Friday, May 27, 2016

Japan trip Spring 2016 Part 5: Day 4 - Morning Market, Red Brick Warehouses & Mt Hakodate in Hakodate

May 17 was our first and only day in Hakodate! We had planned to catch the train in the night before and leave on the earliest train possible the day after because there was an activity we wanted to do in the morning and another activity we wanted to do only at night.
Outfit of the day was my Liz Lisa x My Melody x Little Twin Stars (7th collab) angel OP with a Liz Lisa beret and Liz Lisa pom pom earrings. The Ank Rouge sandals turned out to be reasonably comfortable (not surprising and why I picked them but sometimes shoes might need breaking in) so I didn't mind wearing them for a second day in a row.

We woke up and leisurely got ready by 08:30am when my dad discussed the plan of the day with us.

We walked just downstairs and down one block to get to the Morning Market. (Yet another market for us to eat seafood for breakfast lol.)

After taking our time to pick a restaurant at which to eat based on having king crab available,  we found one that would be suitable for the three of them. (I don't count because none of the restaurants would have been appropriate for me lol.)

Then we went to explore more of the market!

There was this station where you could catch your own ika to be prepared for eating immediately! We stopped and watched for a while and it was fun to see people hook them lol.

There were a number of "indoor" areas and outdoor shops to explore.

We found this man who had these silly hats that you could take pictures with (for free) and when we stopped to look at this stall, we realized that many of the wood creations he was selling were carved by the man himself!
My parents ended up buying one small owl and S and I bought ourselves a pair of owls. Seeing that the man sat there and carved them himself really sold us on it. He also offered a free "engraving" in the base. There's a ton of owl items in Japan because they're believed to be lucky!

We finished exploring the market and found out way back to JR Hakodate station.

This would really be our last chance to buy Hokkaido omiyage, so we bought the last items we were previously holding out on including Royce's nama chocolate.

S had really wanted to bring some back as omiyage but you have to keep it refrigerated/temperature 10C or less and that didn't seem like it would be feasible for us due to all the additional traveling we'd be doing through two more shinkansen rides and going home on a 8 hour flight. We settled for just trying it ourselves + another chocolate product that required refrigeration lol.
I didn't try the bon bon looking one because I really don't care for cream but my parents and S seemed to like it enough. And everyone pretty much liked the Royce nama chocolate as well. I can see why it would be an ideal omiyage item.

My dad got us these 1-day tram passes from the hotel front desk, and then we headed off to do another activity! The stop just down the street from the hotel is Hakodate Ekimae as it is pretty close to Hakodate station.

Got off at the Jujigai stop to explore the red brick warehouses, including going into some shops!

My dad found this guy doing art/calligraphy which he was interested in, so we stopped to wait for him to create something for us. There were a few others in front of us, but since this was something my dad really wanted, it was worth taking a pause.
Tbh, it was a little difficult to communicate since I don't know a lot of the words my dad wanted to express and the artist (understandably) didn't have much English background, but he tried really hard and used Google translate to show us what he had written. My dad was happy with the result, so that's what really matters.

After we finally sorted that out, we went to go have lunch at this Lucky Pierrot location! There are a few others even in the immediate area but this one has notable décor/design.

We ordered at the counter and then were seated at a booth.

 We walked back to the red brick warehouse area

and found another glass shop staff to do a bit more browsing and shopping.

We saw these jams in a bunch of different and interesting flavors. They had samples of everything so we stopped to try a few and ended up buying some!

From there, we walked up the hill. From the top, there's supposed to be a nice view of the ocean but if you're in the center trying to get the best picture, you have to watch out for vehicular traffic lol.

Once we got to the top, there were a few shops including one that sold soft serve. (The lady roped us in by giving us a discount coupon lol.)

And then it was just a simple walk back down, but we chose a different street so it wasn't too repetitive. Plus we saw a couple of trees full of flowers! (+ a whole bunch completely bald as well.)

We wanted to catch the tram back to the hotel, but for somehow it was about 15-20 minutes delayed, and we had to wait a long time haha.

Back at the hotel, we dropped off our purchases and just took a break until we needed to go back out for dinner. I added a few layers to my outfit since it promised to be cold after the sun went down.

 We caught the tram back out to the same station as before - Jujigai.

There was a particular restaurant that we wanted to go to, but we couldn't find it immediately and then it turned out that it was closed! Instead, we happened to find a katsu restaurant along the way which served as an easy replacement.

From the restaurant, we walked up towards the base of Mount Hakodate. Because the sun was starting to set and it was windy, it felt really chilly.

Once we finally got there, there were TONS of people who had arrived on tour buses including several busloads of students who were in a constant stream in front of us. We were at the end of a long line outside the building and a man (I'm not sure if he was security hired by the building or who he worked for but he was directing traffic so no one would be run over) informed us that we could take a taxi to the top for just 1500yen, but the line was moving reasonably and we wanted the experience of using the ropeway, so we opted out.

Each car holds about 125 people and leaves every 5 minutes so the loading and unloading from the bottom isn't too terrible, but it was cramped and got a little warm at times because we were dressed for outdoor weather at a higher elevation. Here's a few shots from the car (we were lucky to have loaded near to last so we weren't trapped in the middle) -

Once at the top, you have to climb a couple flights of stairs to get to the outdoor area. There's a photo platform on the first level for a professional to take your picture (and they don't let you get on it to take your own), but if you go up another half flight of outdoor stairs, that's where the real action is and it was crowded AF. So many people jostling for position but holding their phones and cameras out. I'm honestly a little surprised no one accidentally dropped anything over the ledge.
There are also I think at least one or two options for eating at the top (indoor) and a very reasonably sized omiyage shop as well (and a bathroom). Going back down on the ropeway took way, way longer for some reason. I guess there were more people trying to get down at the same time as us than there were people trying to go up.
A roundtrip fare in the ropeway car is 1280yen/person and there were 4 of us, so actually it would have been financially beneficial and more efficient time-wise to have taken the taxi up and down, but I guess we didn't think the wait was going to be that bad. I think if we could do it again, based on the volume of people when we visited, we would have taken the taxi up and just bought a one-way ticket for the ropeway for the ride down so we could still have that experience. (Or maybe the opposite.)

Finally back at the base, we walked back to the Jujigai tram stop and rode back to the hotel area.

This was a nice day where a lot of the activities were pretty near to the hotel. We were out and about in the morning and then late into the night but at least the middle-of-the-day siteseeing wasn't too strenuous and very casual. I'm glad when we can have portions of the trip like this to balance out the days where we are constantly on-the-go without a break. It was certainly worth it to stop for a full day in Hakodate (on our way from Sapporo down to Tokyo), and I enjoyed experiencing what the area had to offer. I would definitely suggest checking out Mount Hakodate but I hope it isn't as crazy when you go!
Japan trip Spring 2016 posts
Part 1: Packing (Liz Lisa outfits) for Hokkaido to Osaka in May
Part 2: Arrival to CTS & Day 1 - Curb Market, Shiroi Koibito Park and shopping in Sapporo
Part 3: Day 2 - Nijo Market, Sapporo Beer Museum & Tanukikoji in Sapporo
Part 4: Day 3 - Exploring Otaru & experiencing the Hakodate Liner
Part 5: Day 4 - Morning Market, Red Brick Warehouses & Mt Hakodate in Hakodate
Part 6: Day 5 - Hokkaido Shinkansen & shopping in Tokyo and Funabashi
Part 7: Day 6 - Tokyo DisneySea
Part 8: Day 7 - Last minute shopping in Omiya and Tokyo & Tokaido Shinkansen to Osaka
Part 9: Day 8 - Kinkakuji in Kyoto & shopping in Osaka
Part 10: Day 9 - Utsubo Park Rose Festival, Namba/Shinsaibashi & departure from KIX in Osaka
Part 11: Liz Lisa shopping, purchases & coordinates
Part 12: Other shopping, purchases & coordinates
Part 13: Travel notes - Hotels, Luggage forwarding & Pocket wifi

Japan trip Autumn 2015 posts
Japan trip Summer 2015 posts
Japan trip Spring 2015 posts
Japan trip Summer 2014 posts


  1. The night view is so pretty! ^^ The story with the owl is quite funny cause it dropped a silver drop? What is a drop XD

    1. Supposedly a 3(/3) star rated view! And lol I think the translation might be a little weird but I'm going to go with it.

  2. I miss Japan looking at your pictures. And so hungry looking at all the yummy food! :)