Motomachi Neighborhood, Hakodate Travel Guide
If you’re the type of traveler who prefers peace and quiet over a noisy and adventure-filled trip, then you’d surely love the quaint neighborhood of Motomachi in Hakodate, Japan.
Hakodate is a port city located in Hokkaido, Japan. It was the first city whose port was opened to foreign trade in the 1850s. It’s a beautiful city filled with historic establishments that show the rich culture of this part of Japan–an opposite to the bustling metropolitan that Tokyo is known for.
If you want a quiet escape and see the other side of Japan, it’s time for you to get to know Hakodate and its charming neighborhood called Motomachi.
What can you expect in the Motomachi Neighborhood?
It’s a quiet, sloping neighborhood dotted with historical establishments such as churches, parks, and Western-style buildings. It’s very pedestrian-friendly, so if you’re here, better to come at a time wherein the weather is nice so that you can fully appreciate all the establishments as you stroll around.
Places to Visit in Motomachi
Motomachi Roman Catholic Church
Built in 1877, this Catholic church was rebuilt in 1924 after a fire destroyed its original structure. Every Sunday, a mass is held every 12 noon.
Russian Orthodox Church
This is Japan’s oldest Russian Orthodox Church, built-in 1860 for the first consulate of Russia. It’s characterized by its green onion-shaped domes, making it an interesting piece of architecture in the Motomachi area.
The Former British Consulate
It was built in 1913 but was refurbished and opened to the public in 1992. On the second floor, you’ll see an exhibit of the office where the British consul used to work.
St. John Church
This church is one of the most eye-catching architecture in Motomachi as it’s a cross-shaped establishment that looks beautiful wherever you look from. St. John Church is an Anglican Church founded by an English priest.
This sloped area is famous for picture-taking as it presents a view of Hakodate Bay. It’s lined with a row of trees.
At night, during winter, the trees are illuminated, which gives off a romantic glow.
Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
This eye-catching establishment is one of the most beautiful establishments you’ll see around Motomachi. It has a mix of Japanese and Western-style, and from the balcony, you can see a picturesque view of Hakodate Bay.
You may take commemorative photos while dressed like royals in the area!
Some tips when traveling to Motomachi
Observe silence when going to the churches. Some churches hold mass, and you must keep silent to not disturb the churchgoers. Taking photos inside is also prohibited.
Wear comfortable clothes! Motomachi is best explored by foot, so make sure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the tour.
Buy souvenirs! Support locals by buying local pastries or souvenir items in the area. These make for great memorabilia for your travels.
Some places have admission fees.
How to go to Motomachi
It’s a 5-minute tram ride from JR Hakodate Station. It’s also accessible by foot from the station for a 20-30 minute walk.