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Travel: Trip to Sapporo-Otaru-Hakodate-Onuma, 17-27 Apr 2016 (Part 8 - Day 7 in Hakodate)

>> Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The JR limited express train ride from Sapporo to Hakodate, south of Hokkaido, took approximately 4+ hours. We left on the 1st train (before 6:00a.m.) & arrived at Hakodate slightly before 10:00a.m. The JR train seats were comfortable enough to just sit back, relax & enjoy the ride, sleeping throughout the journey if you would want to or just enjoying the country-side/coastal view along the way.

Upon arriving at the JR Hakodate train station, we saw some Japanese dressed up as samurais & various characters, inviting the public to join them for some photo opportunities. Ah, why not, why not :D

Our 1st time holding a sword & attempting to look like some Japanese samurai...ahahahaha...fail! 

As usual, we got some maps from the train station before heading towards our hotel, only to be disappointed as there was not a soul at the small reception area. We called & waited for 10-15 minutes before deciding to just make our way to hunt for some food.

Lucky Pierrot was on my list for lunch, so we walked about 1.5km to the restaurant & spotted some low-hanging sakura trees at a small park on our way! *yay*

So pweeetyyyyy!

Had to take a photo with the flowers although we're the only 2 jakuns there

We passed the Hakodate Beer Hall as well, but didn't get in to try how different the beer was from Otaru & Sapporo beer

Lucky Pierrot Bayside Marine branch ベイサイド海上レストランピア館
Hakodate Suehiro-cho, 14-17 (函館市末広町14-17)
Tel: (+81)(138) 275000
Fax: (+81)(138) 221117
Business hours: 10:00a.m. -  12:30a.m. daily (closes at 1:30a.m. on Saturdays)
Getting there: Hakodate tram - Suehirocho station (approx. 5 minutes walk from the station) or a 20-minutes walk from the JR Hakodate station
How much we spent in total: JP¥1922; RM69.19

Lucky Pierrot is a very popular burger joint in Hakodate (yes, they're available ONLY at Hakodate). They currently have 17 outlets all over Hakodate, each restaurant designed with a different theme. Unfortunately for us, the outlet that we visited wasn't highly interesting. It would be really nice to visit an outlet that's angel themed, circus themed or even Christmas themed!

The burger joint is well-known for their "Chinese chicken burger", so as burger-lovers, we had to check it out :P

The iconic 'Chinese Chicken Burger' statue

The interior of the restaurant

We tried their Japanese curry with fried chicken rice, their gyoza, their fried yam mochi, & of course, their Chinese chicken burger set & walked out of the burger joint pretty satisfied ;)

Chinese Chicken Burger Set (JP¥650/set; RM23.40)
I've no clue why they call it a Chinese chicken burger as it resembles McD's Chicken McDeluxe & doesn't seem to have any hint of Chinese in it, except maybe the use of sesame seed oil in the marinade of the chicken? Anyhow, the chicken was crispy on the outside, juicy & flavorful on the inside & the toasted sesame buns were soft & fluffy, which was very comforting. The fries in a mug were loaded with creamy cheese + black pepper sauce, which made the thick-cut fries soak up the gravy. If you don't mind 'soggy' fries, these are REALLY delicious! Both of us loved it as we love potatoes, cheese & black pepper sauce :D

Japanese Curry with Fried Chicken (JP¥700/serving; RM25.20)
It was our 1st meal trying out the Japanese curry in Japan itself. The vast difference from what we have back there is the chewy texture of Japanese rice that's guaranteed on every plate of Japanese curry. The fried chicken pieces on this plate tastes like the same 'Chinese fried chicken' used in their burgers.

Gyoza (JP¥250/serving; RM9.00)
This is one burger joint that serves pretty much every other familiar Japanese dish. Their gyoza was actually quite nice, with the gyoza skin not too thick, yet slightly chewy & doesn't break too easily. The meat filling was also well seasoned & goes well with the black vinegar sauce that came with the gyoza dish.

Deep-Fried Sesame Coated Mochi with Yam/Sweet Potato Filling (JP¥200/piece; RM7.20)
This was surprisingly toothsome! It reminded us so much of home, but this mochi's crust was freshly deep-fried, so it was still warm when we bite into it :D We loved the yam/sweet potato filling as it was pleasantly sweet, complimenting the slightly bland mochi very well!

View of the area around Lucky Pierrot

After lunch at Lucky Pierrot, we walked 1.5km back to the hotel (yes, mad us!) & FINALLY, there's someone available at the reception to assist us with the checking-in. We got our super old fashion hotel room keys (no such thing as a slot card to get the electricity turned on) & entered our corner room, which had a really small, probably a super single bed + a single tatami mattress! Alamak...how to fit both of us...hahahaha...apparently, the other rooms are HALF the size of our room *faints*

Kikuya Hotel
8-23 Wakamatsuchō, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaidō 040-0063, Japan
Tel: (+81)(134) 261144
URL: http://h-kikuya.com
Business hours: supposedly 24/7 but somehow we think it's safer to appear at the reception during office hours til before midnight
GPS: 41.7716025,140.7241078
Getting there: JR Hakodate station (it's a 300m walk from the station)
How much we spent in total: RM282. 41/night, booked through Agoda.com (really expensive for such a small, basic hotel room. It's almost RM100.00 more than our Tokyo Dome Hotel Sapporo per night!

The simple reception area

Tadaaaa! Here's how our Western mixed Japanese room look like! If you opt for a full Japanese-style room, you won't have a 'bed' but just the tatami mattres; we had both.

Our rather small bed...hahaha...

The bathroom
Really compact! In fact, it's a bathroom that's "fitted" into the room separately, just like 2x the size of an airline's washroom :P Thank goodness we're not huge in size nor were we staying for many nights at this hotel.

How other rooms look like (took a peek while the worker was cleaning)

There are public washrooms too!

Bottom line, the hotel is good enough for a short trip. It has basic amenities, decent level of cleanliness & well, they provide you with free use (you'll need to place your reservations) of the public baths like the onsen & they also provide free, simple breakfast.

We rested for an hour or so before walking over to the JR Hakodate station to catch a bus to the Motomachi Park area/Hakodate Ropeway - Mount Hakodate. It's more convenient & slightly lesser walking if you take the bus (if you get off at the correct stop) as the bus stops halfway at the Motoi Zaka Slope. Price for the bus ride is pretty much the same as per the tram, so just take the bus :D (JP¥210/person; RM7.56)

Walking up the Motoi Zaka Slope
"This slope was once the starting point of the main road heading from Hakodate for Sapporo. At the foot of the slope, there was a post designated as the starting point, thus the slope is named "Motoi (Basis) Zaka". The upper part of this slope was considered the city center, & this was where the city Hakodate Bugyo (Hakodate City Government) was located. In the Edo era, this slope was called "Oyakusho Zaka", literally meaning "Government Slope" or "Goten Zaka" meaning "Palace Slope".

British Consulate
This British Consulate was established in Hakodate in 1859 when the port of Hakodate was opened as the 1st Japanese port to trade. It is the 3rd consulate in Hakodate after the American & Russian consulates.

Public Hall of Hakodate Ward 旧函館区公会堂
11-13 Motomachi
Hakodate, Hokkaido Prefecture 040-0054
Tel: (+81)(134) 221001
Business hours: 9:00a.m. - 7:00p.m. daily
GPS: 41.7637546,140.707035
Getting there: Suehirocho tram stop (walk 500m up the slope) or take the bus from JR Hakodate station

The Public Hall of Hakodate Ward
We didn't go up as there were so many tourists at sight, at the building area. We just got a glimpse of the building from afar, then continued our journey towards the Hakodate Ropeway station to catch the cable car up the Mount Hakodate for a view of the Hakodate city during twilight 'til night.

Walking on the way to the Ropeway station, we passed many typical Japanese houses on quiet streets :)

AP was enjoying the architecture & taking in the historical views of this serene area of Hakodate
Look! A pulic phone booth! :P

View from top of the Hachiman-Zaka Slope

The Russian Orthodox Church

The Roman Catholic Church

Neat row of houses that reminded us so much of the Japanese movies & animes that we watch from Malaysia

A replica of the Statue of Liberty in Hakodate (with manicure! *lol*)
"A 6.3-meter-tall replica of the Statue of Liberty has been restored near a famous sightseeing area here despite the city's earlier decision to have it removed for looking "out of place."
The statue was first installed by local seafood company Marukita Kitamura Suisan in June last year in front of the company's outlet on the top of a slope in the Motomachi sightseeing district in Hakodate, Hokkaido Prefecture." - taken from Japan Bullet website

Our stroll along the Motomachi street towards the Hakodate Ropeway station took at least 20 minutes since we actually took our own sweet time to admire the view. It wasn't a total surprise that upon arriving at the Ropeway station, we saw bus loads of tourists from China, Taiwan, Thailand & all around Asia, making their way to the entrance of the cable car queue *wergh*

Mount Hakodate Ropeway 函館山ロープウェイ
元町 19-7
〒040-0054 Hakodate
Tel: (+81)(134) 233105
URL: http://334.co.jp
Business hours: 10:00a.m. - 10:00p.m. daily (4/25-10/15); 10:00a.m. - 10:00p.m. daily (10/16-4/24)
Getting there: The easiest way is to take a bus from the JR Hakodate station & stop right in front of the Ropeway station.
How much we paid in total: JP¥1280/person for a return ticket; RM46.08

View of the Hakodate city on the way up from inside the cable car

Love the view of the horizon during dusk!

See...I told you there's like a market full of tourists, who won't go away after snapping their photos...grrr...

I had to use the maximum length of zoom to get such shots

This was where I managed to squeeze =.="

It was cold & Aaron was not too excited after seeing the silly crowd of tourists

Night shots! Feels just like "Christmas"?

Good evening, Hakodate...

View of the Hakodate city from the cable car going back to the foothill

The Ropeway station

We had to wait for the bus in the cold, so my hubs waited out there, while I stayed inside cos it was just too cold for me...

We concluded our 1st day at Hakodate with a sushi dinner that we spent JP¥4320; RM155.52. It's not cheap since not many shops were opened after 8:00p.m. around our hotel area.

Sushi Nimura すし新村 (朝市サクラ観光市場)
Otemachi, 22−2
Hakodate, 〒040-0064 Hokkaido Prefecture
Tel: (+81)(134) 277885
Business hours: 9:00a.m. - 10:00p.m. daily
GPS: 41.7715134,140.724951
Getting there: JR Hakodate station (290m walk from the station)

The restaurant where we had our dinner (photo taken the next morning)

Overall, the food here was acceptable. It wasn't fantastic nor was it bad, but our experience at the Otaru's Sankaku Fish Market, the day before, was certainly the better experience in terms of having fresh sashimi.

Assorted sushi set

Assorted sashimi set
The scallops here are still very sweet!

Grilled Octopus Tentacles sushi

Grilled Eel/Unagi sushi

Tori Karaage/Japanese Fried Chicken
Since the "pig-backside uncle" experience, we were kinda hooked to the Japanese fried chicken that we will have it almost anywhere we go :P This wasn't too bad, but frankly speaking, the "pig-backside uncle's restaurant" was the better tasting one that we've had thus far.

Day 7 was certainly quite a long day with quite a bit more of walking, but it ended perfectly with a nice soak in the hot water bath at our hotel *aaahhh*

Walkway to the public baths (on the right)

Another exciting day ahead to look forward to!


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