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Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward

Hokkaido

A colonial-style assembly house standing on a hill overlooking Hakodate Bay

In 1859, Hakodate, Yokohama and Nagasaki were opened by the Edo Shogunate for trade with foreign countries. With the development of foreign trade, the city was rapidly westernized and there are still a large number of Western-style buildings in the city. One of them is the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward. The hall standing on a hill commanding a panoramic view of Hakodate Bay is a two-story wooden structure with beautiful contrast of blue-grey walls and yellow window frames. It is built in colonial style where large windows and balconies are arranged symmetrically to the right and left of the front porch.

Here, Western and Japanese styles are fused together wonderfully. For example, Japanese arabesque design is used on columns of the porch and balconies, and traditional Japanese patterns are integrated in the decoration of the Art Nouveau rooms. The building was constructed in 1910 in the late Meiji Period using donations collected by citizens who wished to build a new assembly house in the city that had been turned into burnt-out ruins by a big fire two years before.

Haikara-kan in the hall stores a plenty of classic dresses and tuxedos so that visitors can wear dresses and accessories they like for commemorative photos anywhere in the hall.

Information

Address: 11-13 Motomachi, Hakodate, Hokkaido
Directions: (Train) Walk one minute from Hakodate Station on the JR Hakodate Honsen (40 minutes by air from Shin Chitose Airport and 20 minutes from Hakodate Airport) to Hakodate Ekimae stop, ride 7 minutes by a streetcar for Hakodate Dotsuku, get off at Suehiro-cho stop and walk 7 minutes. (Car) 40 minutes from Hakodate Airport.

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