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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Motomachi Area (元町地区)| Hakodate

The harbor of Hakodate (函館) was one of the first to be opened to foreign trade in 1854 after Japan's era of isolation had come to an end. As a result, many traders from Russia, China and Western countries moved to Hakodate. Motomachi (元町), at the foot of Mt. Hakodate, became a district favored among the new foreign residents.
(*A post on Mt. Hakodate→

Personally I love the scenery from Nijikken slope (二十間坂)↓ Beautiful, isn't is?

Many foreign looking buildings remain in this area today, while some are very Japanese like this↓

Higashi Honganji temple is one of them. This was designated as a National Important Cultural Property in 2007.

Rebuilt after a fire in 1907, this is the first temple in Japan with reinforced concrete.

This is Motomachi Roman Catholic Church. The altar was gifted to Japan by Pope Benedict XV, and there is no other like it in the whole of Japan.

The current building, a Gothic-style Roman Catholic church, was built in 1924. 

Next to Motomachi Roman Catholic Church, there is the Hakodate Russian Orthodox Church.

It was founded as a chapel in 1859.

It is Japan's oldest Russian Orthodox Church, and was designated as a National Important Cultural Property in 1983.

The exterior of the building, in Russian Byzantine style with diverse elements, has a majestic and elegant atmosphere!

Next, I'll show you Motosaka Slope (基坂) area in Motomachi (元町).
This is the "Former British Consulate (旧イギリス領事館)↓

There are several former consulates in this area!

Across from the consulate, there is Perry's Square (ペリー広場).

Commander Matthew C. Perry is a person to urge Japan to open the county in 1853. He visited Hakodate one year after his first arrival in Japan.

This is Motomach Park (元町公園).

Just a few meters away from the park, there is the Former Public Hall of Hakodate Ward (旧函館区公民館).

This one of the most famous Western-style building in Hakodate has stood on the hill overlooking the port since it was constructed in 1910. It was designated as a national important cultural property in 1974.

■Where is Motomachi area (元町地区)?

View Larger Map

■Tour guide information■
Do you need a nationally-licensed English-speaking tour guide when you travel to Hokkaido?I'll guide you! Plz click here!

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