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Goryokaku in Hakodate!

This video, titled "Goryokaku, Hakodate" (函館 「五稜郭」 Goryokaku, Hakodate), introduces the historical location, Goryokaku in Hakodate.

Shown at the beginning of the video, Goryokaku in Hakodate is a fortress characterized by its beautiful star-shape.
If you go up to the observation deck of Goryokaku Tower, as shown at 1:34 in the video, you can see the beautiful star-shaped moat that surrounds Goryokaku Park.
Don't forget to bring your camera, it'll look great on Instagram!

About Goryokaku

Image of Goryokaku

Goryokaku was built by the Tokugawa Shogunate to protect the Hakodate magistrates office, at the end of the Edo period. (1853 – 1868)

The star-shaped Goryokaku is also called Ryohoshiki and it was designed by Takeda Ayasaburo.
This is shown at 1:54 in the video.

Goryokaku was called Kameda yakushodorui and Hakodate Onyakusho during its construction.
It is also known as Yanagino Castle (柳野城, Yanagino-jyo) since there were a lot of willow trees in the area (柳, "yanagi," means willow in Japanese).

The History of Goryokaku

Image of Goryokaku's stone walls
Photo:Goryokaku's stone walls

Completed around the time of the Meiji Restoration, Goryokaku was occupied by the former shogunate's forces during the Battle of Hakodate, the final battle of the Boshin War, and became its headquarters.
As you can see from 1:22 in the video, the earthwork, stone walls, and stone monuments still remain.
Goryokaku was also used as parade ground for the army during the Meiji period (1868 to 1912).

Highlights of Goryokaku

Image of Goryokaku, Winter Illumination
Photo:Goryokaku, Winter Illumination

Goryokaku has been the setting for many historical events since the end of the Edo period.

In 1988, a TV drama titled "Goryokaku" was also produced.
Goryokaku is a special national historic site, and has been designated a Hokkaido Heritage Site as the "Remains of Goryokaku and the Battle of Hakodate."
It is currently managed by the city of Hakodate as a government-owned property.

The magistrate’s office, which can be seen at 1:47 in the video, was reconstructed in 2010.
You can see the inside, including the main hall, courtyard, and historical records, at 2:33 in the video.

Goryokaku park also hosts a limited time illumination event, so we recommend lining up your visit with it if possible.

Summary of Goryokaku

Image of Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Goryokaku
©Goryokaku-Tower Modifying

Goryokaku, shown in the video, is a great place to enjoy seasonal scenery, including cherry blossoms in the spring, autumn colors in the fall, and snowy scenery in winter.
In addition to Goryokaku, Hakodate also offers other pleasures such as the night view from Mt. Hakodate and eating Hakodate ramen, a specialty of the city.

Incidentally, Tsuruoka Castle (龍岡城) in Saku City, Nagano is also designed in the shape of a star, so be sure to check it out as well!

◆Goryokaku Information◆
【Address】44-2 Goryokakucho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0001
【Access】15 minutes by a car, taxi, and bus from JR Hakodate Station

【Tripadvisor】Goryokaku Park

Written By
Last Updated : May. 14, 2021
坂崎 なお(Nao Sakazaki)
Interested in Japanese culture and traditions! I'll be introducing lovely scenery to you!
Goryokaku in Hakodate, Hokkaido - A Strange, Star-Shaped Fortress! A Look at the History of the Popular Tourist Destination!
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