chitose Airport—the “gateway to Hokkaido”—to Sapporo it takes only about 50 minutes if you go in a straight line over the Hokkaido Expressway. However, if you’re renting a car at New Chitose Airport and have some time to spare; I recommend not heading straight for Sapporo, but instead to take a route along Lake Shikotsu, where there are several sights worth seeing.

It’s a bit of a detour, but it’s a nice drive with an abundance of nature and a typical Hokkaido-ish feel to it. A few Chitose sightseeing spots await you as well, so let’s see check this route out!

Here I will introduce sightseeing waypoints along Lake Shikotsu in the order they are passed when driving the route from New Chitose Airport to Sapporo.
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The biggest coastal prairie in Japan: Wakka Abiogenesis Flower Garden


If you’re in Hokkaido in the summer, one sight you’ll definitely want to see is the wildflowers. You’re probably picturing flowers blooming on the side of a hill, but did you know that there’s a field of flowers stretching across the coastland? The flower paradise is so dreamy that it’s even called the “Ryūgū Kaidō (Dragon Palace Highway).” [*The “Dragon Palace” is an undersea palace belonging to the dragon god of the sea. The splendor of the Flower Garden calls to mind a grand road leading directly to the sea and perhaps down to the dragon palace itself.]
Wakka Abiogenesis Flower Garden is praised as “Hokkaido’s treasure we’d like to leave for future generations,” and has been chosen as a Hokkaido Heritage site. Located in Tokoro Town, Kitami City, it is Japan’s largest costal prairie. From the Flower Garden, you can look out and admire both the Sea of Okhotsk, which spans across eastern Hokkaido, and Japan’s largest brackish lake, Lake Saroma, at the same time.
Hokkaido is now coming up on its best season. At the Flower Garden, you can enjoy the lovely flowers and the beautiful setting sun of Lake Saroma while feeling the fresh Okhotsk wind. Now to introduce the charm of the Wakka Abiogenesis Flower Garden!!
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Immerse yourself in Ainu culture at the Ainu Ethnic Museum “Poroto Kotan”

Ainu culture is one of the many things almost everybody encounters when touring in Hokkaido. Some of the most well-known spots for experiencing Ainu culture are “Akanko Ainu Kotan” in the Kushiro area, “Nibutani Ainu Culture Museum” in Biratori, and the “Ainu Museum Poroto Kotan” in Shiraoi.
Among the three, “Ainu Museum Poroto Kotan” is especially easy to reach, located just a 1 hour drive (or JR train ride) from New Chitose Airport. With more and more people talking about Ainu culture, especially after it featured in a popular comic, this unique culture is definitely something worth experiencing yourself.
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The complete guide to sightseeing in Eastern Hokkaido

Kushiro Marsh

In Eastern Hokkaido, there are many fascinating tourist spots and highlights, such as Shiretoko Peninsula, Kushiro Marshland, and Abashiri.
Let us introduce you to the highlights and sightseeing spots that are familiar to the locals in Eastern Hokkaido.
We will also share information about dining and events that can only be enjoyed in Eastern Hokkaido.
We’d love to have you visit Eastern Hokkaido at least once. Please take a moment to read this article at least once before you visit Eastern Hokkaido. We’d love to have you feel and enjoy to the fullest the charms that can only be experienced in Eastern Hokkaido, a place blessed with abundant nature.
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A selection of five markets brimming with seafood in Otaru!

Otaru, Hokkaido is well-known as a port town. Perhaps you are thinking of buying fresh seafood while you’re there but are not sure when or which market to go to. There is no much information on the internet and it’s difficult to find about the markets, their ambience and what kinds of items are available.
Otaru city is dotted with nine markets. We’ll leave out the small markets and introduce you to five of the recommended markets, their ambience and how to access them, just as we saw them!
If you go to Otaru after reading this, you’ll be able to enjoy strolling around and shopping in the markets of the town while taking full advantage of the limited time you’ll be there.

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The gardens of Tokachi can’t wait for the beautiful spring!- Spring in Obihiro, Tokachi

Many people associate Hokkaido with beautiful landscapes and gardens, but Tokachi stands out as an area packed to bursting with gardens that showcase the best of Hokkaido. Flower lovers and garden enthusiasts from all around flock to Tokachi every year.

And now that the long winter is finally over, spring has also arrived in Tokachi! With the gardens being some way from the city center, a dusting of snow remains, but that snow will melt away before long. As we move into April, staffs at the gardens are busy preparing to open to the public.

We’d now like to introduce you to “Shichiku Garden”, famous for having over 2,500 varieties of flowers that bloom throughout the year.
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Food and Travel : Places to check out while driving in Doto

Spring has finally made it to the Okhotsk region, and the driving season is here! Lake Saroma, the largest brackish lake in Hokkaido, is a must-see for travelers and tourists.

The area around Lake Saroma is dotted with a variety of hot spots you’ll want to stop at during your drive, including the Lake Saroma Wakka Primeval Flower Garden (one of the largest in Japan), an amusement park, and stunning views of flowers. There are also plenty of seafood flavors to savor, all fresh from the Sea of Okhotsk and Lake Saroma.

Here we’ll introduce some of the best places to stop along the Okhotsk driving routes to maximize your fun and flavor as you enjoy the wind under the clear blue Okhotsk sky.
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