2017年11月20日

Hakodate City, attracting five millions of annnual visitors, is a leading tourist city in Hokkaido.

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A magistrate's office was founded in Hakodate in 1799 in order to supervise the entire area of Hokkaido. In accordance with the end of Japan's isolation policy, thereafter, six ports were opened to the Western world powers from 1854 to 1869. They are Shimoda, Hakodate, Nagasaki, Yokohama, Kobe and Niigata. Unlike the other ports, non-Japanese lived together with the locals in Hakodate. The Westerners were not crammed into a settlement here. Thus, the rich exoticism can be found here and there in this old port town. As Hakodate suffered repeated conflagrations, the wide streets which was designed as a firebreak are laid out in a rectangular grid pattern. This city use to be the largest city in Hokkaido with more population than Sapporo though, the population reduction has been ongoing since the end of the Second World War. The first picture shows the night view of Hakodate City from the top of Hakodate-yama hill. This stunning view is well known as one of the 'Japan's three major night views' with others being Kobe and Nagasaki. The pretty building in the second picture is Hakodate Orthodox Church, which originally was Russian consulate and annexed chapel. Many Western-style buildings built late in the 19th century are found in Moto-machi area commanding Hakodate Port.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 09:57 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年11月10日

'Goryokaku' in Hakodate City, Hokkaido, is an Italian-style five sided fortification, which is one of only two in Japan.

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In the closing days of the feudal years, in 1854, Japan gave up the national isolation policy which had continued for 200 years. Then government opened two ports , Shimoda in Shizuoka Prefecture and Hakodate in Hokkaido, to the USA and other several world powers.
In order to tighten the security of Hakodate, the feudal government built Goryokaku fortification at the present site where is out of naval gunfire range. This was completed in 1866 after two years of construction work. In the following year, in 1867, the return of political power to the Emperor by the Tokugawa samurai government officially took place, however a part of military authorities of old power disobeyed the new order. 'Enomoto Takeaki', one of the highest-ranking navy officials, took their arms against the Emperor, entrenching themselves in Goryokaku. But finally surrendered in 1869. This fortification features very unique pentagon form as shown in the picture, different from other Japanese castles. There are only two pentagon-shaped castles in Japan, this one and Tatsuoka Castle in Saku City, Nagano Prefecture. The only one original building to keep the provisions, and other several restored buildings inside the fortification are opened to the public.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:05 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年02月26日

Lake 'Tofutsu' in Abashiri City, Hokkaido, is one of the 46 wetlands in Japan, on the List of Wetlands of International Importance.

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On the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, northwest of Hokkaido, a chain of lakes and marshes such as Lake 'Kuccharo' and 'Saroma', is found. Lake Tofutsu as shown in the picture, located at the southernmost tip of the chain, is a brackish lake since it is connected with the sea by a short and narrow waterway. This lake is known as a wintering place for all sorts of water birds, like wild ducks and swans.
Thanks to the shallowness of the lake, the avarage depth of water is no more than 1.1 meters, a variety of gregarious wet plants is seen on the lakeshore from spring to autumn. Especially in autumn, when 'Akkeshi-so' glasswort turns red, many sightseers visit here to enjoy the unique scenery.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:04 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする