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Japan's Third-Best Night View: Discover Mount Hakodate’s Ropeway And Its Spectacular Scenery!

Japan's Third-Best Night View: Discover Mount Hakodate’s Ropeway And Its Spectacular Scenery!

Date published: 24 January 2020

No tour of Hakodate is complete without a view of the night sky from Mt. Hakodate!

The view from Mt. Hakodate at night is beautiful as it is scattered with lights in the curve between the Tsugaru Strait and Hakodate Bay. The view of this flat terrain at the mountain’s height is just perfect. Reach the summit before sunset to see the color of the sky and the surroundings change!

Head up the steep slope to the base of the ropeway at Sanroku Station.

Mt. Hakodate has a height of 334 meters above sea level and is located in the southwest part of Hakodate City. While the mountain may be reached by ropeway, it can also be accessed by bus, taxi, and other modes of transportation. Sanroku station connects via ropeway up the steep slope to Jujigai terminal located on the south side of the mountain. As the mountain is steep, the car moves slowly to assure safety.

Sanroku Ropeway Station. Boarding is done from the 3rd floor

Enjoy the view of Motomachi while taking the 3 minute ride up the ropeway to Sancho Station.

The ropeway can hold as many as 125 people at a time. There are no chairs on the ropeway so we recommend finding a spot near the windows to enjoy the view of Hakodate city. The ropeway arrives at the summit in just three minutes. On the way, the Orthodox Christian Church and the Catholic Motomachi Church can be seen below. As the altitude rises, Hakodate Bay also becomes visible.

The Motomachi churches viewed from the ropeway

Get to the summit early to find the best spot!

There is an observatory on the summit of the mountain that has of 3 floors with an observation deck and a mountaintop area on the third floor. Tourists gather one after another at sunset, so be sure you have a spot with a good view. The sunset happens around 7:00p.m. from June to August, and around 4:00p.m. from December to January. There is Legato, an indoor tea lounge on the 3rd floor, with Genoa, the observation restaurant, on the 2nd floor. You can have a meal or drink some tea while you enjoy the view.

The highest point of the observatory on the mountain’s summit.
From the Observation deck you can see Hakodate Bay and Onuma
Looking down over Hakodate Bay from the highest point of the observation deck.

From dusk the night view gradually increases in radiance.

At sunset the color of the sky gradually changes from orange to blue. As the night sky grows darker the streets below being to light up. The Mashu circle floating in Hakodate Bay, and the lights from the Goryokaku Tower. From the coast of the Tsugaru Strait to the east the lights of hotels along the Yu River hot springs, as well as the Hakodate Airport shine brightly.

The view of the city skyline, beautiful even before sunset.
These lights shine and look like a jewelry box. Weekdays are more radiant than the weekend as more stores are open

After the night view, get souvenirs and head home!

On the 2nd floor of the Observatory there are many souvenirs named after the night scenery of Mt. Hakodate. There is even a corner that features items with Hakodate's popular character "Kita Usagi", in a variety of T-shirts and miscellaneous goods. Shops are also at the foot of the mountain, so souvenirs may be purchased after returning from the mountain as well. You can also find times that offer tax exemptions for overseas customers.

Sancho shop
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 9:45p.m. (10:00a.m. - 8:45p.m. from October 16 to April 24)
Duty-free hours: 10:00a.m. - 9:00p.m. (10:00a.m. - 8:30p.m. from October 16 to April 24)

The spacious Sancho shop. There are many Hakodate souvenirs to see with limited time offers as well.
The Hakodate mountain ropeway limited time offer item "Lamb Curry" which uses lamb meat ¥432. Created in collaboration with a long-established Western food restaurant "Gotojima"
The popular Mt. Hakodate limited "North Usagi" goods. The pictures shown are of the rice ball pouch 1188 yen.

After the night sky see the city lights!

If you have time, you can walk from Motomachi, from the foot of Mt. Hakodate for about 5 minutes to reach the Hakodate Christian Orthodox Church. The church lights up and gives a romantic atmosphere quite different from the afternoon.

The Hakodate Christian Orthodox Church lights with the Catholic Motomachi church in the back. Lights stay on until 10:00p.m.

Price: Free
Time: 10:00a.m. - 10:00p.m. (~9:00p.m. from October 16 to April 24)
Closed: Open daily

Ropeway: From Hakodate Station it is 5 minutes by tramcar; get off at Jujigai and walk for 10 minutes. From Sanroku station take the 3 minute ride by Hakodate mountain ropeway. It is right next to the Sancho ropeway station.
Price: 1280 yen round trip (780 yen one way)
Time: 10:00a.m. – 10p.m. (~9:00p.m. from October 16 to April 24), last departure 10 minutes before close
Holidays: Open daily (closed for one month from around mid-October for maintenance. Also may close due to adverse weather.)

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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