The Many Faces of Goryokaku
Goryokaku is a rather interesting tourist destination along a Hokkaido Tour. Initially designed in 1855 with the intention to defend the Tsugaru Strait against a possible invasion by the Russians, the star-shaped fort was a fortress for the short lived Republic of Ezo. This peculiar fort is rather noticable due to the star-shaped design. The intention was to use this five-pointed star design to allow for more guns on the walls compared to traditional Japanese forts. This also reduced the number of blind spots for cannons to fire.
Built for battle, the fort was the site of the last battle of the Boshin War. Now, the fort stands as a Special Historical Site and is considered a part of the Hakodate City Museum. The fort includes information on the city of Hakodate and the Republic of Ezo, but the true charm of the star-shaped fort is admiring the beauty of the seasons and elements on the island of Hokkaido.
Gorgeous Cherry Blossoms & Japanese Flowers
The beautiful design of the fort is only enhanced by the decorative spring season and the pink and white cherry blossom petals that it brings. Regarded as one of the top destinations for cherry blossom viewing, no spring vacation in Hokkaido is complete with a trip to Goryokaku to view cherry blossoms.
Loved by the local Japanese people and tourists alike, thousands flock to the decorative Goryokaku during hanami season. If you're a fan of Japanese flowers and the delicate nature of the sakura, Goryokaku's observation deck provides an expansive view of the fort surrounded by cherry blossoms. Walk along the grounds of the fort for a closer look at these fragrant Japanese flowers with a relaxing cup of green tea. Receiving more snowfall than the rest of Japan, the cherry blossoms are a delicate treat to mark the end of Winter in Hokkaido.
Fall Foliage & Autumn Leaves
Appreciated just as much as the cherry blossoms, the Japanese people adore the crisp colors of the fall foliage. Goryokaku's popularity as a cherry blossom viewing spot is mirrored as a koyo spot in the Autumn, as all the surrounding trees begin to change into magnificent shades of red, orange, and yellow. If you weren't able to travel to Hokkaido for the cherry blossoms, the autumn leaves are a great consolation during Japan's affordable non-peak travel season.
As fall marks the end of the harvest, celebrate the changing leaves with delicious Hokkaido specialties in Hakodate is a must. Enjoy festive koyo themed snacks from the top of the observation point at goryokaku, or step into one of Hakdoate's Jingisukan restaurants for a true Hokkaido treat.
Fan of the cold? If your winter holidays are meant for travel and soaking up the beauty of natural winter wonderland paradises, Goryokaku is once again a destination to add to your travel bucket-list. Appearing as if from a picture in a Disneyland attraction, the moat around Goryokaku freezes over while the rest of the fort is blanketed in a fluffy, powdery layer of snow. The fort becomes a magical winter paradise, perfect for building snowmen and talking a romantic walk with your special someone.
The winter scene from the observatory is a pleasurable alternate for those who are opposed to setting off on a hike to see furry snow monkey bathing in Nagano. Fight the cold after the observation deck fun with a warming bowl of Soup Curry in Otaru, or dine on melt-in-your-mouth sushi and sashimi.
Another Gem on a Hokkaido Tour
Goryokaku proves when it comes to planning a vacation in Japan, Hokkaido cannot be skipped. Whether it's walking along the pristine grounds of the fort to viewing the Hakodate skyline from the observatory, there's always something fun for the family in Hokkaido. Ask your travel agent about Japan Deluxe Tours fully guided Hokkaido Tours, or arrange an affordable custom private tour to explore Goryokaku and the rest of the charms hidden on Japan's northern island.