Old Public Hall Of Hakodate Ward stands on the hill of Motomachi area. It is a Western style building, built in late Meiji period, and its decorative exterior stands out from other buildings in the town of Hakodate. Not only the exterior but inside and the view of Hakodate port from its balcony are also must sees.
Of course the season with greens but with snow the architecture looks stunning as well.
At night, the building is lighten up. There are visitors every night.
The yellow lines on the bluish gray texture of the wall make the building iconic. This wooden two story structure has a symmetry porch and a large balcony, with Western style decorations everywhere.
▲The pillars have neat decorations
▲Old and historic stairways have decorations as well
▲Kind of Renaissance like ceiling decorations and chandelier
As you enter this building, the profound and elegant atmosphere overwhelms you.
High ceilings, heavy doors, red carpets in the hallways and stairways, large windows…
You can feel the atmosphere of Western architecture in Meiji period everywhere.
Old Public Hall Of Hakodate Ward was originally constructed in 1910. In 1907, the Great Fir of Hakodate burnt down the town hall so they needed a new one, and built the Old Public Hall Of Hakodate Ward by the donation from Teppei Soma, a prominent local businessman of Hakodate.
The hall offered accommodations for Crown Prince Yoshihito (the future Taisho Emperor), who came to visit Hakodate in 1911. Also in 1922, Crown Prince Hirohito (the future Showa Emperor) and in 1989 Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko stopped by during their visits in Hokkaido.
You can not enter the room that Emperors used, but you are able to observe the room from the entrance.
▲There are many large and small rooms. Such as Spare room, Billiard Room, large and small Dining Room, Office of Chamber of Commerce and many more.
▲The Bedroom does not have the mattress but the room tells the atmosphere of Meiji period.
▲Elegant VIP guest room.
Along with the rooms, you can also see unique toilets and bathtubs.
▲The toilet which the Taisho Emperor used
▲Western style bathtub.
The biggest facility of Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward is this Concert Hall. Following the hallway with red carpets, you will see this room. With the decorated chandelier and stage in the front, it has this atmosphere of lively banquet hall.
The room is a bit dark but it does get some lights from big windows and doors.
If you take a look outside, there is a great view of Hakodate port. You can see the ship and Goryokaku Tower.
You are also able to go outside and walk around the balcony. This is the best spot to get a view of the city of Hakodate.
The long balcony on the second floor. Especially the place right above the entrance feels like a special place, as it sticks out from other parts of the balcony. Even though some parts of the balcony are not allowed to enter because of the safety and preservation reasons, this balcony is enough to enjoy the view.
Motomachi area with Western style buildings and churches, and Hakodate bay area. Feeling the seaside wind and hearing the whistle from the ferries, you will be able to grasp the atmosphere of Hakodate.
This unique architecture is popular as a photo spot, but do take a look inside. If you are coming to Hakodate, it is a nice plan to stop by.
Written by / Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima
http://www.no-1-travel.com The photograph taken in winter is provided by Hakodate Film Commission