It is known for the spectacular views from Mount Hakodate and for being one of the Japanese enclaves where you can taste the best and freshest fish.
Its port was one of the first to open to international trade after the country’s isolation period.
Hakodate was founded in 1454 when Kono Kaganokami Masamichi built a palace at the foot of Mount Hakodate in a fishing village called Usukeshi or also Ushorokeshi (Cape of the Bay, in the Ainu language).
The name of Hakodate (building [palacio] box) comes from the shape of this palace that looked like a box.
In 1457, Hakodate and its surroundings were the site of the Battle of Koshamain, the first major uprising of the Ainu against the Wajin (Japanese colonizers).
In the Edo period, Hakodate flourished as a trading point with the Ainu.
On March 31, 1854, the port of Hakodate was opened to trade with the Americans under the Treaty of Kanagawa, negotiated by Matthew Perry.
In Hakodate is the Goryokaku fortress, built in 1866 according to the European style with a plan in the shape of a five pointed star.
At the end of the Meiji Restoration, partisans of the shogunate occupied the fortress, and declared the establishment of the Republic of Ezo.
French soldiers led by Jules Brunet, who had been military advisers for the shogunate’s army, supported the rebellion led by Enomoto Takeaki.
Rendered in 1869, this fortress is now used as a park and is popular as a place for hanami (the tradition of viewing and gazing at cherry blossoms).
Several countries established their consulates in Hakodate.
The Russian consulate had a chapel, with which the Orthodox Church came to Japan.
In its surroundings there are also Anglican, Catholic, and other religious churches.