Colourful Spring Time in Hakodate Hokkaido – Goryokaku Park

It’s been over 2 months since I last updated my blog, and it’s quite a contrast that my last post was something that happened in Okinawa (the South-est part of Japan), while this post is going to talk about Hokkaido (the North-est part of Japan).

So during my month long’s business trip in Japan last month, I decided to try to take a 4 hours bullet train ride from Tokyo to Hakodate City of Hokkaido. As Hokkaido is the North-est part of Japan, it also means that it gets cold the quickest, which leads to the earliest viewing of maple leaves/red leaves in the whole of Japan. I visited in mid October, and the leaves were already 80% red!

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Just the street of Hakodate – Ginko Trees

Although you can view the beauty of red leaves nearly in all part of the city, there are a few spots which are highly recommended, one being the Goryokaku Tower and Park (五稜郭). The original site was a pentagonal shaped fortress with inspiration from the French architect Vauban, the design allows for greater numbers of gun emplacements on its walls than a traditional Japanese fortress, and reduced the number of blind spots where a cannon could not fire.

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The admission fee to the observation deck is 900yen, and it’s well worth it! The bird eyes’ view allows you to see the unique pentagonal shaped park, and also a good view of the Hakodate city. The different shades of colours are just so mesmerizing. There are also miniature models and information that talks about the background of the fortress and its history, which is quite interesting!

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Very cute miniature model

Don’t leave just yet after the visit to the tower, be sure to go to the park too. The park entrance is right by the tower, and it allows you a close view to the colourful leaves, which gives you a completely different feeling to the view from the tower.

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There are many great photo spots within the park, and it’s a great place to have a picnic too! I bumped into this very lovely security guard of the park, and he was so kind to show me photos he took of the park during the different seasons, and it’s AMAZING!

After this visit to Hakodate, I’m surprised that this city is just so pretty all year around! I hope to visit here again during the Cherry Blossom season and snowy months! Here are some pictures I’ve found online.

USEFUL INFORMATION:

Official Website

My Half Day Hanbok Experience in Seoul

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I’ve read so many blogs and posts about wearing Hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) and people taking amazing photos in them, I just never had the chance. Most of the time I’m in Seoul for business on my own, and would be a bit weird if I’m doing the experience by myself, plus no one will be able to take photos for me… Finally, this time round I managed to squeeze in half a day of free time during my business trip, and got my pretty Korean friend to do the experience together with me!

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There are lots of places where you can rent Hanbok in Seoul, and Insadong is quite a popular destination for such activity. Not only because there are more than 10 Hanbok rental stores just along the main street, but also it is so close to all the attractions, such as the Gyeongbokgung Palace. My friend and I randomly chose one when we arrived in the afternoon. A popular store is the Oneday Hanbok store which you can make advance booking online. Oneday Hanbok is slightly more expensive than those along the main street, but they provide multilingual service, which is great if no one in your group can speak Korean to avoid any un-necessary confusion. Continue reading “My Half Day Hanbok Experience in Seoul”