Hakodate’s location at the southern tip of Hokkaido Island made it a perfect site for Commodore Matthew Perry to open it as the first port in Japan for trade with the West in 1854. When you visit from your cruise to Hakodate, you can book Hakodate shore excursions that include a visit to a park memorial dedicated to him.
Start an exciting day of things to do in Hakodate from a cruise with a trip to the Morning Market, an area of more than 250 stalls selling everything from fresh vegetables, fish, and seafood to dry goods, clothing, and souvenirs. It is nicknamed “the kitchen of Hakodate citizens,” and is a busy and popular tourist attraction as well. Breakfast like a local with a fresh seafood bowl or rice bowl from one of the many eateries in and around the market.
On in-depth Hakodate shore excursions around the city, stop at Goryokaku Park and admire the view of downtown and beyond from the viewing tower of the old Western-style fortress. Continue on to Mount Hakodate, where you’ll take a ropeway (aerial tram) to the 1,100-foot high summit and enjoy spectacular views of the city and surrounding bay. It’s a perfect venue for selfies and vacation photos.
During your Asia cruise, you can stroll and shop at the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse, the city’s first commercial warehouse, now a series of refurbished brick buildings that house restaurants, shops, a history exhibit, and services, including a duty-free shop and post office. Stop for a meal or snack, like sushi, gyoza, Hakodate’s ramen specialty, Shio (salt) Ramen, or a Chinese Chicken Burger available only at Hakodate’s specialty burger joint. It’s a short walk to Motomachi Park, where you’ll see the Commodore Perry memorial area, catch great views of the harbor, and see a neighborhood of lovely homes and historic buildings.
If you’re an avid museum-goer, you’ll want to book Hakodate shore excursions to Hakodate Museum of Northern Peoples, with its excellent collection of resources and artifacts of the Ainu, an indigenous people, and other little-known races spanning Eastern Siberia and the Alaskan Islands.