Release | nobu Kawashima
What’s on the back of Mount Hakodate? Reach to the hidden gem by the fishing boat cruise!
Many of you think of beautiful international townscape such as the night view when you hear the word “Mt. Hakodate”. However, do you know how it is like on the backside of Mt. Hakodate? It had a totally different atmosphere from the city side. Let’s go explore the hidden gem of Hakodate from a boat!
You can only reach to the back of Mount Hakodate by a boat!Only the city side of Mountain faces land, and other three sides face the ocean. There are no roads to reach the backside of Mount Hakodate.
That means you can only reach to the backside of Mount Hakodate by boat. That is the reason many people do not know about the backside.
I asked the professional of the sea, a fisherman, for a guide by taking a fishing boat.
▲The squid fisherman Takashi Saito took us.
We got on the boat “Shirohimemaru”, the squid fishing boat. They run “Hakodate fishing boat cruise” to observe the backside of Mount Hakodate, during some extra time between squid fishing.
One hour round trip from Hakodate Port. Let’s go to the hidden gem, the backside of Mount Hakodate!
When the townscape ended, there were precipitous cliffs!I put on my lifesavers, got on the fishing boat, and the boat left Hakodate Port.
Small red lighthouse and Hakodate Dock became far and Foreign cemeteries, which is located at the foot of Mount Hakodate, became close on the left. On the right is Hakodate Bay where lots of ships, such as container ships and ferries stay.
As the boat moved, Foreign centuries became far, the buildings became less and less, and finally, buildings disappeared. The only things I could see was ocean and mountains!
▲The part of the cliff where trees are gone has collapsed at the Great East Japan Earthquake (March 11, 2011)
When I see the right side and the back, I saw a lively ocean with lots of ships and coastline with the townscape of Hakodate and Hokuto. Not the left side and the front was precipitous cliffs of Mount Hakodate. I was surprised to see this huge gap of right-back direction and left-front direction.
There were ruins of people lived in the area of precipitous cliffs!As the boat kept moving, I found something artificial in the cliff.
▲Do you see an artifact in the cliff?
It was the ruin of suspension bridge to stride across the cave.
▲Anama Coast. There is a small shrine for Anama Daimyojin god inside the cave.
There was a village called “Samukawa” beyond this point until 1950’s, and there was a path to connect to that village around the coast. However, the village got an enormous damage from Toyamaru Taiphoon in 1954, and people moved out, so the village disappeared.
This suspension bridge was a part of a community road to connect the city of Hakodate and the village. This harsh environment makes me worry how people survived the storm in winter.
▲The tunnels made by unsupported excavation were left along the cliffs of the coastline. This is also a ruin of roads to Samukawa.
Seeing the area, I can not believe that this scenery is only a few distance away from the city of Hakodate.
The boat kept moving. I found the ruin of Samukawa village. There were no buildings left, but I could see some stone walls clearly.
▲The coastline where Samukawa village existed.
▲Closer look of ex-Samukawa village. Can you see the stone wall?
Mr. Saito told me that there used to be an elementary school on this stone wall. The coastline where stones are scattered, forests and cliff almost vertical in the back. I can not imagine that there used to be a size of the village that schools existed.
▲A human face rock? The rock does not have any name, but I named the rock for myself from its visual.
Obanasaki, the tip of Mount HakodateAfter passing Samukawa village, Obanasaki, the tip of Mount Hakodate came into my view.
After going around the tip, I could see the famous tourist site Tachimachi-misaki and the townscape of Yunokawa Onsen.
▲I could see the antenna located at the summit of Mount Hakodate.
▲A closer look. The flat part of the cliff is Tachimachi-misaki. You can notice buildings such as the cottage standing on the cape.
The day I visited was sunny, but it was hazy, so the view was not too clear. However, you can see Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture, Mount Esan and Yagoshi Cape in Hokkaido on clear days. That must be an amazing view!
▲Mr. Saito told us which direction to watch for each site.
Then the boat turned around and started to go back to Hakodate Port. This time, I saw the backside of Mount Hakodate on the right and Tsugaru Strait and Hakodate Bay where ships and tankers pass on the left.
On the backside of Mount Hakodate, I encountered ruins of harsh natural environment that keep humans away and precipitous cliffs which are a beautiful creation by nature. It is hard to imagine that there is a townscape of international atmosphere where many tourists with cameras walk around every day on the other side of the mountain. Mount Hakodate had an entirely different atmosphere on the front and back.
The great nature you can encounter from just a small distance from the city of Hakodate. The trip to a hidden gem by fishing boat like an explorer. Interested? I highly recommend!
Text, photo / Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima