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Overlooked by the famous Mount Hakodate, the port city of Hakodate straddles a small peninsula on the southern tip of Hokkaido Island, looking out across the Tsugaru Straits to Aomori Prefecture in northern Honshu.

Hakodate harbourThis has long been an important fishing and trading centre, and was one of the first ports opened to foreigners following the relaxing of the isolationist policy in the mid 19th century.

The legacy of the foreign settlements remains in the western Motomachi district, with the interesting mix of Western and Japanese architecture making it an enjoyable area for a stroll. The lingering foreign influence gives the town a cosmopolitan atmosphere, similar to that of its southern cousin Nagasaki with which it shares a common history as an open trading port during the early Meiji era.

The rest of town is a little strung-out, squeezed as it is by the mountains and the sea, but many of the hotels are close by the station in the central district giving easy access by tram to the various attractions in town.

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Map of Hakodate

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    Places near Hakodate