Hakodate Goryokaku Park was built in the western-style fortification design of a star shape, and is designated as a special historical site. It is also famous as the location where the Final Battle of Hakodate (Battle of The Boshin War 1868-1869) took place. This battle drew the curtains on the feudal rule in Japan.
About Goryokaku Park
In the 1910s, the park was opened to the public. A thousand cherry blossom trees were planted in the park, and entry is free for visitors.
The two most popular seasons for Goryokaku Park is in winter or the cherry blossom season. The Somei Yoshino (Cherry) bloom near the end of April or early May, attracting many tourists to come and rest under the Cherry trees, and tons of photographers. It is also very beautiful in autumn.
The area inside the moat is generally open from 5.00 am to 7.00 pm for April to October, the closure time is 6.00 pm from November to March.
- Spot name: Goryokaku Park
- Street address: 44 Goryokakucho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0001
- Access: By taking the local Hakodate bus, you should stop at the Goryokaku Koen Iriguchi Bus Stop and walk for around 10 minutes to reach the park.
People who wish to go above the tower will need to pay the entry fee of 900 yen (adults). The view is really beautiful, so it’s worth the money. Besides the observation tower, there are also restaurants and cafes for you to take a break or look at the view while sipping a hot drink.
Those who would like to know what you can see from the observation tower would be happy to find that from mid-January to February, the view from the tower is a sea of green. Depending on the weather, the snow may pile up and make the view from above a sheet of white. When the blossoms fill the park in Spring, you can also see the pink petals from above!
From 21th April till 20th October, the tower is open from 8.00 am - 7.00 pm, while from 21th October till 20 April, the tower is open from 9.00 am - 6.00 pm.
In winter, the Dream of the Star Illumination 「五稜星の夢（ほしのゆめ）イルミネーション」begins around 1 December and ends around 28th February 2018. The illumination event is paid separately from the entry fee and starts after 5.00 pm.
They also host events such as local handicrafts exhibition or art display throughout the year. Check out their newest events on their official website.
- Spot name: Goryokaku Tower
- Street address: 43-9, Goryokaku-cho, Hakodate 040-0001
- Access: You can reach the location via the local Hakodate bus. If you reach the Goryokaku Koen Iriguchi Bus Stop and walk 7 min, you will reach the tower.
Besides the Hakodate Magistrate's Office (Hakodate Bugyosho), there is only the fort itself which could be considered a ‘castle’. The Magistrate’s Office was actually demolished in the
1870s and then restored carefully and reopened in 2010, with a cost of 500 yen for entry.
The fort is also called Yanagino-jo, but there is no main keep (Castle Keep). Completed in 1864, the fortress was designed to be a fort which can withstand the invasion of Western forces near the end of the Edo period.
- Spot name: Goryokaku Castle
- Street address: 44-3 Goryokakucho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0001
- Access: Take the tram from Hakodate Station to Goryokaku Koen Mae. Walk for around 10 minutes from the station to reach the fortress.