April 05, 16 | Fumiko Magota

What is the best slope in Hakodate? Recommendation from the city guide

Slopes running straight from the Mt. Hakodate to the port are the famous sightseeing attraction of Hakodate. There are 19 slopes with names, but which one is a must-see? I interviewed the Hakodate city guide.


函館の坂
 

Hachiman-zaka Slope, the slope with the most beautiful view

Mr. Kiyoshi Takahashi, the best city guide of Hakodate, who currently lives here, taught us about the slopes in Hakodate.


ガイドの高橋さん▲Mr. Takahashi


“First of all, Hachiman-zaka Slope is said to have the most beautiful view from the top of the slope. This place got famous for being the location for the advertisement of washing-up detergent. This is the best view spot to see Mashumaru, the Aomori-Hakodate ferry. “


八幡坂▲Hachiman-zaka Slope. The blue color of the sky and port will get darker during May to September when the trees along the street get all green. 


Hachiman-zaka Slope is just 1min walk from Suehirocho station of the tram. The place is so pretty with stone pavement, street trees, designed lights, and stairs with the handrail. Many people visit here and take photos, and it will be a totally different scenery during winter with Christmas lights. 


八幡坂の手すりのある階段▲The stairs

 

Motoi-zaka Slope, beautiful view from the bottom

“While Yawata-zaka Slope is famous for the view from the top, there is a slope with a view from the bottom”. 

Mr. Takahashi next introduced me Motoi-zaka Slope, which is 5 mins walk from Suehirocho station of the tram. This is a slope where the Former British Consulate of Hakodate and the Memorial Statue of the Visit of Commodore Matthew C. Perry are located, and we can only see the base of Maritime Self-Defense Force, however…


基坂▲The view from the top of Motoi-zaka Slope


When I turned around, there was the Old Public Hall Of Hakodate Ward with elegant blue and yellow color!


下からみた基坂▲The view from the bottom of Motoi-zaka Slope. The back of the Old Public Hall Of Hakodate Ward is Mr. Hakodate, which changes color from green to red as the season changes. 


“There is only the wall of Hakodate West High School, where Saburo Kitajima and Hitonari Tsuji graduated, when we see Yawata-zaka Slope from the bottom. Yawata-zaka Slope and Motoi-zaka Slope are the two contrasting slopes.”


下から見た八幡坂▲The view from the bottom of Yawata-zaka Slope

 

Nijukken-zaka Slope, wide street

Nijukken-zaka Slope is a wide slope with the width 20-Gen (about 36m). “From Meiji to Showa, the city of Hakodate experienced 25 great fires. This slope was intended to be a fireproof belt to prevent spreading fires.” Rectangle shaped stones are used to cover the surface of the road. This slope has a different atmosphere from the other two. 

The famous curry house Goshimaken and the oldest concrete temple in Japan and one of the Important Cultural Property Higashi Honganji-Temple Hakodate Branch are located on the side of this slope.


二十間坂▲NIjukken-zaka Slope. It will look wider when the snow is melt.

 

Saiwai-zaka Slope, the longest and the steepest slope

Mr. Takahashi introduced to me this Saiwai-zaka Slope as a unique slope. This slope is 5 mins walk from Hakodate Dotsuku station of the tram, and starts from the front of Hakodate Chinking Benten Branch. It’s “the longest” and “the steepest” slope. However, the view from the top of the slope, Yamanoue Daijingu Shrine, is so beautiful with pine trees right in front, and Hakodate port and mountains far. “The last day when Aomori-Hakodate ferry left, everybody gathered here to see the ferry off.”

By the way, the Shinto priest of Yamanoue Daijingu Shrine at the time the last of the Tokugawa shogunate was the cousin of Ryoma Sakamoto…!


幸坂▲Saiwai-zaka Slope

 

Daisan-zaka Slope, one of the 100 Streets of Japan

The Western-Japanese style mixed buildings and stone pavement were highly evaluated, as Daisan-zaka Slope is certified as one of the “100 Streets of Japan” by the Ministry of Land. It’s just 4 mins walk from Jujigai station of the tram. “Sorbus trees are so beautiful” says Mr. Takahashi. Especially when the leaves get colored and with the bright red seeds, even the air seems being colored. 


大三坂▲Daisan-zaka Slope. Catholic Motomachi Church is on the left side.

 

Chacha-Nobori, the narrow and steep slope connected to Daisan-zaka Slope

Chacha-Nobori, the narrow and steep slope connected to Daisan-zaka Slope

“This is the place to get the view from the top of the beautiful structures of 3 different churches (St. John’s Church, Russian Orthodox Church, and Catholic Motomachi Church)” 


ハリストス正教会▲Russian Orthodox Church viewed from the top


ヨハネ教会▲St. John’s Church

 

Hiyori-zaka Slope, where the oldest shrine in Hokkaido stands

Hiyori-zaka Slope located near Suehirocho station of the tram. “The oldest shrine in Hokkaido stands at the end of the slope”, says Mr. Takahashi. Funadama Shrine is said to be established in 1135 A.D.

The name of Hiyori refers to how the place was a long time ago. It was the place to check the weather of the sea, being the place that is able to capture the view. 


北海道最古の船魂神社▲Funadama Shrine, at the end of Hiyori-zaka Slope. 


There are histories and characteristics on each slope in Hakodate, and able to catch a glimpse of the life of the locals. I definitely recommend walking around the slopes of Hakodate!​


函館の坂から見た津軽海峡
  • What is the best slope in Hakodate? Recommendation from the city guide
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Fumiko Magota

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