13th May 2009 – Nice weather when I woke up around 7am. As it was still early, I went to Onsen to freshen up. Nothing beats having a hot spring bath in the cool morning hours.
Using the 2 coupons issued yesterday, we went to the restaurant for our breakfast. There was quite a selection available.
This is what I have taken for the first round. It’s a buffet so 10 or 20 rounds is fine as long you don’t burst your stomach.
Morning walk around the lake. The weather and fog have cleared up.
A magnificent mountain beyond the Nakajima Islands (captured in zoom mode). Looks like Mount Fuji?
Sukara against the clear blue sky.
Duck-shaped boats for hire.
The counter for cruise ride around Lake Toya.
Flowers along the banks of Lake Toya.
The Pleasure Boat ride that we wanted to take yesterday to see the fireworks.
Tranquil place for relaxation. Although the sun is out, but it’s still chilly whenever the wind blows.
A really amazing place to be!
More beautiful sakura!
Spotted the boat that was used to launch the firework displays.
Checked-out and went to the bus stop opposite Kohan Tei to wait for the bus to JR Toya Station. The morning wind is extremely chilling and that is why we left out luggage at the bus stop and went to hide behind a building. Ha ha!
Bus ride to JR Toya ¥320 per person. Bus walkway was quite cramped and there isn’t any place to put our luggage so we just left it on the seats where it’s not occupied.
The view in front of JR Toya station.
Entrance of JR Toya station.
Lake Toya was chosen to host the Group of Eight summit in 2008. We were glad that we have also visited Lake Toya.
Waiting for train to arrive.
After the conductor checked our tickets, we were told to wait at a certain platform as we did not purchased reserved seats.
Inside the train, it was quite comfortable ride for me as I was enjoying music on my phone. My wife was playing PSP throughout the journey!
I guess it was more comfortable for this chap here! Wahaha! Oh yes, the seats can swivel so that it can face each other (see above) – ideal for groups of 3 or 4 while traveling.
Menu showing the prices of food that can be ordered on the train.
After 1 hour and 45 minutes journey, we reach Hakodate Station.
Interior of Hakodate JR Station.
Entrance of Hakodate JR Station.
At Tourist Information Center (JR Hakodate station), we purchase 1 day pass for unlimited rides on bus (excluding airport bus) and streetcars (trams) at ¥1000 per adult. Alternatively, you may also just buy 1 day pass for streetcars only at ¥600 per adult. We also got a free guide book for “Romantic Hakodate”.
Walk 5 mins from JR Hakodate to our hotel. We were allowed to check-in even though it was only 1.30pm. It was stated check-in timing only at 3pm during our reservation and we were planning to leave our luggage if we reach early.
Lunch time – we went around searching for “Lucky Pierrot” – a fast food chain that can only be found in Hakodate. Finally found it after asking a kind person.
Checking out the menu as I heard that Lucky Pierrot serves whale burger. I wanted to try it out of curiosity but couldn’t find it.
Omelette rice, side dishes, ice cream, shakes, drink, etc are available as well.
Inside of Lucky Pierrot. It was starting to drizzle a bit outside.
Lucky Pierrot Chinese Chicken Burger ¥350.
Lucky Pierrot Egg Burger ¥380. Look at the sauce and egg flowing out……it’s absolutely delicious!
Yeah! The rain has stopped! After the fantastic lunch, we went to the bus station to take bus to to Fort Goryokaku. It is accessible by streetcars (trams) as well but will need to walk further (20mins). Since we had the unlimited rides for bus as well, we were advised by the service staff in Tourist Information Center to go for bus as it will only take 10mins walk.
On the bus and checking out the ticket and payment machine.
Goryokaku Tower. You can pay ¥840 to go up the tower to have a bird’s eye view of Fort Goryokaku.
A ship display in Goryokaku Park.
History of Goryokaku?
Scene of flowers can be seen almost everything.
Cannons used in olden times.
Tulips of various colors.
Goryokaku Park is a popular place for hanami with over 1500 cherry tress. But we are a couple of days late and the sakura have withered already.
This is where I would park myself to enjoy hanami.
A playful shot of our shadows.
Some duck-like animal? I am unable to correctly identify it. Haha!
Taking the streetcar (tram) to Yunokawa Hot Spring.
The locals use these streetcars frequently too so it’s quite packed at times. Be prepared to stand.
Yunokawa Hot Spring.
A free foot bath near the Hakodate Tramway’s Yunokawa Onsen Station (opened all day and night).
You can soak your tired legs here.
Another kind of trams. We will be taking it back to Hakodate Eki Mae station to go back to hotel and equip ourselves with more warm clothing. In the afternoon, despite have sun shining, it was quite cold. We reckon that it will be much colder in the night, especially when we up high at Mount Hakodate (our next destination).
This tram is quite empty this time round and we managed to get seats.
On our way back to hotel, a cute sign on the walkway – Crab at Hakodate Morning Market. There are several kinds of the same sign with different content along the walkway.
Hakodate Morning Market. It is closed now.
Getting our dinner from a ramen stall opposite Hakodate Morning Market.
Seafood Ramen ¥1050.
Charsiu Miso Ramen ¥730.
Amazing view from the top of Mount Hakodate. We took a bus from Hakodate Station Bus Terminal and the fare per adult one way is ¥360. But as we have purchased 1 day pass for unlimited rides on bus (excluding airport bus) and streetcars (trams), we did not need to pay as it can be used here. The journey takes about 30 mins to top of Mt. Hakodate.
Even with extra clothing, it is still cold here as the wind is extremely chilling (around 9 degrees temperature). My wife is not out in the open for long as she went to seek warmth in the building (shopping in a souvenir and food store). Ha ha!
My opinion is that the night view from Mount Hakodate is indeed true to what multiple sources have quoted “among the top 3 best night view in the world”.
Mount Hakodate. Although the night view is nice and romantic but I wasn’t prepared for the huge crowds (tour groups, school excursions, etc) on top, jostling for space to capture the view on their cameras.
Took the bus back but alighted at Jujigai and walk to Hakodate Beer.
Time is 8pm but the inside was quite empty (other 1 more table was occupied other then ours). Most shops closed quite early here in Hakodate.
Menu for the drinks and food.
Me with the set of 4 different kinds of beers for sampling. The set is priced at ¥1260.
Ordered a plate of assorted sausages at ¥850 to go with the beer.
Red Brick Warehouse (Kanemori Warehouse). It is very quiet here.
Near the bay area. There are sightseeing boats here but it’s already closed for the day.
Red Brick Warehouse (Kanemori Warehouse).
Some restaurants are found here but seems like most are closed.
Although weather is cold, I had the craving to slurp on Hokkaido Milk ice-cream ¥62. Ha ha!